Herbs A-Z: Hibiscus & Hypericum

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Today’s featured herbs are excellent in sun tea. Simply spoon them into a jar, pour in water, cover it up, and place it in the sun for several hours. Sun tea makes a light herbal infusion and is best for herbs that can be well extracted in a short hot infusion.

The calyx of Hibiscus sabdariffa is distinct from those of other species in the genus. It’s fleshy, red, and sour. These characteristics are signals to us. The red means antioxidant/anti-inflammatory and blood-vessel-stabilizing actions; the sour means draining to excess fluid, and cooling to excess heat. The leaf & flower of hibiscus (from various species including the rose of Sharon, H. syriacus and rose mallow, H. rosa-sinensis) can also be taken as an herb. They are moistening in nature, like other members of the mallow family.

Solstice is the right time to harvest st john’s wort, Hypericum perforatum. That’s when this herb’s medicinal constituents are at their peak of production. More complex than “an herbal SSRI”, the effects of st john’s wort to help relieve depression are taking place all over the body. It supports nerve function, clears digestive inflammation, improves liver processing, and yes, it does increase serotonin activity – both in the gut-brain and the head-brain. It’s worth a try for depression, but remember that it should not be taken concurrently with pharmaceuticals, especially psychiatric medications.
These quick plant profiles were done off-the-cuff & on-the-spot. If you enjoyed them, we have more! Our organized & comprehensive presentation of our herbal allies is in the Holistic Herbalism Materia Medica course. We have detailed profiles of 90 medicinal herbs! Plus you get everything that comes with enrollment in our courses: twice-weekly live Q&A sessions, lifetime access to current & future course material, discussion threads integrated in each lesson, guides & quizzes, and more.

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