How to Make St John’s Wort Oil

Hypericum perforatum

Hypericum perforatum

St John’s Wort is blooming all over the Cascade Range valleys right now and it’s the perfect time to harvest some of this medicinal powerhouse herb!

I harvest fresh St John’s Wort blossoms every year and make infused oil and tincture for use throughout the next year. My last post described a few of the medicinal uses of St John’s Wort.

Making infused medicinal oils is deceptively simple and amazingly useful. Here is a short and sweet tutorial of how to make St John’s Wort infused oil:


  • clean glass jar
  • organic olive oil
  • freshly picked and wilted St John’s Wort blossoms


FullSizeRender(7)Harvest the blossoms (or flowering tops) of St John’s Wort and let them wilt for 6-24 hours. This allows some of the moisture to evaporate as well as any critters hiding in the petals to leave…

FullSizeRender(6)Place in a clean glass jar leaving some headspace. Pour olive oil over the petals until the oil covers the herb about an inch.

FullSizeRender(5)Place the lid on the jar tightly and set in a protected area in the sun, or a sunny windowsill for about 4 weeks. Open the lid every day or two and wipe out any condensation that forms.

FullSizeRender(9)Your oil will quickly turn blood red from the medicinal constituents of the herb infusing into the oil. After  a month, you can strain out the herb and use the medicinal oil that is the result!

I love using St John’s Wort infused oil straight as a massage oil, or sunburn remedy. But I also like to use it in blends to make healing salves of all kinds, as well as in lotion and moisturizer recipes.

Have you ever infused St John’s Wort in oil? What is your favorite way to use it?



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17 thoughts on “How to Make St John’s Wort Oil

  1. I love the idea of using this as a sunburn remedy. Pinned. Amazing how it turns red due to the constituents. What a pretty flower, too. It’s interesting how often this flower shrub is used in landscaping parking lots! It’s so pretty and deserves to be in more home gardens. Thanks for the lovely, empowering post!

  2. Thanks Megan. The variety that is used in landscaping is generally different than the variety used medicinally. Medicinally we use Hypericum perforatum. It grows wild in many areas of the US and worldwide 🙂

  3. I love to make fresh flower tinctures as well as oil infusions with St John’s Wort. You’re right, the bees do love it!

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  5. Hi, Thanks for the teaching. My oil has barely turned red and it’s been sitting for over 2 weeks. Any ideas why?

    • Hi Megan! There could be several reasons why your oil is not turning red very fast. Some of the factors might include: did you use fresh or dry herb, how many hours a day is the jar in direct sunlight, did your carrier oil have a strong color to begin with, what variety of St john’s wort did you use?

      I have had batches that turned redder than others, myself. Sometimes it just depends on the climate that year. My suggestion would be to give it another couple of weeks and make sure it sits in direct sunlight for 8 hours a day. Let me know how it turns out!

    • Hi Marsey,
      Depending on the herbal oil that you are wishing to create, you can sometimes use dried herbs to make a good quality oil. However, in the case of St John’s Wort infused oil, fresh flowers, or freshly wilted flowers, are preferred to achieve a high quality and effective finished product.
      Thanks for the question!

  6. I have mixed my St Johns Wort oil with a little lavender and aloe vera and used it as a burn remedy. Coincidentally I burned my hand badly not long after I made it and it really helped, I don’t even have a scar.

  7. Hi there. We have tons of St John’s Wort growing all over our property in Quebec. I made a vodka based tincture with fresh flowers and it’s super red. I ready your direction for oil, dried the flowers for the recommended time and it’s been 2 days and not red at all. Then I read that everyone else suggests using fresh flowers and not drying at all. I’d love to know your thoughts. Thanks so much. Love learning about all of this.

    • Thanks for the question Deena. I don’t dry my flowers. As I mention in the post, I just wilt them for a day. This allows any critters to escape, as well as getting rid of excess moisture that might affect the finished product.

      It takes a couple of weeks for the oils to turn red most of the time. It also depends on how much sun exposure the oil gets. During the years when it is super sunny here in the PNW, my oil becomes a much deeper red than the years when we have cloudy summers.

    • Hi Susie,
      Yes, it is safe for use on pregnant women and children. There has been some concern about sun overexposure causing photosensitivity with large amounts of internal use of St John’s Wort. The jury is still out on that one. However, it has been traditionally used topically to prevent and treat sunburn. No contraindications topically.
      Thanks for the question!

  8. Pingback: How To Make St John’s Wort Oil At Home, And How To Use It To Gain Maximum Effects - Health Awareness Community

    • Hi Margaret,
      Yes, you can definitely use another oil. If I am making it strictly for topical use, I like to use jojoba for its stability. I prefer olive otherwise because many other oils have a shorter shelf life, but if you know you will use it up quickly, you can absolutely use a different oil.

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