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I Might as Well Just Make a Big Pot
It's dreary this morning. The winter chill in the lake air has started to lose its sting, but it's not really warm or sunny yet. Rain's drizzling, the kids are rowdy, and I am dragging. I think I'll brew up a jug of my cheer-boosting tea. Might need it today.
I put a glass pot filled with just over 6 cups of filtered water on the stove, and am bringing it to second boil. When it gets there, I'll turn the heat off and throw in 2 tablespoons (6 teaspoons, 1 for each cup of water) of dried St. John's wort. While I'm waiting, my 4-year-old daughter tells me she wants "teleporter seeds." She apparently wants to grow a teleporter.
I've removed the pot of water from the heat, stirred the dried herb in the water loose, and covered the pot. It's going to steep for 10 minutes, because I want to fully release the medicinal components of the herb. I don't mind it tasting slightly bitter, because it brewed a little longer—this brew is for effect!
Online search returns few promising leads on the teleporter seeds. Thankfully, her desire has moved on to the more easily obtainable yo-yo now.
Hunting around my kitchen, I'm looking for a strainer and a container to pour my tea into. I found my strainer and a pitcher, but can't fathom how I'm going to not spill this pot of water all over the counter during the transfer. Staring my coffee pot straight in the face, I get a better idea. I'm going to put a coffee filter in the basket and spoon the tea in one scoop at a time, filtering the plant material out and releasing the rest of the tea into the carafe. If I can't pour tea out of a carafe into a pitcher without watering my kitchen floor, I might as well give this up.
When I lift the lid off the pot, a warm, herbaceous aroma rises up and hugs my face. Cheers! Just what I was looking for.
The infusion is now filtered. I'm going to enjoy a hot cup now and put the rest in the fridge to sip throughout the day. My kids have their shoes on the wrong feet and are beating each other with stuffed animals, but at least the sun is starting to shine.
How to Make St. John's Wort Herbal Tea
Here's how to make your own tea out of St. John's wort.
- 1 teaspoon St. John's wort, dried
- 8 ounces filtered water
- Bring water to second boil in a glass, ceramic, or stainless steel pot (a good boil with medium-sized bubbles breaking frequently, but not yet a constant, rolling boil).
- Steep the St. John's wort for 3–10 minutes. For a better-tasting, less bitter infusion, steep a short time. For a more effective medicinal brew, steep longer. You can throw it in the pot loose, or use a tea ball to steep it in a teapot or mug. Whatever you do, cover it to help the tea release its full potential.
- Remove the herbs from the water and enjoy. You can add milk and sugar, though doing so may alter the medicinal components of the tea. Because of this, I enjoy this tea either plain or with just a drop of honey.
Important Information Regarding the Use of St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort is traditionally used to improve mood and enhance cheer. It should not be used in conjunction with MAOIs or protease inhibitors. It also may increase sensitivity to sunlight and can contradict contraception, lowering the effectiveness of birth control. Please talk to your doctor before adding any herb to your diet that may contradict your current regimen.
Barbara Tremblay on September 25, 2017:
Why not put a handful of St. John's wort before adding water to tea pot
Tim on July 21, 2014:
Thank you very much,
May I please ask, while you say to use 1 tea spoon of dried St.John's Wort extract, so to use fresh st.john's wort, I will just use 2 tea spoons of the yellow flowers?
oh and how much would 1 tea spoon be in mg.
example: you can buy them at the Pharmacy, they come in 300mg.
So how much would one tea spoon be in mg?
Thank you very very much.
Karine Gordineer from Upstate New York on July 17, 2014:
Lee Tea (author) from Erie, PA on July 15, 2014:
Most people just harvest the flowers. That's probably the best way to go.
I only harvest a small amount myself, the rest I order in. I'm sure you could find better info on the process than my personal experience - I'm a terrible gardener lol. I like to use the Old Farmer's Almanac for guidance on new plants - maybe check their website.
Karine Gordineer from Upstate New York on July 15, 2014:
Lee, how do you find it affects the plant to pick the entire stem? I harvest a lot of St. John's Wort every year but I only harvest the flowers. I find the plant will continue to produce more buds that way. Wondering what your experience has been. Karine
Lee Tea (author) from Erie, PA on July 14, 2014:
You can use the flowers and stems fresh, just use twice as much as dried.
To dry, lay the fresh stalks with flowers out on paper bags in a dry part of the house - I use my attic. They will dry in about 3 to 7 days. When they turn brittle, the stems snap when bent and the flowers crumble to the touch, you can store them in an airtight container. They'll keep their max potency for about 6-8 months...long enough to get you to next harvest season :)
You can also tie the stalks in bundles of 4 or 5 and hang them to dry - they look pretty that way.
Any other questions, let me know! Happy to help.
Lee @ Lee's Teas
Tim on July 14, 2014:
How do you dry St.John's Wort?,
I just collected St.John's Wort from the garden, put the flowers and boiling water in a tea pot, then wait 10 minutes, and then drink.
Any idea please??? ?
Lee Tea (author) from Erie, PA on March 13, 2014:
Oh Violet, what a morning that was hahaha... glad you found all the cheer you needed here! Be well :)
Violet Scoble on March 10, 2014:
I had been searching for basic steeping advice but your article was so much more. Thank you for this wonderful article!
Lee Tea (author) from Erie, PA on December 22, 2013:
Nice tip Sharon, I'll try that. Thanks!
Sharon Moffett on December 22, 2013:
I really like the taste of it......with ICE....=)
Lee Tea (author) from Erie, PA on August 10, 2012:
Thank goodness indeed! Thanks Karine, much appreciated.
Karine Gordineer from Upstate New York on August 10, 2012:
This was great! I could picture your morning getting off to a maybe slightly chaotic start....thank goodness for morning tea, yes? Very informative - I voted up.
Lee Tea (author) from Erie, PA on April 16, 2012:
The way I prepared it, it pretty much tastes like barky-plant water. I know how well it cheers me up, so I don't pay much attention to making it taste awesome. If brewing for taste, you can add 1 tsp of dried St. Johns to your other favorite flavored herbs to make a cheerful brew that tastes good too. Also, I put a spoonful of sugar into my cold tea today - didn't hurt. Couple ice cubes and it was as refreshing as a regular iced tea. I added the standard precautions for using St. Johns Wort to the hub, be sure to check them out before using this herb. Thanks!
Joan King on April 15, 2012:
I love herbal tea but never tried St John's Wort now I will. Thanks