In July I collected some St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) - I know, I know - I was one month late. Ideally you should collect St. John's wort on the 24th of June which is the festival of the birthday of St. John the Baptist. The red colour that oozes out of the leaves if you squeeze them is a symbol of his blood when he was beheaded. Here a quite unconventional painting of John the Baptist :)
|Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio: John the Baptist|
from: Malte Goga 2009, fig. 1
However, usage of St. John's wort is much older than that and therefore it might not be a coincidence that St. John's Birthday happened to take place at the heathen midsummer festival. Yeah, the Christian church was very clever. It also said that St. John's wort causes evil spirits to depart (the Greek name Hypericum means somethink like "over an apparition"). Maybe psychosomatic disorders were thought to be caused by evil spirits and since Hypericum works as an antidepressant when taken orally it is understandable that St. John's wort was used as an apotropaic flower.
Pliny the Elder prescribed Hypericum against burns in his Naturalis Historiæ (book XXVI chapter lxxx) ca. AD 77 and it was used extensivly during the Medieval period.
Buth enough history, here is the simple recipe for making your own beautifully red oil against infected wounds, abrasions, burns, muscle pain, inflammatory skin diseases, you name it ...
Put your Hypericum florescence in a glass jar
Put it in a warm and sunny place and let stand for about 6 to 8 weeks or until the petals are drained of their colour and the oil turns red
Put it through a tea or coffee filter paper and fill into a tightly closable bottle
From now on keep it cool and dark and use whenever something hurts :)
And to let you know what I eat when alone: Spicy glass noodles with squash
Pour some boiling water over dry glass noodles, let sit for a couple of minutes and drain. Meanwhile fry some garlic and ginger in a wok, add vegetables to your liking (green onions, Chinese cabbage, celery, squash), add spices (chili flakes, Sechuan pepper, salt) and glass noodles. Done in under 30 minutes.