St Andrews Cross
For St Andrews Day we’ll have a little look at Hypericum hypericoides, a little plant more commonly known as St Andrews Cross. I wonder why!
It’s not a European species but it does have a rather well-known native European relative, Hypericum perforatum. More commonly known as St John’s wort.
St Andrews Cross does have some old medicinal uses. These are a little different to the better known relative. A medicinal utilised by native American Indians. If ever bitten by a rattlesnake you may want to find one of these plants, dig it up and chew the root. Apparently it is antidote. You’d probably want to be quick and fairly good at botany!
Both root and leaves were utilised. Both brewed into tea. The root decocted for dysentery and also for pain in childbirth. The leaves for kidney and bladder problems. Finally an infusion of leaves was brewed for sore eyes.
H. hypericoides, St Andrews Cross, does not seem to be as pharmaceutically active as H. perforatum. However it is still an interesting plant and a lovely flower.
Happy St Andrews Day.