St John’s wort or hypericum is a native plant in many European countries and in Greece. Its healing properties have been known to people for centuries and we find references in the writings of Hippocrates, Theofrastos and Dioscourides. In the ancient years it was a basic ingredient in mummification of the dead. In folk medicine its use was very popular for healing neurotic incidents, neuralgia and depression.
It was the well known remedy of the Spartans, which was used for healing wounds after battles. In the Middle ages the plant was considered to have magical properties, especially if its collection would take place on the 24th of June, which is the day for honoring St John the Baptist. According to folk traditions, hypericum was the herb that drove away evil spirits with its smell.