Balm (St John’s wort)

This plant is tinctorial. Yellow pigment that exists in its flowers is water-soluble, while red pigment that exists in stigmas and fruits is soluble in alcohol. Dioskourides mentions it as «askyron». In Kythera, people prepare a medicine for the healing of burns and wounds by mixing olive oil with St John’s wort flowers.

Scientific Name:
Hypericum perforatum


Kythera Name:
Valsamo, Votani tou Ai Yianni

Name in other places of Greece:

Spathochorto(Epirus region), Valsamo(Arcadia region), Valsamochorto,  Chelonochorto(Cefalonia), Lihinochorto, Valsamaki, Periki, Votani tou Ai Yianni tou Prodromou

Tops with flowers and fruits and the whole plant are collected all through summer. It is found in wild fields with a lot of sunshine. It can be planted out to gardens as well.

Mycolytic, emmenagogue, diuretic, anticonvulsant, sedative, tonic, digestive, antiseptic, antipyretic, painkilling. It treats stomach ulcers and heals internal and external wounds. It fights bowel parasites.