- Vervain (Verbena): a forgotten medicinal herb
- What is Vervain or Verbena?
- The Vervain Flower
- The Herb of Love: the Lore and Tradition of Vervain
- Vervain Flower: Roots in Traditional German Medicine
- How does Vervain work?
- The Medicinal Effects & Medicinal Uses
- How to Use Vervain
- Vervain Tea
- Blue Vervain Cultivation: Tips On Growing Blue Vervain Plants
- Blue Vervain Information
- Growing Blue Vervain
- Care of Blue Vervain Wildflowers
- What is Vervain?
- What is it used for?
- What is the recommended dosage?
- Side Effects
- Further information
- More about vervain
- Vervain Verbena hastata, V. officinalis
- Plant Description
- How to Grow Vervain
- Table Of Contents
- What’s Vervain?
- How Can Vervain Benefit You?
- How To Take Vervain
Vervain (Verbena): a forgotten medicinal herb
Vervain has a long history as a medicinal herb across many different cultures. We will explore the healing powers of vervain, the many ways you can use vervain as a healing plant, and how to make vervain tea. Read on to learn how this lovely flowering medicinal herb improves health.
What is Vervain or Verbena?
Vervain (Verbena Officinalis) is a flowering plant in the Verbena (Verbenacea) family of plants.
Also known by such names as common verbena, wild verbena, simpler’s joy, holy herb, enchanter’s plant, mosquito plant, wild hyssop, Indian hyssop, blue vervain, juno’s tears, pigeon’s grass, pigeonweed, and herb of the cross, vervain answers to many names.
Vervain (Verbena Officinalis)
What is verbena? Vervain herb is often confused with lemon verbena. Lemon verbena is actually an entirely different plant. Both vervain and lemon verbena are in the same plant family, but there are many plants in the Verbena family. Not all are used medicinally in the same ways as vervain. Other medicinal varieties of vervain include blue vervain (Verbena hastata) and white vervain (Verbena urticifolia.)
The Vervain Flower
What does the vervain plant look like? Verbena Officinalis is a perennial plant with delicate jagged leaves and small, pale lilac five-petaled flowers on shoots. The vervain flower can bloom light blue to purple flowers, but some vervain will bloom with pink or white flowers. Although pretty, vervain flowers have no fragrance.
Where does the vervain plant grow? The origins of vervain are not entirely known, but it is believed to be native to southern Europe in the Mediterranean region. Vervain has since been naturalized to other parts of the world, including North America. The vervain plant will grow wild in most soils. Most varieties will mature at 12” to 36” tall. Vervain will spread slowly, staying low to the ground until blooming mid-summer through early fall.
The Herb of Love: the Lore and Tradition of Vervain
The use of vervain for medicinal, ceremonial, and superstitious purposes goes back thousands of years. Ancient cultures throughout Europe have held vervain in high esteem. The significance of vervain as a cultural symbol and healing plant is partly how it acquired its many names. Even its nicknames convey adoration, as in: the herb of love and the herb of the cross.
Vervain was a sacred plant to several ancient civilizations, including ancient Egypt. Egyptians believed vervain first sprung from the tears of the goddess Isis as she mourned the death of the god Osiris. In ancient Persia, the Persians also treated vervain as a sacred plant.
Super natural and religious symbol
The ancient Druids of what is now Ireland believed vervain held supernatural powers. Worshippers of Thor in Scandinavia similarly used vervain in ceremonies and rituals calling upon its mystical powers.
Both the Greeks and the Romans believed that vervain was a holy plant. They used the sacred vervain branches to purify their temples. The Greeks called it hierobotane, “holy plant”, while the Roman version of the name was herba sacra or “sacred herb.” The Romans also used the vervain plant to bless their altars. The Greek physician, Hippocrates, is said to have recommended Verbena officinalis for fever and plague.
In Christian lore, vervain was used to treat Christ’s wounds on the cross, which is why vervain is sometimes called the herb of the cross.
The Aztecs and other Native American tribes used vervain roots and vervain flowers as a diuretic and as a natural treatment for headaches, circulatory issues, and insomnia.
Vervain Flower: Roots in Traditional German Medicine
Vervain has a long history in traditional medicine
During the Middle Ages, vervain was often used in magicians’ and witches’ potions. In folk medicine, vervain was used for protection, but was also used as an aphrodisiac, earning it the name herba veneris, or “herb of love.” The plant was highly revered in many European cultures and was considered a virtual panacea to treat organs of the abdominal region – along with the lungs, and as a remedy for headaches.
Hildegard of Bingen’s synopsis
Hildegard von Bingen generally classifies the plant as “cooling.” Within Hildegard medicine she references vervain and verbena to treat swelling and inflammation in the throat, to heal ulcers, to treat jaundice, tooth and gum infections, and to reduce gum inflammation.
Vervain remedies are commonly found in Traditional German Medicine and in Hildegard of Bingen Writings.
The herb was once thought useful for diplomacy and was present at all contract signings and carried by messengers and envoys. Pliny the Elder described vervain as a “sacred plant” with innumerable applications including the ritual sweeping and smudging of homes and its use in potions for love and good fortune.
Reviving a forgotten medicinal plant
As a medicinal plant vervain has been largely forgotten, and is often confused in German homeopathy for the fragrant Lemon Beebrush (aloysia citrodora), which is often included in herbal teas. We have a vervain tea (also called blue vervain tea) recipe for you from Hildegard. But first, how vervain works.
How does Vervain work?
The German word for Vervain (“Eisenkraut”) includes reference to iron. The vervain herb, however, contains no iron. Therefore, it is believed the word derives from the plant’s use in the smelting process as means to help harden and improve longevity of steel.The herb was also frequently used to treat cuts and puncture wounds.
In herbal medicine, the above-ground plant parts of vervain are used during the flowering period. They contain concentrations of bitter plant compounds and tannins, as well as silica and volatile essential oils. The tannins are part of what gives the vervain herb its astringent (constricting) properties. Other active plant components include glycosides (verbenin) and alkaloids.
These chemical plant compounds give vervain its healing medicinal properties.
The Medicinal Effects & Medicinal Uses
The bioactive compounds naturally contained in the Vervain plant interact with your body. The result of these interactions is how vervain helps you heal or relieves discomfort of underlying illness or injury. The medicinal effects of vervain include:
- Antispasmodic (relaxant)
- Antipyretic (fever reducing)
- Diuretic (water reducer)
- Astringent (constrictive)
The natural astringent activity of vervain is what makes it a good oral rinse for bleeding gums and mouth ulcers. Gargling vervain with lukewarm water also helps to relieve sore throat inflammation.
Vervain can be used as a tea, a tincture, or topically
Vervain is anti-spasmodic, which makes it a great way to relieve cramps. The fever-reducing properties of vervain are also great for minor colds or fevers. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it a great natural remedy for many different conditions. You can use vervain for the following conditions:
- Digestive issues
- Urinary tract infections
- Kidney stones
- Gout & jaundice
- Anxiety & Depression
- Improve lactation
- Relieve painful menstruation
- General pain relief, especially joint pain
Hildegard’s bodily juices
Vervain stimulates bile flow and establishes balance among bodily juices. Vervain is also used in Hildegard of Bingen medicine as an herb to address symptoms related to the common cold.
You can use it topically for wound treatment as well as for treating skin disorders. In fact, you can use our vervain tea for wound washing and compressing wounds.
More recently, vervain has become known for its effect in treating infections in the airways. Vervain is particularly well suited for acute and chronic inflammation of the sinuses and respiratory tracts, because it acts as anti-inflammatory as well as an expectorant.
How to Use Vervain
The traditional application of medicinal vervain is in tea. The flavor of vervain tea takes some getting used to. Our modern palettes are less accustomed to bitter flavors and vervain is particularly bitter.
Hildegard extoled the virtues of bitter flavors and encouraged working to improve our tolerance for bitter herbs. Notwithstanding the taste, vervain has played an important role in healing and herbal magic since ancient times. So, you should try to include it in your natural holistic healing regimen. Making your own vervain tea is a great way to start.
Vervain Tea Recipe
Mix ten dry grams (approx 1/3 ounce) each of vervain, thyme, elderflower, cowslip primrose, and peppermint.
Add 2 heaping teaspoons of the herbal mixture per one cup of hot water. Allow to steep for ten minutes.
Drink two to three cups daily, but for no longer than a week (and not during pregnancy). You can drink vervain tea to treat any of the conditions listed previously, but it works particularly well for stomach ailments of all kinds. It will also strengthen your liver and kidneys.
We often talk about the value of bitter substances, particularly as digestive agents. Vervain has a bitter flavor profile so it is also a natural way to add bitter flavors into your diet.
Topical Application of Vervain
You can use vervain as a skin lotion or compress. Vervain helps relieve discomfort from insect bites and can accelerate the healing process by closing wounds more quickly. You can use fresh vervain plant, crushed into a pulp. Or you can just soak a clean cloth in a strong version of vervain tea and apply directly to your skin.
As always, consult with an herbalist or herbal medical practitioner if you are new to medicinal herbs. Consult with your physician if you suffer from any serious medical conditions or are currently under the care for a health condition.
You should also consult with your physician before taking vervain if you are currently taking any medications.
Vervain is a uterine stimulant. Because of its labor-inducing effects, you should not use vervain if you are pregnant. In fact, midwives use vervain for its effectiveness in encouraging labor.
Even though verbena officinalis does not have any well-researched side-effects or drug interactions, you should not take vervain in large doses.
Blue vervain (Verbena hastata), however, is known to potentially interfere with blood pressure medications. Blue vervain may also interact with drugs used in hormone therapy.
Large doses of blue vervain have also caused diarrhea and vomiting in some people.
If you find the taste of vervain tea to be unappealing, there are many commercially available forms of vervain you can take.
Blue Vervain Cultivation: Tips On Growing Blue Vervain Plants
A wildflower native to North America, blue vervain is often seen growing in moist, grassy meadows and along streams and roadsides where it brightens the landscape with spiky, bluish-purple blooms from midsummer to early autumn. Let’s learn more about blue vervain cultivation.
Blue Vervain Information
Blue vervain (Verbena hastata) is also known as American blue vervain or wild hyssop. The plant grows wild in nearly every part of the United States. However, this cold tolerant perennial doesn’t do well in climates warmer than USDA plant hardiness zone 8.
Blue vervain is a traditional medicinal herb, with the roots, leaves or flowers used to treat conditions ranging from stomach aches, colds and fever to headaches, bruises and arthritis. Native Americans of the West Coast roasted the
seeds and ground them into meal or flour.
In the garden, blue vervain plants attract bumblebees and other important pollinators and the seeds are a source of nutrients for songbirds. Blue vervain is also a good choice for a rain garden or a butterfly garden.
Growing Blue Vervain
Blue vervain performs best in full sunlight and moist, well-drained, moderately rich soil.
Plant blue vervain seeds directly outdoors in late autumn. Cold temperatures break the dormancy of the seeds so they are ready to germinate in spring.
Cultivate the soil lightly and remove weeds. Sprinkle the seeds over the surface of the soil, then use a rake to cover the seeds no more than 1/8 inch deep. Water lightly.
Care of Blue Vervain Wildflowers
Once established, this pest-and disease-resistant plant requires little care.
Keep the seeds moist until they germinate. Thereafter, one deep watering per week during warm weather is usually sufficient. Water deeply if the top 1 to 2 inches of soil feel dry to the touch. The soil shouldn’t remain soggy, but it also shouldn’t be allowed to become bone dry either.
Blue vervain benefits from a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer applied monthly during the summer.
A 1- to 3-inch layer of mulch, such as bark chips or compost, keeps the soil moist and suppresses growth of weeds. Mulch also protects the roots in cold winter climates.
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(Verbena setosa printed as
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Botanial: Verbena officinalis (LINN.), Verbena hastata
Family: N.O. Verbenaceae
- Medicinal Action and Uses
- Other Species
—Synonyms—Herb of Grace. Herbe Sacrée. Herba veneris.
—Parts Used—Leaves, flowering heads.
—Habitat—Europe, Barbary, China, Cochin-China, Japan.
—Description—In England the Common Vervain is found growing by roadsides and in sunny pastures. It is a perennial bearing many small, pale-lilac flowers. The leaves are opposite, and cut into toothed lobes. The plant has no perfume, and is slightly bitter and astringent in taste. The name Vervain is derived from the Celtic ferfaen, from fer (to drive away) and faen (a stone), as the plant was much used for affections of the bladder, especially calculus. Another derivation is given by some authors from Herba veneris, because of the aphrodisiac qualities attributed to it by the Ancients. Priests used it for sacrifices, and hence the name Herba Sacra. The name Verbena was the classical Roman name for ‘altar-plants’ in general, and for this species in particular. The druids included it in their lustral water, and magicians and sorcerers employed it largely. It was used in various rites and incantations, and by ambassadors in making leagues. Bruised, it was worn round the neck as a charm against headaches, and also against snake and other venomous bites as well as for general good luck. It was thought to be good for the sight. Its virtues in all these directions may be due to the legend of its discovery on the Mount of Calvary, where it staunched the wounds of the crucified Saviour. Hence, it is crossed and blessed with a commemorative verse when it is gathered. It must be picked before flowering, and dried promptly.
—Constituents—The plant appears to contain a peculiar tannin, but it has not yet been properly analysed.
—Medicinal Action and Uses—It is recommended in upwards of thirty complaints, being astringent, diaphoretic, antispasmodic, etc. It is said to be useful in intermittent fevers, ulcers, ophthalmia, pleurisy, etc., and to be a good galactogogue. It is still used as a febrifuge in autumn fevers.
As a poultice it is good in headache, earneuralgia, rheumatism, etc. In this form it colours the skin a fine red, giving rise to the idea that it had the power of drawing the blood outside. A decoction of 2 OZ. to a quart, taken in the course of one day, is said to be a good medicine in purgings, easing pain in the bowels. It is often applied externally for piles. It is used in homoeopathy.
Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm.
Verbena Jamaicensis (JAMAICA VERVAIN) grows in Jamaica, Barbados, and other West Indian islands, bearing violet flowers. The juice is used in dropsy and for children as an anthelmintic and cooling cathartic. The negroes use it as an emmenagogue, and for sore and inflamed eyes. As a poultice, with wheat-flour, the bruised leaves are used for swelling of the spleen, and for hard tumours at their commencement.
V. Lappulaceae (BURRY VERVAIN), another West Indian herb, with pale blue flowers, is a vulnerary sub-astringent, being used even for very severe bleeding wounds in men and cattle, especially in Jamaica.
V. hastata (BLUE VERVAIN, Wild Hyssop, Simpler’s Joy) is indigenous to the United States, and is used unofficially as a tonic emetic, expectorant, etc., for scrofula, gravel, and worms. A fluid extract is prepared from the dried, over-ground portion.
V. Urticifolia. The root, boiled in milk and water with the inner bark of Quercus Alba, is said to be an antidote to poisoning by Rhus Toxicodendron.
V. Sinuata. An infusion of the root, taken as freely as possible, is said to be a valuable antisyphilitic.
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What is Vervain?
Vervain is a slender perennial plant with small, pale lilac flowers borne on leafless spikes. It is indigenous to the Mediterranean but has been cultivated widely throughout eastern Europe, North Africa, China, and Japan. The name “verbenae” originally was used in Roman times to describe all plants used on altars for their aromatic qualities.
Verbena officinalis (L.) Wettst. Family: Verbenaceae
What is it used for?
The aerial parts have been used traditionally for many conditions, including stimulation of lactation and treatment of dysmenorrhea, jaundice, gout, kidney stones, headache, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Vervain is also considered an astringent, a bitter digestive tonic, and a diuretic.
Vervain has been used for many conditions, including stimulation of lactation and treatment of dysmenorrhea, jaundice, gout, kidney stones, and headache; however, there are few clinical trials of vervain or its components.
What is the recommended dosage?
There is no clinical evidence to support specific dose recommendations for vervain. Traditional use for its astringent properties required 2 to 4 g daily in an infusion.
Contraindications have not been identified.
Documented adverse reactions. Avoid use.
None well documented.
Research reveals little or no information regarding adverse reactions with the use of this product.
No toxicology studies have been reported on vervain.
1. Vervain. Review of Natural Products. Facts and Comparisons 4.0. May 2008. Accessed April 24, 2007.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about vervain
- Vervain (Advanced Reading)
Related treatment guides
- Herbal Supplementation
Vervain Verbena hastata, V. officinalis
Seeds below, a circle of insignificant purple-blue flowers in the centre, and buds at the top of the vervain’s slender spires do not produce a striking effect, yet this common plant certainly does not lack beauty. John Burroughs, ever ready to say a kindly, appreciative word for any weed, speaks of its drooping, knotted threads, that “make a pretty etching upon the winter snow.” Bees, the vervain’s benefactors, are usually seen clinging to the blooming spikes, and apparently asleep on them. Borrowing the name of Simpler’s Joy from its European sister, (V. officinalis), the flower has also appropriated much of the tradition and folklore centered about that plant which herb gatherers, or simplers, truly delighted to see, since none was once more salable. Netje Blanchan Wild Flowers worth Knowing(1917)
How to Grow Vervain
Self-seeding herbaceous perennial. Native to the Eastern US and hardy to -40 degrees F. Bright blue flowers on reddish-tinted plants, in multiple, long-lasting, handsome spikes. Seeds need light to germinate. Press seed into surface soil and do not cover. Keep moist until germination. Grows well in moist garden or lawn. Vervain must be picked before flowering and dried promptly to be effective.
Botany & History: Native to the Americas, the Mediterranean region and the Near East. Introduced widely elsewhere. There are over 350 known natural and artificial hybrids in cultivation and the wild. Numerous species are used medicinally, although we concentrate solely on Verbena hastata in this monograph. Blue Vervain flowers from June through September and can be found growing in grassy fields, low open woodlands, stream banks, gardens and along roadsides, reaching a height of 3-4 feet at full maturity. (Kress) (Hutchens) The Dakota word for Blue Vervain translates to “Medicine”, and the Omaha and Ponca word for Blue Vervain translate to “Herb medicine.” (KSU) From this we can deduce that Blue Vervain was well known to Native American tribes and a valuable member of their materia medicas. According to Matthew Wood, Blue Vervain was popular during the Revolutionary War. It was used for intermittent chills and fever and was found to be useful in cases when sweating needed to be induced. There is a legend that the wounds of Jesus Christ were dressed with Vervain when he was taken down from the cross. (Wood)
Clinical Uses: We have discussed the very specific uses for a simple of Blue Vervain as an energetic balancer for a specific personality, however, this powerful plant should not be overlooked in formulas even when the client does not fit the personality type. Blue Vervain is a key herb in formulas for nervous system support, mood improvement, digestive system support, menstrual cycle support, musculo skeletal tension & holding patterns, lymphatic stagnation, inducing sweating when necessary, in some cases of pulmonary hypertension and in the case of diffuse esophageal spasm.
For nervous system support, Blue Vervain pairs well with Motherwort and Skullcap for a generalized anxiolytic tincture to be taken throughout the day. Thomas Easley & Matthew Wood note case studies in which Blue Vervain has been helpful for spasmodic nervous disorders including tics, palsy and tourette’s syndrome when the tension manifests above the shoulder (neck, face, scalp.) John William Fyfe, an eclectic herbalist of the early twentieth century says of Blue Vervain, “It is said that this agent has cured cases of epilepsy which had been unsuccessfully treated for a long time by many other methods. These reports deserve attention, for it is possible that the remedy may reach a class of cases in which the physician now has but little success.” In cases of depression that is rooted in hormonal anxiety, chronic stress or melancholia characterized by anger (what the Greeks would call an excess of black bile) Blue Vervain is an appropriate nervine. Herbalists typically classify nervines into nerve tonics & nerve relaxants. Blue Vervain falls on the nerve relaxant side, an herb that will help you empty out your stress, but should ultimately be paired with nerve tonic herbs or lifestyle changes to manage the stress in the long term and increase capacity for holding stress.
Blue vervain is an intensely bitter herb with a tremendous effect on the nervous system, noted in old literature as a common digestive bitter. It has a reputation for working on tension in the stomach area linked to suppression of emotions, especially anger. It is suitable in digestive bitters formulas where there is a simultaneous need to work on the digestive system (increasing stomach acid & digestive juices) and give nervous system support. Blue Vervain has the potential to mitigate intense food cravings associated with over consuming food, so it is an herb to consider in formulas where you may be working with a client who wishes to improve their relationship with food.
We cannot ignore Blue Vervain’s many applications in menstrual cycle support: Mitigation of angry PMS, especially tension & anger during the luteal phase (post ovulation) that’s dominated by progesterone. Here, Blue Vervain acts as a hormone balancer as it promotes estrogen and progesterone receptor binding. The intense food cravings that are often associated with the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle are dually helped by Blue Vervain. (Yates) Additionally, Blue Vervain has been used to ease post-delivery stress and for obstructed menstruation. Blue Vervain is a cousin of the highly regarded hormone balancing herb, Vitex, and is likewise a good choice in a formula for easing the severity of hot flashes.
A classic trait of the person in need of Blue Vervain is holding all of their tension in their neck and shoulders. Even when the person does not meet the full picture of a “Blue Vervain person,” we can use Blue Vervain in a formula for this specific holding pattern and help them find relief. Most often we may use Blue Vervain as a supporting herb in a tincture formula for this purpose, but we may also make a poultice out of the fresh herb and apply topically to the neck and shoulders. When there is the opportunity to treat a condition from both the exterior & interior, this is usually the most effective route to take. Matthew Wood notes that Blue Vervain should be taken when there is loss of muscle in the neck, such as after a stroke.
Matthew Wood notes that Blue Vervain is an essential lymph remedy where there is an obstruction to lymph flow and a deobstructant is needed. This may be particularly useful where there is thickening lymph or muscles not working. In another scenario where a deobstruction is needed, Blue Vervain is the essential herb for a fever where the skin is tightly closed but profuse sweating is necessary for healing.
Thomas Easley notes that in certain cases of pulmonary hypertension, where the client fits the specific Blue Vervain personality, it is a key remedy. Taken as a simple in drop doses (3-5 drops, 2 times a day) Blue Vervain may help lower blood pressure. Thomas has seen it work in 4 cases, so more cases need to be studied and considered, but in the meantime it’s potential is not to be overlooked in this specific scenario.
In diffuse esophageal spasm (corkscrew esophagus), purportedly one of the most painful conditions one might be faced with, Blue Vervain is a key herb along with tincture of (fresh) black haw and khella to soothe the tension of the agonizing flare ups.
Hypnotic effects of total aqueous extracts of Vervain officinalis (Verbenaceae) in rats
Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences (2002)
Moses A. Akanmu + 2 more authors
Institute of Biomaterials and Bioengineering, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan
In this study male rats were the test subjects. They were kept on a 12 hr dark, 12 hr light schedule, in an air conditioned environment with free access to rat chow and water. There were two experimental groups, one was given aqueous extraction of vervain officinalis and the other diazepam. The control group was given placebo. The results showed that Blue Vervain decreased the sleep latency and increased sleep time significantly. It was also found that the GABA-benzodiazeprine recpetor complex might play a significant role with respect to Blue Vervain’s sedative effect. It was found that Blue Vervain and diazepam had similar effects on the rats.
Constituents: Iridoid glycosides (verbenalin, hastatoside); phenylethanoid
glycosides (verbascoside – acteoside); flavonoids (flavones: luteolin); tannins; mucilaginous
polysaccharides; traces of volatile oils (Evolutionary)
Dosage: Tincture: fresh leaf and flowers (1:2, 60% alcohol); dried leaf and flowers (1:5, 40% alcohol) Energetic dosage: 5-10 drops, 3 times a day. If no results are seen, or in cases where the personality does not match: increase to 1-2 ml (.2-.4 tsp) up to 4 times daily. If the personality of the client is that of the classic Blue Vervain person, the energetic drop doses are likely to work for them, whereas when a specific clinical application is desired but the personality does not match, larger doses may be necessary.
Glycerite: dried leaf and flowers (1:6): 1-5 ml (.2 -1 tsp) as needed 3-4 times daily.
Tea: 1 cup up to 3 times daily (not a pleasant tea, VERY bitter, I would only use the tea in cases where inducing sweating is necessary)
Some examples of Blue Vervain in specific formulas:
Nerve Tonic / Nerve Relaxant:
4 part skullcap
2 part motherwort
1 part blue vervain
1-2 ml pulsatilla per 2oz bottle (if there is a tendency towards breaking down, crying)
1-2 ml lobelia per 2oz bottle (if there is severe muscular tension)
To Open Pores During a Fever:
1 part Lobelia
1 part Boneset
1 part Blue Vervain
Preferably taken as tea, a few ounces at a time (NOT a pleasant tea)
Menopausal Hot Flash Remedy:
1 part Peach leaf
1 part Lemon balm
1 part Blue Vervain
Tea or Tincture.
Original formula by Sandra Boyd, Blue Vervain added by Matthew Wood
Post Delivery Anger
Blessed Thistle tea with the addition of Blue Vervain tincture
energetic or large doses depending on client.
Warnings: Extremely large doses may cause nausea and vomiting. Large doses may stimulate a miscarriage in pregnant women, although traditionally, in normal doses blue vervain was used to protect against miscarriage (Easley.) According to the USDA, Blue Vervain can interfere with blood pressure medication and hormone therapy.
Vervain: 9 Benefits Of This Mythical Herb + How To Make The Tea Ravi Teja Tadimalla Hyderabd040-395603080 July 3, 2019
The Greek physician Hippocrates is said to have recommended vervain to treat fever and plague. The Romans believed in its holiness, and the Aztecs used it for its diuretic properties.
According to some sources, vervain was used on Jesus’ wounds after he was removed from the cross. Mythical and mysterious, isn’t it?
By far, the most important use of vervain has been to soothe one’s mood and treat anxiety. Think of the peace you would feel after a long day at work. Which is why taking a look at this herb is worth it. Absolutely. Let’s begin!
Table Of Contents
- What’s Vervain?
- How Can Vervain Benefit You?
- How To Take Vervain
Vervain belongs to the Verbenaceae plant family and is also called herb of the cross, herb of grace, Juno’s tears, and enchanter’s plant. It is a slender plant that has toothed leaves. It has pale flowers and leafless spikes and tastes bitter.
Vervain is of two types – blue vervain and white vervain. The plant is native to the Mediterranean region and also grows in parts of North America.
The major constituents of vervain responsible for the benefits include glycosides, tannins, alkaloids, bitter principles, and volatile oil. These, in addition to several other constituents, give us the benefits that we will discuss now.
Back To TOC
How Can Vervain Benefit You?
1. Vervain Treats Anxiety And Sleep Issues
Anxiety and sleep issues can turn your life upside down. But you don’t have to rely solely on medications and experience side effects. Studies show us the anxiolytic and sedative effects of vervain (1). This is especially true with blue vervain as it can calm the nervous system.
Another Japanese study showed how one could use vervain as a nerve tonic. Ingestion of vervain was found to improve sleep time and quality (2).
2. Can Help Cure Migraine Headaches
Most people suffering from migraines find difficulty in managing them. But thanks to the analgesic properties of vervain, this could be a thing of the past. Vervain soothes the nerves and relaxes your mind – which is why it can help you deal with migraine headaches better.
More research is being done on this, though.
3. Boosts Heart Health
We are sure you want to keep your heart healthy. Apart from a healthy diet and regular exercise, taking vervain can also help.
A naturally occurring glycoside in vervain, called cornin, was found to have cardioprotective effects. In one study, animal subjects treated with cornin showed recovery from myocardial ischemia (partial or complete blockage of the arteries). Cornin increases the expression of certain pathways that benefit the heart (3).
Sources suggest vervain even helps treat chest pain (also called angina) and fluid retention due to heart failure.
4. Fights Inflammation
Vervain has the ability to treat inflammation, both internally and externally. One Italian study speaks of how extracts of vervain could fight inflammation in the animal subjects (4). The same study also found that vervain could fight digestive inflammation and the associated gastrointestinal damage as well.
Talking about external inflammation, a Spanish study gives us interesting findings – the anti-inflammatory activity of vervain was the same as a medication used for the condition (5).
5. Treats Menstrual Pain
The analgesic properties of vervain play a role again – these treat menstrual cramps and the associated muscle cramps. Vervain can also reduce the unpleasant menstrual symptoms by offering relaxation.
6. Vervain Boosts Oral Health
Vervain has been used for several centuries to boost gum health. Reports show that even the Celtic people had used vervain as a mouthwash to treat their oral problems. Chewing the plant’s roots was believed to strengthen one’s gums and teeth.
A 2016 study validates the importance of vervain for oral health. Patients with chronic gingivitis (a gum disease) were asked to brush and floss their teeth and rinse their mouths with a vervain mouthwash. Results showed those who used the mouthwash had lower scores of Gingival Index and Plaque Index. This indicates the improvement in the condition after using the vervain mouthwash (6).
Some sources suggest that vervain can also treat halitosis (bad breath), mouth ulcers, and even tonsilitis.
7. Improves Digestive Health
Vervain can stimulate your appetite and promote digestive health as well. And thanks to the antiparasitic properties of the herb, it can rid the body of intestinal worms.
The diuretic properties of vervain also play a role in digestive health. The herb promotes the release of urine and water from the body, thereby assisting diarrhea relief.
8. Vervain Increases Supply Of Breast Milk
Though research is being done, some sources state that vervain has the ability to stimulate breast milk production in nursing mothers. Please consult your doctor before using vervain for this purpose.
Other sources don’t recommend vervain during breastfeeding.
9. Protects The Liver And Kidneys
Several herbalists consider vervain to boost the functioning of a sluggish liver. This, in turn, has a positive effect on hormonal metabolism and balance.
Vervain was also found to cleanse the kidneys and the bladder, thereby cutting the risk of stones. In one report, vervain, along with other herbs like betony and yarrow, was found to treat kidney stones (7).
The antimicrobial properties of vervain help cleanse the liver and kidneys of toxins and prevent infections. The active ingredients – aucubin and oleanolic acid – in vervain also have hepatoprotective effects.
The herb is mythical for sure, isn’t it? The name itself feels out of the world. And so do the benefits. But how can you avail the benefits? How can you take it?
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How To Take Vervain
The best (and the simplest) way to take vervain is in the form of a tea. Preparing the tea is dead simple. All you need is a vervain teabag.
Here are the directions:
- Add water to a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- Add the vervain teabag to a teapot.
- Pour the hot water into the teapot and allow to steep for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the teabag. You can add honey or lemon to improve the flavor.
Simple, isn’t it?
But hold on, does vervain have any side effects?
Though vervain is generally safe, pregnant and breastfeeding women must be wary. Since there is no information on the safety of vervain intake during this period, it is best to stay away from it. Also, please consult your doctor.
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After all, Hippocrates couldn’t be wrong! Vervain is easy to procure and easier to prepare. So, why don’t you start using it today?
Tell us how this post has helped you. Just leave a comment in the box below. We would love to hear from you!
- “Anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, and sedative…”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Hypnotic effects of total aqueous extracts of…”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Cardioprotection against experimental…”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Effects of differential extraction of…”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of the…”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Short-term effects of Verbena…”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Magiferous plants in medieval English herbalism” University of California, Berkeley.
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Ravi Teja Tadimalla
Ravi Teja Tadimalla is a Senior Content Writer who specializes in writing on Health and Wellness. He graduated from SRM University, Chennai, and has been in the field for well over 4 years now. His work involves extensive research on how one can maintain better health through natural foods and organic supplements. Ravi has written over 250 articles and is also a published author. Reading and theater are his other interests.
Vervain is a herb which has been highly esteemed by healers for centuries. The Greek physician Hippocrates – known as the father of medicine – favoured it, and it has been considered sacred, magical and a “cure-all” by various cultures through the ages (Medieval British/European, Greek, Italian, Chinese and American Indian).
Vervain has tonic, nerve restoring and “lifting” qualities which, combined with its ability to improve liver and digestive function, makes it well-suited to those (human or horse) who are convalescing from chronic illness. As a nervine relaxant and antispasmodic it can assist horses who are tense and sensitive by relaxing the gut, peripheral nerves and muscles, allowing them to perform without “burning up” their energy through anxiety. Used both internally as a feed herb and externally as a poultice it can also relieve itchiness in those horses whose tension is expressed through overly reactive skin.
Further, vervain is diaphoretic and is valuable in managing fevers. It’s antispasmodic effects see it also applied to coughs, asthma and headaches. In addition it is galactogogue – encouraging lactation.
ACTIONS include: antispasmodic, nervine, tonic, hepatic (supporting and stimulating the liver), galactogogue, diaphoretic (promotes sweating), sedative/relaxant, uterine stimulant.
Caution: Do not administer to pregnant mares without consulting a qualified equine herbalist – research has shown that vervain can stimulate uterine contractions.