Vervain (Verbena officinalis)
Identification: An herbaceous perennial with mid-green slightly hairy, and lobed leaves. The tiny lilac flowers are borne on slender flower spikes. The flowers open from the bottom first and work their way up the spike.
Habitat: Native to the Mediterranean region; estblished elsewhere. On
roadsides, wasteland, in nutrient-rich soils. It has been widely grown for thousands of years by many cultures.
Family: Verbenaceae (Vervain family)
Other Names: Blue vervain, false vervain, Indian hyssop, purvain, simpler’s joy, traveler’s joy, wild hyssop.
Flowers: June – October.
Parts Used: Aerial parts.
History: Vervain was held in high regard by our ancestors. It was once considered a sacred herb. The Druids introduced it to the Romans and they so venerated the plant that they held an annual festival in honor of it. It was called Verbenalia. Roman brides wore the flowers at their wedding as it was sacred to the goddess of love, Venus. The ancient Egyptians believed the flowers sprang from Isis’ tears and it was widely used by many cultures in purification rites, protection against disease and witchcraft, as a prophesy herb, and as a female aphrodisiac.
In more recent times, Vervain has proven to be an excellent herb.
Constituents: Mucilage, tannins, saponins, essential oil, verbenaloside, the glycosides verbenaline and verbenine, and unknown substances.
Medicinal Properties:
Properties: Anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, galactagogue, hepatic, hypotensive, nervine tonic, and sedative.
Main Uses: Strengthens the nervous system while relaxing any tension and stress. It can be used to ease depression and melancholia, especially following influenza.As a diaphoretic, it can be used in the early stages of fevers. It is also used in seizures and hysteria. As a hepatic, Vervain is of help in inflammation of the gall-bladder and jaundice. It may be used as a mouthwash against caries and gum disease.
Vervain is relaxing and stimulating nervine with specific influence on hepatic and renal autonomic functions. It is used for nervous depression, acute spasms of bronchitis and whooping cough, amenorrhea, and dysmenorrhea.
Preparations and Dosages:
Infusion: Pour 1 cup of boiling water onto 1 to 3 teaspoons of the dried herb, cover and infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. Take up to 3 times a day.

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