Medicinal Herbs used in Wildcrafted Herbal Products' Therapeutic Creams and Compounds

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Medicinal Herb: Vervain (Verbena officinalis)

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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.



Biological Name:
Verbena officinalis


Other Names:
Vervain, Wild Hyssop, Simpler's Joy, American vervain, blue vervain, false vervain, traveler's joy, Indian hyssop, purvain

Parts Used:
Aerial parts

Active Compounds:
Iridoids, verbenin, verbenalin and bastatoside
Miscellaneous; essential oil, mucilage and others.

Traditional Applications in Herbal Medicine:
Nervine tonic, sedative, anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, hypotensive, galactagogue, hepatic, tonic, sudorific, expectorant, vulnerary, emetic, emmenagogue, vermifuge.

Vervain strengthens the nervous system while relaxing any tension and stress. It can be used to ease depression and melancholia, especially when this follows illness such as influenza. It is also used in seizure and hysteria. As a diaphoretic it can be used in the early stages of fevers. As a hepatic remedy it is of help in inflammation of the gall-bladder and jaundice. It may be used as a mouthwash against caries and gum disease.

Combinations : In the treatment of depression it may be used with Skullcap, Oats & St. Johns Wort


Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-3 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.

Tincture: take 2-4ml of the tincture three times a day.

No information available. Some herbs are known to react with your medication. Please consult your physician before starting on any herb.

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