Vervain

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Disclaimer: This data is meant for informational purposes only and is not meant to prescribe or treat specific problems. As with any herb or medication, please consult your Doctor of Naturopath or your Medical Doctor before trying anything new.

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(Verbena officinalis)

The tops of the Vervain plant are used for several different ailments.

Vervain has Antispasmodic, Diaphoretic, Antipyretic, Astringent, & Galactagogue Properties.

Use of this herb can affect the intestines, circulation of the body and lungs.

Description of properties;

Diaphoretic - herbs that promote perpiration.
Antipyretic - herbs that cool the system. (fever reducing)
Astringent - Herbs which increase the tone of the tissues
Antispasmodic - herbs used for muscular spasms, convulsive problems, & cramping.
Galactagogue - herbs that increase the flow of breast milk.

Preparation is usually in the form of an Infusion, Tincture, Fluid Extract, or Powdered capsules.

Vervain is often used at the onset of colds, flu, fever, and upper respiratory flare ups. Vervain helps to promote sweating which helps it break fever. When taken as a tea it is said to help settle the stomach and aid insomnia. It is also said to help some asthma sufferers, depending on the type.

Vervain can be prepared as a fomentation or poultice to speed the healing of sores and other external skin problems.

Vervain can act as an emetic if large quantities are taken, so be careful how much you take. Vervain is a very important bitter. If you cannot stand to drink the tea plain, you can add peppermint and honey to taste.

According to The Natural Guide to Medicinal Herbs and Plants by Barnes & Noble; "The chief active principle of the drug, which consists of the dried stems cut at the beginning of flowering, is the glycoside verbenalin plus bitter principles, mucilage, tannins, and a small amount of a lemon-scented essential oil."

Vervain is a perennial herb that likes semi-damp soil and grows in waste places in the warmer regions.

This plant can reach up to half a metre in height, and has a stiff, erect four sided stem which brances towards the top. the grey green leaves are lobed, with a stiff and rough hairy texture. Vervain produces small flowers, usually from mid summer until late August that grow from the leaf joints in long clusters. Flowers are usually a pale violet in color.

Blue Vervain is often grown in ornamental gardens, with just a few of the like properties.

OTHER INFO ON VERVAIN:

According to the book "The Natural Guide to Medicinal Herbs and Plants", it says that "It is only a rather mild substitute for the closely related Vitex agnus-castus L. in the alleviation of premenstrual migrains."

Also, "The German name for the plant is derived from the belief that it heals wounds caused by iron weapons."

To treat Rheumatisn, Neuralgia, & Sciatica - Make a poultice out of flax seed meal and use a strong infusion of vervain instead of water to moisten it.

Marcia Wilson
Journeywoman Herbalist
The Allways Natural Herb Farm
10/21/98

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© 1998- Linda Coffin

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