Vervain Verbena hastata, V. officinalis

Verbena hastata, V. officinalis
Verbena hastata
  • Common Names
  • Vervain , Blue Vervain, Wild Hyssop, Simpler's Joy, Herb of the cross
  • Botanical Name
  • Verbena hastata, V. officinalis
  • Family

Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Vervain

remedyHow to Use| Side Effects | Plant & Garden| Folklore

How to Use: Vervain

Vervain has been useful to herbal healers for many centuries of recorded history, both in the Europe (Verbena officinalis)Netje Blanchan and in North America, (V. hastata),yet there is a dearth of human studies with this herb. Vervain's healing properties are attributed primarily to its bitter and stimulating effect on the liver and other organs, as well as its relaxing effect on the nervous system. Herbalists consider vervain especially helpful when depression is related to chronic illness. 2

Vervain is useful in many diseases as a pain reliever and antirheumatic used to relive joint pain. M. Grieve recommends using it as a poultice “ vervain is good in headache , earache, neuralgia, rheumatism, etc. In this form it colors the skin a fine red, giving rise to the idea that it had the power of drawing the blood outside”.

A warm infusion of either root, leaves or flowers is helpful for colds fevers, throat and chest congestion with headache. Vervain acts as an expectorant to treat chronic bronchitis. (Dawson,Adele)

Preparation Methods & Dosage :Traditionally used as a tea, use equal amounts of vervain and sugar.

see remedies

Vervain Remedies

Vervain Side Effects: avoid during pregnancy

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Plant Description

  • Flowers: Very small, purplish blue, in numerous slender, erect, compact spikes. Calyx 5-toothed; corolla tubular, unequally 5-lobed; 2 pairs of stamens; 1 pistil
  • Stem: 3 to 7 ft. high, rough, branched above, leafy, 4-sided.
  • Leaves: Opposite, stemmed, lance-shaped, saw-edged rough, lower ones lobed at base
  • Fruit: Coral red, round or oval; not edible.
  • Preferred Habitat:Moist meadows, roadsides, waste places.
  • Flowering Season: May.
  • Distribution: United States and Canada in almost every part.

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.