*Sorry for the delayed post in the herb series. We were having computer issues and I was unable to get onto the blog*
Today I’m talking about a lesser known healing herb. If you are a Vampire Diaries fan you may know it as the herb used to harm vampires. ;). Aside from it’s fantasy uses Blue Vervain has many real-life medicinal uses.
Verbena hastata and officinalis, Verbena, Common Verbena, Common Vervain, Eisenkraut, European Vervain, Herb of Grace, Herb of the Cross, Holy wort, Juno’s Tears, Pigeon weed, Simpler’s Joy, Turkey Grass, Swamp Vervain, Mosquito Plant, and Wild Hyssop.
According to Mountain Rose Herbs:
“The blue vervain or verbena is a creeping perennial of the mint family, bearing numerous, small lilac-blue flowers. Verbena hastata is native to North America and is incredibly similar in appearance and properties to its European cousin Verbena officinalis, whom it is often mistaken for. It grows with wild abandon in the Great Plains section of America, and can be found elsewhere on prairies, in meadows, and open woodlands. The Dakota tribe’s name for it translates as “medicine”.”
Vervain has traditionally been used to promote overall balance of body and mind. It has been used to treat a wide variety of imbalances including colds, coughs, flus, congestion, headache/migraine, liver imbalances, nerve and back pain, arthritis and depression, stress and anxiety. Vervain’s healing properties are attributed primarily to it’s bitter and stimulating effect on the liver and other organs as well as it’s relaxing of the nervous system. It is particularly useful as a pain reliever for joint pain, earaches and headaches. Blue Vervain has been used to treat colds, coughs, sore throat and as an expectorant for things such as chest congestion and bronchitis. James A. Duke’s Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases (www.ars-grin.gov/duke/) list more than fifty medical conditions for which vervain has been used traditionally, but it has never been proven. The above ground parts of the plants are gathered for use to make tea, tinctures, syrups, soaks, salves and creams.
As with all natural remedies and medicine there are risks and warnings associated with Blue Vervain. Consult a doctor and/or do your own research before consuming/using it to treat any condition.