MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
& Common Vervain
(Verbena Hasta, Verbena Officinalis)
"For Informational Use Only"
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BLUE VERVAIN HERBAL DESCRIPTION
Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata) is also known as American Blue Vervain, Blue Verbena, Swamp Vervain, Simpler's Joy, & Verbena.
Common Verbena (Verbena officinalis) is also known as Common Vervain, Eisenkraut, European Vervain, Herb of Grace, Herb of the Cross, Holy Wort, Juno's Tears, Pigeon Weed, Turkey Grass, Mosquito Plant, and Wild Hyssop. Several of the names for Vervain (Herb of the Cross, Herb of Grace, Holy Wort) refer to the legend that the wounds of Jesus were dressed with Vervain when he was taken down from the cross. This is disputed among biblical scholars as it is not referenced anywhere in modern bibles. It was also used as an ingredient in pagan love potions.
Verbena (Vervain) is a genus in the family Verbenaceae. It contains about 250 species of annual and perennial herbaceous or semi-woody flowering plants. The majority of the species are native to the Americas and Europe. Verbena officinalis (Common Vervain) is native to the Mediterranean region, Europe, Asia, Africa and is also found in North America and should not be confused with Verbena hastata. Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain) 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. Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata) is the most popular Verbena in the market place today, but its European cousin, V. officinalis (known simply as Vervain), also has a long history of both medicinal properties and ritual purposes and is widely used.
The European vervain (Verbena officinalis) is listed in the PDR, and mentions a variety of folk-uses ranging from relief for sore throat, coughs, asthma, whooping cough, treatment for nervous disorders, digestive disorders, and to promote lactation. It is not to be taken during pregnancy, as it is a uterine stimulant. The leaves and flowers were used to support immune and respiratory health, relieve occasional intestinal spasms and promote calmness. They also mention that animal studies have demonstrated the anti-inflammatory, cough-suppressing and milk-stimulating activity of V. officinalis.
The Chinese used the Common Vervain root to treat malaria. The stalks and leaves were used to treat congestion. Throughout time, people have also used this herb to treat mad dog bites, and to stop bleeding wounds. The Celtic name for Vervain is "Ferfaen", which means, "to drive away a stone," and the Celtics used it for urinary and gallbladder problems, especially calculus (stone formation).
Verbena officinalis, the Common Vervain or Common Verbena, is a perennial herb native to Europe. It grows up to a 36 to 39 inches high, with an upright habitus. The lobed leaves are toothed, the delicate spikes hold mauve flowers. This plant prefers limey soils; it is occasionally grown as an ornamental plant but perhaps more often for the powerful properties some herbalists ascribe to it. Propagation is by root cuttings or seed. It is widely naturalized outside its native range, for example in North America.
Blue vervain, or Verbena hastata leaves, flowers, seeds and roots for was used by Native Americans for similar purposes in treating colds, coughs, fevers, bowel complaints, dysentery, and stomach cramps. The root was considered more active than the leaves. he Peterson Field Guide (Foster and Duke) also list these effects, and then suggest that the European Vervain is said to be milder than the Blue Vervain, or North American type. No clinical studies have been conducted with either species of Vervain. Vervain should not be confused with Lemon Verbena, which is in the same family but belongs to a differenct genus (Aloysia triphylia).
Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain or Swamp Verbena) is a flowering plant in the vervain family, Verbenaceae. It is a stout-stemmed perennial herb with opposite, simple leaves which have double-serate margins, borne on stiffly erect, branching square stems. It has numerous, pencil-like flower spikes branched upwards like the arms of a candelabra. Each flower spick has a ring of blue-purple flowers; the flowers at the bottom of the spike bloom first, and the ring of flowers appears to advance upward to the tips of the spike. The flowers appear in summer and are stiff, pencil-like spikes of numerous small, tubular, blue-violet flowers at the top of a squar, grooved stem and its branches. This is an attractive common plant that occurs across North America. They are hardy and drought resistant, attacting bees and birds. Bumblebees are among the important polllinators. Native habitats are moist-soil prairies and damp thickets throughout the United States and Canada.
Blue Vervain or Vervena is an erect, tall, creeping perennial of the mint family that bears opposite lance shaped leaves on top with lobed, arrowhead leaves on the bottom. The stem of the plant bears dense spikes of numerous small purplish-blue or lilac-blue flowers that stretch from spike base to the tip bloom from mid to late summer and is indigenous to North America. It grows with wild abandon in the Great Plains section of America, and can be found elsewhere on prairies, in meadows, and open woodlands. Blue Vervain may be found along roadsides in dry, grassy fields, flowering from June to September. The plant grows from 3 to 5 feet in height, prefers partial shade to full sun and well-drained soil high in organic matter with moderate water requirements. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service lets us know that this herb is grown in every state in the US. Harvest the aerial parts while the plant is in bloom and are used fresh or dried in infusions, traditional tinctures, cider vinegar tinctures, syrups, elixirs, lozenges, ointment, salves, creams, balms, foot soaks, baths and as honey.
A report for 1785 stated that American Army physicians used the plant as an emetic and expectorant when they could find anything else and found it to be a successful remedy. In early history Blue Vervain was considered a universal remedy. The Dakota tribe's name for it translates as "medicine". Native American tribes used Blue Vervain to treat fever, colds, coughs, and lung congestion. The Cherokee used it as a remedy for diarrhea and dysentery.
BLUE VERVAIN USES, HEALTH BENEFITS & SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
Blue Vervain is used to treat jaundice, asthma, congestion, bronchitis, colds, fever, and flu.
As an expectorant it helps loosen the expel phlegm from the throat and chest. Blue Vervain also acts as a sudorific, or agent that promotes sweating and thereby cools the body and reduces fevers. It clears congestion when there is wheezing. Blue Vervain is a mild laxative and has the overall effect of inducing relaxation. This herb has also been used as an analgesic to relieve earache, afterbirth pain, headache, intestinal cramps, and it promotes digestion.
Traditionally Vervain was carried for general good luck, used as a pledge of mutual good faith when given to a friend, worn as a charm around the neck for headaches and for snake and other venomous bites. It was buried in a field to make crops abundant, burned to attract wealth, hung above a bed to prevent nightmares, hung in the home to offer protection from negative spells, hung out of reach above a baby's crib for protection and enables the child to grow up with a love of learning. It is said to promote a happy outlook, for cleansing incenses and baths, and to protect one from witchcraft. It was used by the Druids in their lustral water and widely by magicians and sorcerers.
PLANT CONSTITUENTS OF VERVAIN (Verbena officinalis)
Contains: Alkaloid, bitters, glycosides, tannins, volatile oil.
Action: Antiperiodic (an agent which counteracts periodic or intermittent diseases such as malaria etc.), diaphoretic (an agent that promotes perspiration), expectorant (an agent that promotes the discharge of mucous and secretions from the respiratory passages), tonic (an agent that tones, strengthens and invigorates organs or the entire organism giving a feeling of well-being), tranquilizer, vermifuge (an agent to expel parasitic worms, especially of the intestines), anthelmintic (an agent that destroys or expels intestinal worms and/or parasites; vermicide; vermifuge), antispasmodic (an agent which relieves or eases muscular spasms, cramps or convulsions), aphrodisiac (an agent for arousing or increasing sexual desire or potency), astringent (a binding agent that contracts organic tissue, reducing secretions or discharges of mucous and fluid from the body), diaphoretic (an agent that promotes perspiration), diuretic (an agent that increases the volume and flow of urine which cleanses the urinary system), emetic (an agent that causes vomiting), emmenagogue (an agent that promotes menstrual flow), febrifuge (an agent that reduces or eliminates fevers), galactagogue (an agent that encourages or increases the secretion of milk), nervine (an agent that has a calming or soothing effect on the nerves, any agent that acts on the nervous system to restore the nerves to their natural state), sedative (a soothing agent that reduces nervousness, distress or irritation), sudorific (an agent that promotes or increases perspiration), tonic (an agent that tones, strengthens and invigorates organs or the entire organism giving a feeling of well-being).
USAGE OF VERVAIN
Medicinal Parts Used: Leaves, flowering heads, stems.
Vervain is used for:
- Brain and Nervous Conditions
- Fits and convulsions.
- Mental stress.
- Migraine and headache caused by nerves.
- Nervous disorders.
- Physical and emotional/mental problems that affect the nervous system.
- Restorative remedy for nervous exhaustion and debility.
- Strengthens the nervous system.
- Mistletoe and Valerian are sometimes combined with Vervain for nervous conditions.
- Female Conditions
- Helps increase the flow of breast milk.
- Painful or irregular menstruation.
- Post-natal depression.
- Promotes the onset of menstruation.
- Gastrointestinal Conditions
- Acute diarrhea.
- Benefits the digestive system.
- Eases pain in the bowels.
- Stomach disorders.
- Stimulates digestion.
- Genitourinary Conditions
- Bladder stones.
- Kidney trouble.
- Inflammatory Conditions: Reduces inflammation.
- Liver Conditions
- Biliary tract complaints.
- Stimulates liver function.
- Treats liver diseases.
- Metabolic Conditions: Stimulates metabolism.
- Parasitic Conditions: Worms in children.
- Respiratory Conditions
- Coughs (combined with Horehound).
- In early stages of colds (can be combined with Yarrow) to promote sweating.
- Throat conditions.
- Whooping cough.
- Other Conditions: Autumn fever, in early stages of fevers, intermittent fevers, beneficial in convalescent states, exhaustion and fatigue, ulcers, ophthalmiarelaxant in cases of muscle tension.
- In Chinese Medicine it is used to treat congestion, dysentery, malaria. Also used for coughs and colds, gout, nerves.
- Externally it is used for wounds, ear neuralgia, eczema, headaches, hemorrhoids, rheumatic pain, rheumatism, skin ailments, tooth decay and gum disease, ulcers of the mouth and gums, weak, sore or inflamed eyes.
BLUE VERVAIN DOSAGE INFORMATION
Dosage: Verbena officinalis recommended dosage is: 20 to 40 mL per week of 1:2 fluid extract.
The standard dosage when taking a Blue Vervain tincture is 1/2 teaspoonful diluted in a glass of water, 3 times a day. For other formulations, read and follow product label directions.
Blue Vervain Constituents include mucilages, bitters, iridoid glycosides (hastatoside, verbenalin), caffeic acid, and essential oil. Parts used are the above-ground parts of the plant gathered before flowering, dried. Typical preparations include traditional herbal tea, but also used as a tincture, syrup, foot soak or bath herb, salve or cream.
BLUE VERVAIN SAFETY, CAUTIONS & INTERACTIONS INFORMATION
This plant has been used for many years as a medicinal herb for treating convalescents and people suffering from depression, headaches, jaundice, cramps, coughs and fevers. Externally, it has been applied to wounds, ulcers and acne. Blue Vervain is bitter, and while it stimulates digestion, it can cause vomiting when taken in high doses.
Taken in the recommended doses, Blue Vervain is regarded as safe; however, safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease is not known. Since the herb can stimulate uterine contractions, avoid during pregnancy. Blue Vervain can interfere with blood pressure medication and hormone therapy.
BLUE VERVAIN HERBAL & RELATED PRODUCTS
QUALITY PRODUCTS & SUPPLEMENTS
BLUE VERVAIN (VERVAIN) HERBAL PRODUCTS
Blue Vervain is used to treat jaundice, asthma, congestion, bronchitis, colds, fever, and flu. As an expectorant it helps loosen the expel phlegm from the throat and chest. Blue Vervain also acts as a sudorific, or agent that promotes sweating and thereby cools the body and reduces fevers. It clears congestion when there is wheezing. Blue Vervain is a mild laxative and has the overall effect of inducing relaxation. This herb has also been used as an analgesic to relieve earache, afterbirth pain, headache, intestinal cramps, and it promotes digestion. The standard dosage when taking a Blue Vervain tincture is 1/2 teaspoonful diluted in a glass of water, 3 times a day. For other formulations, read and follow product label directions. Blue Vervain is bitter, and while it stimulates digestion, it can cause vomiting when taken in high doses. Taken in the recommended doses, Blue Vervain is regarded as safe; however, safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or those with severe liver or kidney disease is not known.
Blue Vervain is a natural tranquilizer, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant. Blue Vervain is recommended by herbalists as an ease to depression following illness. The leaves and roots are useful in intermittent fevers and promotes perspiration. A very strong infusion is emetic. An infusion of the plant is a good galactagogue (increases breast milk) an is used for female obstructions, afterpains and taken as a female tonic. The infusion is used to help pass kidney stones and for infections of the bladder, reduces inflammation of the gallbladder and jaundice. Used as a sudorific sedative and taken for colds and coughs. Blue Vervain is a tonic for the nervous system, and is a sedative useful in easing tension, depression, hysteria, and seizure. also useful for insomnia and other nervous conditions. In small doses a tincture of verbena relieves gastric irritation, bowel complaints, dysentery and stomach cramps. As a poultice it is good in headaches, ear neuralgia, and rheumatism. To use as a tea, pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 tsp. of herb, cover and steep 3-5 minutes. As a tincture-extract, use 6 to 12 drops- 28 to 84 drops (follow directions on specific products). Not to be used during pregnancy.
MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS PRODUCTS
Mountain Rose Herbs: Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata), Certified Organic, Bulk Organic Herbs & Spices
Mountain Rose Herbs: Blue Vervain Extract (Verbena spp.), Certified Organic, Single Herbal Extracts & Tinctures
STARWEST BOTANICALS PRODUCTS
Starwest Botanicals: Vervain Herb (Verbena officinalis), Cut & Sifted, Organic, 1 lb.
Starwest Botanicals: Vervain Herb, Cut & Sifted, Wildcrafted, 1 lb.
Starwest Botanicals: Vervain Herb Powder, Wildcrafted, 1 lb.
HerbsPro: Blue Vervain Extract, Herb Pharm, 1 fl. oz. (31298)
HerbsPro: Blue Vervain Extract, Eclectic Institute, 1 fl. oz. (31849)
HerbsPro: Blue Vervain Extract, Natures Answer, 1 fl. oz. (17098)
HerbsPro: Blue Vervain Extract, Eclectic Institute, 2 fl. oz. (76288)
HerbsPro: Blue Vervain Extract, Herb Pharm, 4 fl. oz. (32305)
TakeHerb: Blue Vervain Herb, Cut & Sifted, Organic, Frontier Bulk Herbs, 1 lb.
TakeHerb: Blue Vervain Extract, Health Herbs, 2 fl. oz.
Kalyx: Blue Vervain Extract, Natures Answer, 1 fl. oz: HF
Kalyx: Blue Vervain Extract, Herb Pharm, 1 fl. oz: HF
Kalyx: Blue Vervain Extract (Verbena officinalis), Health & Herbs, 2 fl. oz: HH
Kalyx: Blue Vervain Extract (Verbena officinalis), Health & Herbs, 8 fl. oz: HH
Nutrition Basics: Blue Vervain Herbal Information
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