Vervain (Verbena officinalis), is a flowering plant that is part of the verbena family of herbs. There are over 250 species of verbena, but vervain specifically refers to the types used for medicinal purposes.
One of the less common varieties is blue vervain (Verbena hastata). This particular plant is native to wet meadows, wet river bottomlands, stream banks, slough peripheries, fields and waste areas of the Americas, the Mediterranean region and the Near East.
While all parts of vervain are used in medicine, the roots have more active properties than the leaves. The roots have multiple benefits; they act as a:
- Antiperiodic: preventing the periodic return of attacks of disease, such as certain fevers
- Diuretic: causes increased passing of urine
- Diaphoretic: induces perspiration
- Emetic: induces vomiting in high doses
- Expectorant: helps bring up mucus and other matter from the lungs, bronchi, and trachea
- Tonic: give a feeling of vigor or well-being
- Vermifuge: kill parasites and worms
- Vulnerary: used in the healing of wounds
Native Americans used blue vervain seeds for food, but the leaves were also used to prepare medicinal tea. This herbal tea was used for boosting liver health, provide relief from arthritis symptoms, helping to reduce fever, and treating certain digestive problems.
The Benefits and Uses of Blue Vervain
Blue vervain has soothing qualities as well; it can efficiently treat issues including nervous disorders, chronic anxiety, stress and sleeplessness. Occasionally, our bodies are less than perfect when it comes to the release and management of hormones. A cup of blue vervain tea can calm the nerves and re-balance hormones, allowing your body to rest.
Blue vervain can also help with symptoms from severe periods, reducing cramps and bloating. The plant has positive effects on depression and overall well being, helping you feel balanced through its regulation of hormones.
One of the oldest and most reliable uses of blue vervain is as a diuretic. It can help eliminate not just toxins from the system, but excess water, salts and fat. Blue vervain helps protect the kidneys and liver by helping the body rid of dangerous substances and toxins that accumulate there, like in cases of a bladder infection. Since blue vervain is also a diaphoretic, it can help with the detoxification of toxins through perspiration. As a natural anti-parasitic, the herb can be used to removing or preventing the development of intestinal worms and parasites. You could call this a plant of all trades.
In its tea form, blue vervain can be used to ease digestive disorders and gut health. It’s been a required remedy for common stomach problems, such as bloating, cramps and flatulence. Since it works as a natural solution for vomiting and diarrhea, the herb is also known to boost nutrient absorption, and can also serve its purpose as a good laxative.
Blue vervain tea may help clear up tracts and eliminate irritation for anyone who regularly suffer from chest congestion, colds, chronic, chronic bronchitis, sore throats or respiratory inflammation. Around the world, blue vervain is used to cure coughs and colds, and help get rid of the mucus and phlegm gathered in respiratory tracts.
A truly medicina herb, blue vervain continues to be used to this day for a multitude of health concerns. From digestion to detoxification and a nerve soother, blue vervain has been established as a powerful medicinal ally to know and work with.