Hey, all! I was scrolling through my favorite herb website to see what all they had to offer. I was looking for something I could write about that I’d had before, not something I was unfamiliar with like vervain or motherwort. It turns out that their selection was more extensive than I had previously thought, and there were many herbs I had indeed never even heard of before. A few caught my eye and I thought what on Earth are these? Why have I never heard of them before? I was very curious about them, so when I got up this morning, I decided to research these herbs I know nothing about and then write about them here. I will also add some suggested herbs to blend with the herb of the day.
Before we continue….
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Today’s herb is….drumroll, please: vervain!
You might be asking what the heck is a vervain? right about now. Believe me, that was my reaction, as well. After researching, I learned more about it and it’s pretty cool! Here’s a little bit about this spectacular plant!
A Bit About Vervain
This is an herb of many names. Its proper name is Verbena officinalis. It’s sometimes called the Herb of Grace, Herb of the Cross, Simpler’s Joy, and Juno’s Tears, to name a few names it goes by. However, it is more commonly known as verbena. Vervain is not to be confused with lemon verbena. They are two different species of plants, though they both have medicinal properties. There are around 250 species of verbena in the world, fun fact! I even got vervain and lemon verbena confused at first! Let’s talk a bit more about the medicinal properties of vervain. I got this information here and here.
Vervain’s Medicinal Properties
Before we continue: If you’re interested in trying vervain, don’t take it if you’re pregnant. It can induce labor. Also, while I am citing my sources, I am not a doctor. Please use vervain with caution and ask your doctor any questions you may have about it.
I learned in my research that people have been using vervain for centuries to treat many things from anxiety and depression to cramps and pain relief to insomnia and beyond. It’s been used as an anti-spasmodic (relaxant), a treatment for upper respiratory infections, and as a sedative.
Studies About Vervain
A 2006 study in Spain showed that it was effective as an anti-inflammatory in rats. A 2016 study on mice given vervain extract provided evidence for vervain’s ability to act as an anti-convulsant. The mice that were given the vervain also slept more and were less anxious than the control group given a placebo. I thought that this was super cool. I also wondered about how vervain functions in traditional witchcraft.
Vervain in Witchcraft/Spellwork
While searching for information on this topic, I found a website that said it better than I can.
“It is used as protective herb, to open up the third eye, to help the user to be more intuitive and to bring blessings into your life. You can steep the herbs in water or oil for later use. It’s great for cleansing and purifying spaces and magical tools, and for taking before going to bed if you are doing dream work.”Chris-Anne.com
The traditional application of medicinal vervain is in tea. The flavor of vervain tea takes some getting used to. Our modern palettes are less accustomed to bitter flavors and vervain is particularly bitter.
Hildegard extoled the virtues of bitter flavors and encouraged working to improve our tolerance for bitter herbs. Notwithstanding the taste, vervain has played an important role in healing and herbal magic since ancient times. So, you should try to include it in your natural holistic healing regimen. Making your own vervain tea is a great way to start.Healthyhildegard.com
This brings us to the big question of this post – after learning what we have about vervain, how do we use it for ourselves?
Let’s Make Our Own Tea!
Healthy Hildegard has a recipe!
Mix ten dry grams (approx 1/3 ounce) each of vervain, thyme, elderflower, cowslip primrose, and peppermint.Healthyhildegard.com
Add 2 heaping teaspoons of the herbal mixture per one cup of hot water. Allow to steep for ten minutes.
Drink two to three cups daily, but for no longer than a week (and not during pregnancy). You can drink vervain tea to treat any of the conditions listed previously, but it works particularly well for stomach ailments of all kinds. It will also strengthen your liver and kidneys.
We often talk about the value of bitter substances, particularly as digestive agents. Vervain has a bitter flavor profile so it is also a natural way to add bitter flavors into your diet.
Curious about where to get these herbs? I got you…on everything but the cowslip primrose. I couldn’t find it.
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