Botanical: Verbena hastata
Family: Verbenaceae (vervain)
Other common names: American Vervain, False Vervain, Indian Hyssop, Simpler's Joy, Wild Hyssop, Purvain, Traveler's Joy, Verbena
Blue Vervain is an old American herbal remedy that is said to relieve respiratory and liver congestion, lower fevers, ease coughs and colds, cleanse toxins, calm the nerves and act as a general tonic that produces an overall feeling of well-being. Blue Vervain's antiparasitic qualities have also been used as a reliable method of destroying and expelling parasites and intestinal worms.
The information presented herein by Herbal Extracts Plus is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Blue Vervain is an erect, tall, elegant perennial that bears opposite, lance-shaped leaves on top with lobed, hastate leaves below (meaning shaped like an arrowhead and giving credence to the herb's botanical specific, hastata). The stem of the plant also bears dense spikes of small, purplish-blue flowers and is indigenous to North America (as opposed to Verbena officinalis, or the Vervain that is native to the Mediterranean region and introduced to the United States). Blue Vervain may be found along roadsides in dry, grassy fields, flowering from June to September, and it thrives in well-drained soil in sun, reaching a height of three to four feet. The woody, fibrous and faintly odorous root is used in herbal medicine. It is bitter, somewhat astringent with an unpleasant taste, but much stronger than the leaves, which are sometimes also used, but are less active. Both varieties of Vervain have been used in herbal medicine for centuries, and Blue (American) Vervain was very popular with Native Americans as a female tonic. In addition they employed it for colds, fevers, lung and bowel complaints (the Cherokees utilized it as a remedy for dysentery and diarrhea), and many of these uses have been confirmed by the herb's modern applications.
Blue Vervain is said to be excellent in cases of colds and chest congestion. As an herbal expectorant, it helps to loosen and expel phlegm from the throat and chest. It is considered one of the best herbs to help alleviate the onset of a cold, especially with upper respiratory inflammation of the lungs. Moreover, Blue Vervain also acts as a sudorific, or agent that promotes sweating and thereby cools the body and reduces intermittent fevers, which also helps to relieve symptoms of colds. Sweating not only works to reduce fever, but it also acts to rid the body of toxins through the skin. At one time, the herb was frequently given to children to ease fevers and other minor ailments.
As an "alterative," Blue Vervain is believed to have a cleansing effect on the system that stimulates the efficient removal of waste products from the body. First, by encouraging sweat, it helps to remove toxins through the skin. Furthermore, as an herbal diuretic, Blue Vervain encourages the flow of urine and helps to quell infection and remove toxins and obstructions (including gravel from the bladder) through the increased urine. This is said to be helpful in cases of gout by promoting the flow and expulsion of uric acid.
Blue Vervain is said to have a potent tonic effect on the liver that nourishes and helps to restore healthy function to the organ. It is believed to be an excellent liver cleanser when there is inflammation and is said to be helpful in cases of toxic liver conditions and jaundice; and it also helps to stimulate sluggish digestion.
As a parasiticide, Blue Vervain has been used to destroy and expel parasites and worms from the intestines and is often said to work where other remedies fail.
Blue Vervain is also thought to be an excellent overall tonic that supports the entire body and exerts a gentle strengthening and nourishing effect. The herb is said to be helpful during convalescence from disease and has been used in some cases of debility and anorexia. It is also believed to produce a general feeling of well-being.
As a mild sedative, Blue Vervain is said to be a quieting herb that acts as a natural tranquilizer and has a relaxing effect on the system. This quality has enumerable positive applications, some of which include helping to calm coughs, relieve insomnia, settle an upset stomach and ease nervous conditions.
Blue Vervain is considered an "emmenagogue," a substance that acts to promote and regulate menstrual flow when it has been obstructed or delayed.
Used externally, Blue Vervain has been used to heal wounds, bruises and sores.
Blue Vervain Herbal Supplement should not be used during pregnancy, as it may be a uterine stimulant. Overuse (many times the recommended dosage) may cause vomiting, but small doses are thought to relieve gastric irritation.