Vervain

Latin: Verbena officinalis L.

Synonyms: Herba sacre, herb of grace, herba veneris.

Botanical Description:

  • Wild perennial herb common to roadsides and pastures.

  • Opposite lobed leaves with serrated border.

  • Many lilac, pink or white five petalled flowers appear clustered on a stalk.

Parts used: Herb.

Constituents:

  • Iridoids; verbenin, verbascoside, etc.

  • Volatile oil.

  • Triterpenes.

  • Flavonoids.

  • Saponin, mucilage.

Actions:

  • Nervine.

  • Tonic – with wide usage.

Uses:

  • Varied usage including as an antidepressant.

  • Anticonvulsant, and has been used for coughs and cold – currently being explored for its immunomodulatory and antiviral potential.

Safety:

  • Generally considered to be of low toxicity.

Folklore:

  • Name vervain thought to derive from the latin 'herba veneris' referring to its use by priests during sacrificial ceremonies.

  • Verbena was the traditional name iused by Romans for altar plants.