Learn the Herbs: Blue Vervain
Blue Vervain, scientifically known as Verbena Hastata, is an herbaceous perennial species from the family Verbenaceae. The plant grows up to 2 to 6 feet and produces small bluish purple flowers on long spikes from midsummer to the early days of autumn. The flowers are small but beautiful.
Blue Vervain not only adds color and attracts pollinators to the garden, but it is also a traditional medicinal herb with a long history of use across various cultures. The roots, leaves, and flowers of the plant have long been used against a variety of health issues, both internally and externally.
Blue Vervain is also known with the names of American vervain, swamp verbena, simpler’s joy, and enchanter’s plant.
What Does Blue Vervain Have? The Active Chemical Constituents of Blue Vervain
Blue Vervain contains more than 20 beneficial phytochemicals, including flavonoids, triterpenoids, iridoid glucosides verbenalin, tannins, terpenes, and saponins. It also contains beta-carotene, adenosine, and caffeic acid.
Some other active chemical constituents of Blue Vervain include 3-epioleanolic acid, 3-epiursolic acid, luteolin 7-diglucuronide, aucubin, hastatoside, verbanin, lupeol, and citral.
A Brief History of Blue Vervain’s Use
Blue Vervain plant has a rich history in herbalism as well as folklore.
The very name (scientific) of the plant hints towards its one of the most common traditional uses in history. The word ‘verbena’ translates to ‘altar plant’. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans used Blue Vervain water and brooms made of its twigs to clean altars. Romans also considered it a sign of peace and carried it during peace negotiations. According to legend, if enemies shared Blue Vervain tea in ancient Rome, they would forgo their enmity and become friends.
During the Middle Ages, the plant was believed to bring good luck and also offer protection against lighting. It was kept in homes for this very purpose. The Blue Vervain plant was also used in pagan love potions.
In the herbal world, it has the reputation of being one of Hippocrates’ favorite herbs. Different parts of Blue Vervain were historically used for health issues, ranging from cold, headache, and fever to stomach ache to even the conditions affecting joints. Externally, it was used for minor cuts, bruises, and ulcers.
Blue Vervain was also listed by King’s American Dispensatory as a sudorific, expectorant, and tonic.
For those who do not know, a sudorific is anything that causes sweating, whereas an expectorant helps clear mucus from the airways.
Health Benefits of Blue Vervain
Following are some of the common health-related uses of Blue Vervain in modern herbalism:
To Relieve Pain and Inflammation
Research has confirmed that Blue Vervain has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is particularly found effective for joint pain and inflammation and the pain due to kidney stones. There is also evidence that Blue Vervain can also help alleviate stomachache.
For Stress Relief
The stress-relieving properties of Blue Vervain are well-acknowledged. The herb is known to help calm nerves and induce relaxation. It can also help with sleeplessness due to stress and anxiety. Research also shows that Blue Vervain can help fall asleep quickly as well as improve the duration and quality of sleep.
Blue Vervain is also known as a natural mood booster in herbalism. The plant can help stimulate the release of hormones that regulate mood, serotonin and dopamine, which then uplift the mood.
For Respiratory Issues
From the time of ancient Egypt to the 21st century, herbal experts have been using Blue Vervain to relieve respiratory issues. The herb is considered highly effective for congestion, cough, sore throat, cold, and inflammation of the respiratory tract. Blue Vervain also works as a mucoactive agent and helps remove mucus from the respiratory tract.Blue Vervain may not be as popular today as some other herbs, but it is a powerful remedy packed with many beneficial compounds and is highly valued in traditional medicinal systems. Want to experience the benefits of Blue Vervain? Get your hands on some organic Blue Vervain tincture or capsules to give this incredible herb a try.