vervain

Vervain: nervine tonic that will strengthen the nervous system while relaxing and easing tension. Useful for depression following influenza ...

Common Names: Vervain, Verbena, Holy Herb, Herb of grace

Botanical Name: Verbena officinalis

Family: Verbenaceae

Plant Type: Annual

Parts Used: Leaves, flowers, and stems

Flowering: July

The Verbenaceae family contains about 250 species of annual and perennial herbaceous or semi-woody flowering plants. The majority of the species are native to the New World from Canada south to southern Chile, but some are also native in the Old World, mainly in Europe. These include Common Vervain (V. officinalis) and V. supina.

Description: The leaves are usually opposite, simple, and in many species hairy, often densely so. The flowers are small, with five petals, and borne in dense spikes. Typically some shade of blue, they may also be white, pink, or purple, especially in cultivars.

Cultivation: Vervain is a tender annual which reseeds readily. It prefers rich moist loam in full sun.

Harvesting: Gather the tops in July, before the flowers are fully out.

Vervain Magick

Love. Protection. Purification. Peace. Money. Youth. Chastity. Sleep. Healing.

Gender: Feminine

Planet: Venus

Element: Earth

Use vervain in protective spells, exorcism incenses, and love mixtures.

A crown of vervain on the head protects the magician while invoking spirits.

Use it in purifying baths, or drink some vervain tea before retiring to prevent bad dreams.

Sprinkle an infusion of vervain around your home to chase off evil spirits and malignant forces.

If someone you know has taken something from you, wear vervain and confront the person. You shall surely regain possession of the stolen articles.

Herbal Healing with Vervain

Medicinal Actions: Antispasmodic, diaphoretic, emetic, emmenagogue, expectorant, galactagogue, hepatic, hypotensive, nervine, sedative, sudorific, tonic (nerves), vermifuge, vulnerary

Medicinal Uses: Vervain strengthens the nervous system while relaxing any tension and stress. It can be used to ease depression and melancholia especially when this follows illness such as influenza. It is a useful remedy for chronic fatigue and other stress-related problems. Combine vervain with wild oats (Avena), skullcap (Scutellaria), elecampane (Inula), or licorice (Glycyrrhiza). It is also used in seizure and hysteria. Vervain helps to even out erratic blood sugar, which can play a large part in all sorts of problems, ranging from mood swings and hyperactivity to an irritable bowel and migraines. As a diaphoretic it can be used in the early stages of fevers. As a hepatic remedy it is of help in inflammation of the gall-bladder and jaundice. Vervain increases the flow of mother's milk and promotes the onset of menstruation. It may be used as a mouthwash against caries and gum disease.

Cautions: Vervain should not be used during pregnancy. Large doses can cause vomiting.

Preparations and Dosages:

Infusion: Pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-3 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.

Tincture: Take 2-4ml of the tincture three times a day.

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INFUSION

Steep the recommended quantity of leaves or flowers of the herb in one cup of just-boiled water for 10 minutes (this makes one dose). Strain before drinking, or leave the herbs as sprigs and simply remove them. Always cover infusions if you intend to store them, and use them within 24 hours. Drink hot or cold.


DECOCTION

Place the relevant quantity of herbs in 800ml cold water (makes three doses) in a pan. Boil, then simmer for 1 hour to reduce the liquid by a third. Strain through a fine sieve into a jug and store, in a cool place, for up to 24 hours. Drink hot or cold.


TINCTURE

Tinctures can be used to prepare roots or leaves. They include alcohol and water to extract the properties from the herbs which would not be available if a water preparation alone was used. It is possible to replace the alcohol with glycerol or vinegar.

A tincture will last for up to two years, which makes it a very convenient method if you intend long-term use of the herbs.


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