The Greek physician Hippocrates is said to have recommended vervain to treat fever and plague. The Romans believed in its holiness, and the Aztecs used it for its diuretic properties.
According to some sources, vervain was used on Jesus’ wounds after he was removed from the cross. Mythical and mysterious, isn’t it?
By far, the most important use of vervain has been to soothe one’s mood and treat anxiety. Think of the peace you would feel after a long day at work. Which is why taking a look at this herb is worth it. Absolutely. Let’s begin!
Table Of Contents
Vervain belongs to the Verbenaceae plant family and is also called herb of the cross, herb of grace, Juno’s tears, and enchanter’s plant. It is a slender plant that has toothed leaves. It has pale flowers and leafless spikes and tastes bitter.
Vervain is of two types – blue vervain and white vervain. The plant is native to the Mediterranean region and also grows in parts of North America.
The major constituents of vervain responsible for the benefits include glycosides, tannins, alkaloids, bitter principles, and volatile oil. These, in addition to several other constituents, give us the benefits that we will discuss now.
How Can Vervain Benefit You?
1. Vervain Treats Anxiety And Sleep Issues
Anxiety and sleep issues can turn your life upside down. But you don’t have to rely solely on medications and experience side effects. Studies show us the anxiolytic and sedative effects of vervain (1). This is especially true with blue vervain as it can calm the nervous system.
Another Japanese study showed how one could use vervain as a nerve tonic. Ingestion of vervain was found to improve sleep time and quality (2).
2. Can Help Cure Migraine Headaches
Most people suffering from migraines find difficulty in managing them. But thanks to the analgesic properties of vervain, this could be a thing of the past. Vervain soothes the nerves and relaxes your mind – which is why it can help you deal with migraine headaches better.
More research is being done on this, though.
3. Boosts Heart Health
We are sure you want to keep your heart healthy. Apart from a healthy diet and regular exercise, taking vervain can also help.
A naturally occurring glycoside in vervain, called cornin, was found to have cardioprotective effects. In one study, animal subjects treated with cornin showed recovery from myocardial ischemia (partial or complete blockage of the arteries). Cornin increases the expression of certain pathways that benefit the heart (3).
Sources suggest vervain even helps treat chest pain (also called angina) and fluid retention due to heart failure.
4. Fights Inflammation
Vervain has the ability to treat inflammation, both internally and externally. One Italian study speaks of how extracts of vervain could fight inflammation in the animal subjects (4). The same study also found that vervain could fight digestive inflammation and the associated gastrointestinal damage as well.
Talking about external inflammation, a Spanish study gives us interesting findings – the anti-inflammatory activity of vervain was the same as a medication used for the condition (5).
5. Treats Menstrual Pain
The analgesic properties of vervain play a role again – these treat menstrual cramps and the associated muscle cramps. Vervain can also reduce the unpleasant menstrual symptoms by offering relaxation.
6. Vervain Boosts Oral Health
Vervain has been used for several centuries to boost gum health. Reports show that even the Celtic people had used vervain as a mouthwash to treat their oral problems. Chewing the plant’s roots was believed to strengthen one’s gums and teeth.
A 2016 study validates the importance of vervain for oral health. Patients with chronic gingivitis (a gum disease) were asked to brush and floss their teeth and rinse their mouths with a vervain mouthwash. Results showed those who used the mouthwash had lower scores of Gingival Index and Plaque Index. This indicates the improvement in the condition after using the vervain mouthwash (6).
Some sources suggest that vervain can also treat halitosis (bad breath), mouth ulcers, and even tonsilitis.
7. Improves Digestive Health
Vervain can stimulate your appetite and promote digestive health as well. And thanks to the antiparasitic properties of the herb, it can rid the body of intestinal worms.
The diuretic properties of vervain also play a role in digestive health. The herb promotes the release of urine and water from the body, thereby assisting diarrhea relief.
8. Vervain Increases Supply Of Breast Milk
Though research is being done, some sources state that vervain has the ability to stimulate breast milk production in nursing mothers. Please consult your doctor before using vervain for this purpose.
Other sources don’t recommend vervain during breastfeeding.
9. Protects The Liver And Kidneys
Several herbalists consider vervain to boost the functioning of a sluggish liver. This, in turn, has a positive effect on hormonal metabolism and balance.
Vervain was also found to cleanse the kidneys and the bladder, thereby cutting the risk of stones (7).
The antimicrobial properties of vervain help cleanse the liver and kidneys of toxins and prevent infections. The active ingredients – aucubin and oleanolic acid – in vervain also have hepatoprotective effects.
The herb is mythical for sure, isn’t it? The name itself feels out of the world. And so do the benefits. But how can you avail the benefits? How can you take it?
How To Take Vervain
The best (and the simplest) way to take vervain is in the form of a tea. Preparing the tea is dead simple. All you need is a vervain teabag.
Here are the directions:
- Add water to a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- Add the vervain teabag to a teapot.
- Pour the hot water into the teapot and allow to steep for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the teabag. You can add honey or lemon to improve the flavor.
Simple, isn’t it?
But hold on, does vervain have any side effects?
Though vervain is generally safe, pregnant and breastfeeding women must be wary. Since there is no information on the safety of vervain intake during this period, it is best to stay away from it. Also, please consult your doctor.
After all, Hippocrates couldn’t be wrong! Vervain is easy to procure and easier to prepare. So, why don’t you start using it today?
Tell us how this post has helped you. Just leave a comment in the box below. We would love to hear from you!
- “Anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, and sedative…”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Hypnotic effects of total aqueous extracts of…”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Cardioprotection against experimental…”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Effects of differential extraction of…”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity of the…”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Short-term effects of Verbena…”. US National Library of Medicine.
- “Conditions of the reproductive organs”. ScienceDirect.
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