The Benefits of Vervain

Blue vervain flowers
© http://www.flowerspictures.org/

This article has been updated and re-titled here: http://holistichealthliving.com/2016/08/health-benefits-of-vervain-herb/

Original post below:

Vervain — also known as blue vervain, simpler’s joy, swamp verbena, wild hyssop, etcetera — has a vast and fascinating medicinal and supernatural history.

The ancients claimed that Vervain possessed aphrodisiac qualities, and gave it the name herba veneris. Priests used herba sacra in sacrifices; the name Verbena was the classical Roman name for “altar-plants” in general. It was used in various rites and incantations by old-world magicians and sorcerers, and by ambassadors making leagues. The druids included it in their lustral water. In the new world, the Iroquois believed that a cold infusion of smashed leaves could be used to make an obnoxious person leave.

Bruised, the herb was worn around the neck as a charm against headaches, venomous bites, as well as for general good luck. Many of the supernatural beliefs surrounding Vervain may be due to the legend of its discovery on the Mount of Calvary, where it was said to staunch the wounds of the crucified Savior. Thereafter, it was crossed and blessed with a commemorative verse when it was gathered. (Vervain must be picked before flowering and dried promptly.)

Perhaps this historic belief in Vervain’s supernatural powers is why the author of the Vampire Diaries chose Vervain as the plant that protects Human minds from vampire control. In reality, Vervain’s abilities are a little more mundane.

Blue Vervain is both edible and medicinal. Vervain had many uses in Native American culture as both food and medicine. The seeds were roasted and ground into a flour called pinole.

Vervain has long been considered a cure-all and sacred plant. It was credited with helping to save those afflicted with the medieval plagues. The name vervain is derived from the Celtic ferfaen, from fer (to drive away) and faen (a stone), as the plant was often used to treat afflictions of the bladder.

The leaves and roots of Blue Vervain are used in alternative medicine to treat several conditions, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Ulcers
  • Intermittent fevers
  • Pleurisy
  • Kidney stones
  • Scrofula
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Expelling worms
  • Muscle spasms
  • Easing pain in the bowels
  • Menstrual problems
  • Increasing breast milk
  • As a medicinal poultice it is credited with treating headaches, hemorrhoids/piles and rheumatism.

Recent medical research has detected the presence of adenosine, aucubin, beta-carotene, caffeic-acid, citral, hastatoside, lupeol, ursolic-acid, verbenalin, verbenin, and other chemical constituents which prove these uses valid. But much more research needs to be done on this fascinating herb and its constituents, as it may prove useful in the treatment of cancer and other diseases.

Medicinal Recipe:
The following infusion is used to help pass kidney stones and for infections of the bladder.
To 1 TB dry herb add one pint boiling water, steep 10 minutes.
Take 1 tablespoon of the infusion up to six times a day, and 2oz. (or 1/2 tea cup) before bed.

 

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