Vervain (Verbena officinalis)
Commonly found by roadsides and in sunny meadows, Vervain is a perennial plant with many small pale-lilac flowers. The plant is bitter and astringent in taste.
Vervain has sedative, diaphoretic, galactagogue. aphrodisiac and hypnotic properties. It is a relaxing nervine and is chiefly used for the relief of tension, stress and mood swings with a particular affinity for the digestion and liver/gall bladder. It is useful for post viral fatigue syndrome, nervous exhaustion, unpredictable moods and promotes positive thinking, stimulating the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. It is a helpful ally throughout the menopause as well and helps to reduce hot flushes, dispel headaches and irritability and improve sleep. It combines well with oat straw and chamomile for mild depression and anti-anxiety.
The aerial parts are harvested in summer when the plant is in flower.
Tea: use 1-2 teaspoons to each cup of boiling water and infuse for 15 minutes. Herbal medicine tincture: 30 drops two to three times daily with water.
Vervain is a bitter herbs but people have found it to have a certain softness that other bitters may lack, making it grounding and uplifting.
Not to use in pregnancy but can help stimulate milk flow when breastfeeding. It may interfere with iron absorption so not to be take at the same time as iron tonics. .
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