Originally native to Europe, this perennial grows to 2 feet tall and has lobed leaves. Its mauve flowers grow from delicate spikes. It is known as holy herb, herb of the cross, wild hyssop, and mosquito plant. Another of its names, vervain, comes from the Celtic word ferfaen—fer, meaning to drive away and faen, meaning stone. Not surprisingly, it was used to treat bladder stones. It was also used to drive away malignant energies.
WHERE IT CAN BE FOUND:
Europe, Africa, Australia, Mexico, Central America, South America, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Wisconsin, Michigan, Oregon, Washington, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana
PROPERTIES AND USE:
Analgesic, antibacterial, antispasmodic, antitumor, astringent, diaphoretic, antidepressant, tonic, stimulant, emmenagogue, nervine, febrifuge. Used to treat rheumatism, poor lactation, wounds, itching, eczema, gall bladder conditions, exhaustion, minor injuries, gum disease, symptoms of menopause, painful menstruation, stomach conditions, liver conditions, spleen conditions, urinary tract infections, bladder stones
For all conditions, pour 1 cup boiling water over 1 teaspoon dried Verbena leaves and flowers. Steep for 5 minutes, and then strain. Repeat
up to two times per day. This may be used as a wash for itching and eczema, and as a gargle for gum disease. Alternatively, take one to three tablespoons Verbena tincture, often sold as vervain extract, each day.