I am pretty much out of ideas for tinctures, salves and oils until I move some product. My apothecary cabinet is just bursting. I hate to see my plants go to waste. I set the goal of trying to harvest as much as I could from the backyard pharmacy over the this summer. That means formulating lots of bath, tea, and steam mixtures. I usually only make very small batches of these types of things for home use. Dried products often require large amounts of fresh herbs, more than my garden can produce for sale. But my crisis care packages are a spontaneous gift which I put together based on what have on hand until it is gone. Each bag contains items to support the spirit during times of grief, death, environmental disaster, chronic illness or stress.
My sleep tea contains-white vervain, mint, chamomile, rose and dandelion leaf to support relaxation, recuperation, and stress relief.
I planted some white vervain in my garden this summer on a whim. I was not expecting to find much on it while researching for this post. I don’t know many herbalists who use it. It is not found in my oldest most used book. But it happens to be one of those ancient “heal all” plants with so many important uses.
Blue vervain is native to North America and is more commonly used as here as medicine. White vervain is a European perennial that is under a foot tall. It has smaller , opposite, palmate leaves with toothed lobes on a very still square stem. Tiny, simple, white/lilac colored stems that appear continuously starting from the bottom in June-October. These grow on long slender spikes, often widely spaced and with no scent. This plant prefers moist soil and sun.
Historically both plants has been used internally for seizures, nervous system support, mental exhaustion/mind racing, insomnia, anxiety, PMS, mood swings, constipation, digestive issues, poor absorption, colds, fever, flu, inducing a sweat (hot tea), hot flashes, congestion, asthma, pneumonia, female tonic, painful/irregular menstruation, parasites, low milk supply, mastitis, jaundice/hepatitis/liver weakness, gallstones, gout, urinary tract infections, edema, incontinence, kidney/bladder stones, headaches, lowering blood pressure, poor circulation, removing heat, chronic conditions/fatigue, thyroid issues, inflammation, lax tissues, cysts/growths, bleeding, detoxifying the lymphatic system, and restless/hyperactive/irritable children.
Externally these herbs have been used for skin conditions like rashes, poison ivy, eczema, acne, boils, burns, scratches, wounds, ear infections, rheumatism, bruises, sprains, gum disease, dry skin, hemorrhoids, nosebleeds, and neuralgia.
Latin Name: Verbena officinalis (white) or Verbena hasta (blue)
Parts Used: Leaves, stalks, flowers
Energetics: bitter, acrid/pungent, cold, tissue relaxing/sedating, drying, opening.
Spiritual/Emotional Uses: as an offering/blessing to nature spirits or elementals. To support peace, abundance, joy, tolerance, moderation, grounding, and balance. To banish unwanted things and emotions. As “brooms” for energetic cleansings. To clarify ones thoughts or expand perception/view. To purify spaces and objects, especially water. As a way to decrease the speed, intensity, over activity of a situation and accept things/people as they are in the present moment.
Contraindications: use during pregnancy. Large dose may cause vomiting.