Herbal Series with Tess: Vervain

by Tess Wood | Instagram

Verbena officinalis

Common Verbena, Enchanters plant, Juno’s tears, Tears of Isis, Herb of Love, Witches Herb

Properties

This week’s herb is Vervain, and I’m so excited because it’s got a tonne of benefits! This is a great herb to rid yourself of a lingering difficult headache, as it relieves stress and promotes proper sleep. Anti-inflammatory properties in Vervain aid in reducing fevers. It helps improve digestion issues caused by stress or feeling low and is used to help treat anxiety and depression. When used topically as a salve or oil it can help ease eczema and psoriasis, among other skin issues. Vervain is also a powerful diuretic, which helps  urinary tract infections. It also helps and improve gall bladder and liver function because of its bitter properties. This incredible herb is all round beneficial and should be added to anyone’s herbal shelf.

Magical Uses

Vervain has a massive magical connection to what we consider as the underworld, as well as divine and supernatural forces. It can be used to to keep out any negativity. The Romans and Druids were known to use Vervain in divination and ritual cleansing of sacred spaces. This herb is also associated with Venus and Diana and can be added to any altar to honor them. Said to be an aphrodisiac with romantic powers used in attraction workings, vervain is also good when used with other herbs to enhance them in workings, giving them a bit of a boost!

Folklore

It is said that one can drink vervain with mead or wine during Samhain to help aid in contact with a beloved one. This plant is sacred to several civilizations like ancient Egypt, Persia and Rome. In Christian folk legends, this herb was said to help Jesus’ wounds after he was removed from the cross. On the Isle of Man, fishermen would take the herb for good luck while out at sea, and women picked Vervain before their wedding day to ensure the soon-to-be husband was faithful. This plant was also traditionally picked with an iron tool and then honey was poured into the hole as an offering for taking it from its soil. So much history surrounds this wonderful herb, it’s almost impossible to cover it all, so have a look and explore the incredible wonders of Vervain.

Photo: Tess Wood

Tea Recipe

This recipe is good if you have issues sleeping or you are suffering from stress and anxiety that is interrupting your sleep. Drink a half an hour before your preferred bedtime to ensure its effectiveness.

  • Step 1: Mix one part dried vervain and one part dried Chamomile in a bowl or container.
  • Step 2: Add one teaspoon of herbal mixture for each cup of hot water used.
  • Step 3: Let steep and infuse in a tea diffuser or teapot for 5- 10 minutes depending on your preferred strength.
  • Step 4: Add a bit of honey if you desire, as Vervain is an incredibly bitter herb.
  • Step 5: Drink slowly and enjoy a good night’s sleep!

Precautions

-Stop using if you start to develop headaches, stomach pain, itchiness or redness of any kind.

-Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. 

-Always consult your doctor before starting to use herbal remedies of any kind as they can interact with other medications. 

About the Author: Tess is a Canadian herbalist who has lived in the UK for the past four years. She started working with herbs as a way to change her and her families’ lifestyle and help with her overall health. She is currently working on extending her qualifications and becoming a herbalist full-time. You can find out more about her, and working with holistic medicine, on her Instagram page @theobscurawitch, where she posts frequently about her herbalism journey.

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