Vervain, also known as Verbena is a genus of annual and perennial flowering plants. There are about 250 species of vervain or verbena plants that belong to the family Verbenaceae. Out of these, one of the most common species of vervain is blue vervain (Verbena officinalis), which is also known as common vervain. The aerial parts, i.e., the leaves and the flowers of the common vervain are used to prepare tea, which is believed to have several important medicinal properties.
In fact, this herb is known for its amazing healing qualities since ancient times. It was the 'sacred herb' of the ancient Romans, and they used this herb for sanitizing and purifying their temples and homes. Today, vervain plant is grown for its medicinal value, and also as an ornamental plant because of its beautiful blossoms that come in an array of colors, right from blue, lilac, and pink, to pure white.
The active compounds found in this herb are, mucilages, glycosides, caffeic acid, and iridoid. Vervain tea is also believed to have diuretic, astringent, diaphoretic, nervine, and stimulant properties. The following are some of the noteworthy benefits of this herbal tea:
- It can promote the health of the liver by protecting this vital organ from toxins.
- This herbal tea can also help improve digestion. It can ensure better absorption of nutrients from food.
- It can provide relief in conditions like cold, fever, and respiratory ailments.
- This herbal tea is considered a tonic for the nerves, as it can strengthen and relax the nervous system. It can also have mild antidepressant effect, for which it can help relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and nervous tension.
- Those suffering from migraine and headaches can also get considerable relief by drinking the tea prepared from this herb.
- This herbal tea is excellent for cleansing the urinary tract, which in turn can promote the health of the urinary system. It can also help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
- It can relax the nervous system and promote good sleep. So, those having insomnia can benefit by drinking this tea.
- This tea is believed to help increase milk production after childbirth. However, breastfeeding women are usually advised to avoid this herb and its preparations.
- Apart from these, vervain tea can be helpful in relieving premenstrual syndrome, the pain of arthritis, digestive ailments, and wounds and sores.
How to Prepare the Tea
First, pour the boiling water over the dried herb. Then let it steep for about 10 to 15 minutes, after which strain the mixture and discard the herb. Now, you can drink this herbal tea. You can take 2 to 3 cups of this tea everyday.
Though vervain has been known to provide a number of health benefits, it should be used only under the supervision of a health care provider. Children under the age of 3 years should not be given this herb and its tea. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are also advised to avoid this herb. It is usually not recommended for people having heart diseases. However, vervain has not been reported to cause any major side effects. But still, it is important to maintain caution, and talk to a physician before using this herb and its tea for therapeutic purposes.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a medical professional.