Verbena hastata, or better and more commonly known as the blue vervain, is a perennial plant belonging to the family Verbenaceae. This plant can be known by many other names as well, such as Common Verbena, Pigeon Weed, Simpler’s Joy, Eisenkraut, Common Vervain, Mosquito Plant, Wild Hyssop, Turkey Grass, Holy wort, Herb of Grace, and Herb of the Cross. The name vervain actually derives from the Celtic “ferfain.” Ferfain is actually a plant that was used to help with treatment of bladder problems. Blue vervain is native to North America, however it may have been in use since at least Biblical times. It is legend that when Jesus was taken down from the cross after his crucifixion, his wounds were dressed with blue vervain. The names Herb of Grace, Holy wort, and Herb of the Cross refer to this legend. Did you know that blue vervain was used as an ingredient for Pagan love potions?
This perennial plant can grow up to heights of 3 to 4 feet tall, and is an elegant, slender plant. It does have very small flowers that grow in spikes and usually vary in color from lilac to purple to blue. It has leaves that are usually a lobed and serrated shape and grow opposite from one another. The blue vervain also has fruit that can grow on it, however this fruit is not edible. It is a coral-red in color and can grow in a round or oval shape.
Blue vervain can be used in many different products and industries. It can be used for skin care, medicinal purposes, bath and body products, soap making, and for culinary purposes. Common products it can be included in are scrubs, massage oils, soaps, bath bombs, bath teas, lotions, creams, ointments, face toners, facial masks, aftershaves, and even perfumes.
Like all other plants, the blue vervain has its own specific conditions needed in which to grow. It grows best when planted in areas with partial to full sun exposure. It needs to be in rich, fertile soil that is well-drained, but can also retain some moisture at the same time. The plant is very adaptable to different temperatures and can survive in areas of up to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Blue vervain is considered a wildflower that grows with wild abandon all over North America, and especially in the Great Plains area. However, it can also be found in open woodland areas, prairies, marshes, riversides, pastures, thickets, and even in meadows.
Blue vervain usually begins to grow in the spring time. It is best for it to be planted during the fall. Blue vervain seeds are actually dormant, and when planted in the fall, the temperature breaks the seed from its dormant state, making it ready to grow for spring time. However, the soil it is planted in, should be kept moist until the time the plant begins to grow. Once the plant is growing, the flowers of the blue vervain plant will bloom from June through September.
There are some pests and diseases that can affect the blue vervain plant. It can be susceptible to pests like the sweet potato white fly, as well as black root rot, leaf spot, and powdery mildew. Blue vervain is actually a great plant for attracting pollinators like bumblebees to the areas it is planted in.
Uses in Industries
This wonderful plant can be used for many culinary purposes. The seeds of the plant are edible, and Native Americans actually ground the seeds into a powder and used it as a form of flour. The leaves of the blue vervain plant can also be ground up and used to make herbal tea. The leaves can also be added to salads, soups. The flowers of the plant can be added on top of salads as well.
Bath and Body Products
Blue vervain can be used for many different products and industries. Besides its culinary uses, it can also be used for skin care benefits, bath and body products, soap making, and medicinal purposes. When used for the soap making process blue vervain helps to reduce inflammation, as well as being used as a beautiful decorative element.
Common products that can include blue vervain are facial masks, face toners, lotions, ointments, creams, scrubs, bath teas, bath bombs, after shaves, and massage oils.
There are many amazing skin care benefits to using blue vervain. It helps to rid the skin of any toxins left by bug bites, treats burns and eczema, and is great to use as a way to safe guard any wounds from the risk of infections. Because of its natural anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, blue vervain is used as a natural remedy against many skin infections. Blue vervain is also known as an herb that can induce sweating. Sweating is one way to rid your body of any toxins, and also helps to keep your skin looking young and fresh.
Blue vervain offers many medicinal benefits. It has many natural properties that are important to the body such as being anti-inflammatory, astringent, antidiarrheal, analgesic, sedative, antispasmodic, diuretic, and even working as an antidepressant.
For women, there are many benefits to blue vervain. For mothers who are breast feeding, it helps to increase milk flow. However, this herb should not be used during pregnancy, as it can stimulate uterine contractions. It can also be used as a treatment for symptoms of menopause and irregular menstruation.
Blue vervain can be beneficial for many chest and heart problems. It can be used as treatment for whooping cough, asthma, chest pain, and even for any fluid retention that comes as a result from heart failure.
This herb is antirheumatic and can be used to relieve joint pain as well as earaches, rheumatism, headaches, neuralgia, and even as treatment for burns, dislocations, itching, and bone bruising.
Herbalists consider this plant very helpful for treating depression related to chronic illness, as well as having relaxing effects on the nervous system. Modern herbalists have even used blue vervain as a sedative for hyperactive children.
Many other problems can be treated using blue vervain as well such as bronchitis, gout, arthritis, gallbladder pain, anemia, jaundice, kidney and liver diseases, fever, hysteria, seizures, exhaustion, metabolic disorders, spasms, digestive disorders, and even urinary tract disorders.
Native Americans even used blue vervain as a way to clear up cloudy urine, to treat disorders of the stomach, and treatment for laryngitis and kidney stones.
In the days of Pliny, when a bride was getting married, she picked her own bridal wreath which was usually made with blue vervain.
Throughout history, blue vervain was also placed around fields as a way to help prevent bad weather. It was also sacred to the Norse thunder god, Thor.
Ancient blacksmiths even used blue vervain as part of a process for hardening steel.
Nature’s Garden sells blue vervain powder and cut and sifted blue vervain for external use only. We do not sell it as a food item. The information above talks about how great blue vervain is for many industries, however we only sell it for external use. We provide this data for educational purposes only. Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using this product or any of this information for treatment purposes.
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