Vervain Herb - Uses And Side Effects
A perennial herb with a square, erect, stiff stem, loosely branched towards the top and sparsely leafy. The opposite, dull-green leaves are pinnately divided into oblong lobes, often with rounded teeth, the terminal lobe the largest; the upper leaves are smaller and less divided. The small, slightly two-lipped, pale-lilac flowers are arranged in long terminal spikes. The corolla tube is almost twice as long as the calyx. The fruit consists of four reddish-brown nutlets. All parts of the plant are roughly hairy.
Verbena officinalis, a member of the verbena family (Verbenaceae). Native to the Mediterranean area, the plant now grows throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. The active constituents of vervain have not been thoroughly demonstrated. Glycosides, such as verbenalin and aucubin, and a volatile oil may all contribute to its activity.
Common doses of Vervain
Vervain comes as capsules (350 milligrams). Some experts recommend the following doses:
Uses of Vervain herb
The flowering stems are used medicinally. Their constituents include the glycoside verbenalin and verbenin, tannins, an essential oil, mucilage, saponins and mineral compounds. Specifically, vervain may help to :-
Side effects of Vervain
Call your health care practitioner if you experience skin inflammation when using vervain. Large doses may paralyze the central nervous system and cause stupor and seizures.
Are there any interactions?
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Don't use vervain while taking blood thinners such as Coumadin.
Important points to remember
What the research shows
Scientific evidence doesn't support vervain's many traditional uses. One study of vervain in treating kidney stones concluded that more effective drug treatments are available.
Other names for Vervain
Other names for vervain include American vervain, blue vervain, enchanter's herb, European vervain, herba veneris, herbe sacree, herb of the cross, holy herb, pigeon grass, purvain, simpler's joy, and wild hyssop.
A product containing vervain is sold as Blue Vervain.
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