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Herb Reference Guide

Blue Vervain


Blue Vervain is also known as American Blue Vervain and Simpler’s Joy. This plant is in the Plant Family Verbenacea, but not to be confused with Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla). These are two different plants only belonging to the same Plant Family. Blue Vervain is indigenous to the United States growing naturally along roadsides and tall grassy fields flowering between June and September. It is a tall (3-4 feet), slender, elegant, perennial plant with opposing leaves which are lobed and serrated in shape and have small purplish-blue flowers. Historically it was listed for use by King’s American Dispensatory as, tonic, emetic, expectorant, and sudorific. A Sudorific is a substance that causes or increases sweating. It is a plant that is overlooked by modern herbalists, but one that deserves renewed interest for its versatile influences on numerous systems.


Eclectic Physician Dr. John Scudder included Blue Vervain in the classic text: The American Eclectic Materia Medica and Therapeutics, 1898. He listed its traditional use for colds, coughs and other issues affecting the respiratory organs as well as its use for "obstructions of the glandular system". It has also been used over the course of time to ease tension and support a healthy mood.

Uses of Blue Vervain


This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

Adenosine, aucubin, beta-carotene, caffeic-acid, citral, hastatoside, lupeol, ursolic-acid, verbenalin, verbenin.

Parts Used

  • Aerial Portions (above ground plant parts)

Important precautions

Should be used with caution with sedative medication but is not an absolute contraindication.

Additional Resources

Lai, SW, Yu, MS, Yuen, WH and Change, RC. Novel Neuroprotective Effects of the Aqueous Extracts from Verbena officinalis Linn. Neuropharmacology 50(6), pp 641-50, 2006.