Verbena spp. (V. hastata, V. macdougalii, V. officinalis)


Verbena spp. (V. hastata, V. macdougalii, V. officinalis)


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. 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.

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Traditional Health Benefits of Vervain

Stress Support, Digestive Support, Immune Support, Liver & Cleanse Support

What is Vervain Used for?

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.

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Active Constituents of Vervain

Verbenin, 3-epiursolic acid, 3-epioleanolic acid, triterpenoids, luteolin 7-diglucuronide, the iridoid glucosides verbenalin and hastatoside, adenosine, aucubin, beta-carotene, caffeic-acid, citral, lupeol

Parts Used

Aerial Parts

Additional Resources

1.) Deepak M, Handa SS. Antiinflammatory activity and chemical composition of extracts of Verbena officinalis. Phytother Res 2000;14:463-5. 2.) Carnat, A., Carnat, A. P., Chavignon, O., Heitz, A., Wylde, R., and Lamaison, J. L. Luteolin 7-diglucuronide, the major flavonoid compound from Aloysia triphylla and Verbena officinalis. Planta Med 1995;61(5):490.3.) Guarrera, P. M., Forti, G., and Marignoli, S. Ethnobotanical and ethnomedicinal uses of plants in the district of Acquapendente (Latium, Central Italy). J Ethnopharmacol. 1-15-2005;96(3):429-444.4.) 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.

Important Precautions

Not for use during pregnancy or lactation. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.


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.

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