Blue Vervain, Verbena hastata, Verbenaceae
Blue vervain is a member of the Vervain family that grows in open areas in the northeast and produces tall purple spikes of flowers during the summer. It is an intense bitter that when used in low doses is useful for a number of conditions. It contains bitters, tannins, saponins, volatile oils and iridoid glycosides.
Herbalist Matthew Wood describes several specific uses for blue vervain and for the type of constitutions it is helpful for. Blue vervain is good for people who are very intense, who have impossibly high standards for themselves and that don’t have the strength to sustain this high level of activity that they demand of themselves.
Blue vervain’s dispersing effect makes it useful for conditions where there is tension or constrained energy and is useful for headaches or neck pain caused by extreme tension.
Blue vervain with its cooling and astringent properties is also useful for those with menopausal night sweats and hot flashes.
The flowering tops are gathered in the summer and tinctured fresh in alcohol or dried for use as an infusion. Matthew Wood suggests a small dose of 1-3 drops, 1-3 times/day.
Contraindications: Large quantities could induce nausea.
References: Matthew Wood’s books and The Herbal Apothecary by JJ Pursell
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