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Vervain

Medically reviewed: June 7, 2018

What is Vervain?

Vervain is a slender perennial plant with small, pale lilac flowers borne on leafless spikes. It is indigenous to the Mediterranean but has been cultivated widely throughout eastern Europe, North Africa, China, and Japan. The name "verbenae" originally was used in Roman times to describe all plants used on altars for their aromatic qualities.

Scientific Name(s)

Verbena officinalis (L.) Wettst. Family: Verbenaceae

Common Name(s)

Vervain, verbena, yerba de Santa Ana, enchanter's plant, herb of the cross, Juno's tears, pigeon's grass, pigeonweed, herb of grace, prostrate verbena, erba croce, erba dei tagli

What is it used for?

Traditional/Ethnobotanical uses

The aerial parts have been used traditionally for many conditions, including stimulation of lactation and treatment of dysmenorrhea, jaundice, gout, kidney stones, headache, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Vervain is also considered an astringent, a bitter digestive tonic, and a diuretic.

General uses

Vervain has been used for many conditions, including stimulation of lactation and treatment of dysmenorrhea, jaundice, gout, kidney stones, and headache; however, there are few clinical trials of vervain or its components.

What is the recommended dosage?

There is no clinical evidence to support specific dose recommendations for vervain. Traditional use for its astringent properties required 2 to 4 g daily in an infusion.

Contraindications

Contraindications have not been identified.

Pregnancy/Lactation

Documented adverse reactions. Avoid use.

Interactions

None well documented.

Side Effects

Research reveals little or no information regarding adverse reactions with the use of this product.

Toxicology

No toxicology studies have been reported on vervain.

References

1. Vervain. Review of Natural Products. Facts and Comparisons 4.0. May 2008. Accessed April 24, 2007.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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