Posted by: Integra Massage | January 23, 2013

Vervain – The Magical Post Viral Tonic


Verbena-officinalis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Herb of the Month

Vervain – The Magical Post Viral Tonic

This winter has brought some particularly nasty viruses leaving many people with the classic post viral symptoms of fatigue and low mood.  I’ve clients who have been “not right” for weeks and one who spoke of the “90 day cough”.

As ever Nature has help for us and most particularly the herb Vervain, Verbena Officinalis.  Know as the wizard’s herb in Welsh, it is a truly magical herb.  it was sacred to the ancient Greeks and central to the beliefs and rituals of celtic druids.  The druids used it for divination, believing its soul could cross between worlds.

It is a perennial with toothed, pointed leaves and tiny purple flowers.  It is now rare in Britain outside herb gardens but it is easy to cultivate.

Medicinally it has anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, antibiotic and anti-viral properties.  It is also protective to the liver.  Herbalists regard it as a nervine which means it is a soothing nourishing tonic to whole nervous system; a mild bitter tonic which means it regulates the digestion and a diaphoretic which means it mobilises our “wei qi” or defensive energy to fight off infections.

Vervain is widely considered to be the best herb for post viral recovery because not only does it improve physical symptoms, it is a great mood enhancer.  For post viral symptoms I often combine it with respiratory herbs like Angelica or Licorice, energy boosters like Siberian Ginseng and Rhodiola and other nervines like St John’s Wort.

The other area where Vervain is so useful is with premenstrual syndrome and peri-menopausal symptoms.  Herbalists believe that it helps to increase progesterone production and balance the effects of estrogen dominance. Its action appears very similar to the famous Chinese Herbal formula Xiao Yan Wan, Free and Easy Wanderer. I could not imagine treating PMS without Vervain.

You can make vervain tea, or take the tincture, but best of all come to see me for a herbal consultation to get a formula tailored to your unique needs.  My herbal supplier, Rutland Biodynamic, make a Vervain tincture with fresh organic plants that is extraordinarily potent.  You can call me 07891579364 or email me to takethings further.  Check out my herbalist practice on my web site too.


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