verbena officinalis

Other names: Gruel, Baskets, Porelishnik, Porish, Porplishnik.

Diseases and effects: Acute respiratory diseases, bronchitis, laryngitis, tracheitis, chronic hepatitis, cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, chronic gastritis with low gastric juice, rheumatism, toothache, headache, pneumonia, hypotension, eczema, psoriasis, neurodermatitis, acne , scrofula, ulcers, wounds, mumps, abscesses, exhaustion, prostration, anemia, scanty and short menses, liver inflammation, rabies.

Active substances: Glycoside, verbelin, verbenamine, carotene, tannins, essential oil, bitterness.

Collection time:  May – October Botanical description Distribution Chemical composition Pharmacological properties Application in medicine Harvesting Doses, dosage forms and method of application Contraindications for use Myths, legends, beliefs Practical application in magic Thanks

Botanical description of verbena officinalis 

Perennial herbaceous plant of the verbena family (Verbenaceae) , up to 1 m high.

The stem is straight, branched at the top, tetrahedral, erect. Stem margins are woolly.

The leaves are oblong, opposite, the lower ones are located on short petioles, the upper ones are sessile, almost entire, serrated or entire, oblong. The middle leaves are trifid with uneven serrated particles, of which the middle one is larger than the lateral ones. The leaves are tart in taste.

The flowers are pale purple or pale pink, rarely purple. Calyx and corolla divided into 5 petals, numerous, collected at the top of the stem in spike-shaped inflorescence (in rare multi-flowered spikelets). Above is a large sparse bunch. Verbena officinalis flowers are odorless.

The fruit is dry, splits into 4 nuts.

Blooms from May to October.

Spread of verbena officinalis 

Medicinal verbena grows throughout Russia and Ukraine, in glades, along roadsides, like a weed in the fields of crops.

The chemical composition of verbena officinalis 

Medicinal verbena contains glycoside, verbelin, verbenamine, carotene, tannins, essential oil and bitterness.

Pharmacological properties of verbena officinalis 

Thanks to verbenamine, verbena has astringent, diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, healing, analgesic, dispersing, absorbable, expectorant, choleretic, antispasmodic, anti-allergic and, to a certain extent, anti-febrile and antipyretic properties. Increases appetite and improves digestion, normalizes metabolism in the body.

Medicinal uses of verbena officinalis 

In the XVI-XVII centuries. recommended against headache and toothache, cough, hair loss, inflammation of the eyes, jaundice. The wine tincture of the leaves was drunk with the bites of animals.

Verbena preparations are prescribed orally for acute respiratory diseases, bronchitis, laryngitis, tracheitis, chronic hepatitis, cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, chronic gastritis with low gastric juice, rheumatism, toothache and headache, pneumonia, hypotension.

The therapeutic effect is achieved due to the diaphoretic action of the substances contained in the raw material. Externally used in the form of compresses, lotions, washings for inflammatory skin diseases, rashes, furunculosis and difficult-to-heal wounds. In the form of rinses, it is used for inflammation of the oral mucosa and to remove unpleasant odors.

For eczema, psoriasis, neurodermatitis, acne vulgaris, verbena is used both internally and externally.

The root helps in the treatment of scrofula, ulcers, abrasions, mumps, abscesses.

Verbena oil is prescribed for exhaustion and loss of strength, anemia, scanty and short menstruation, inflammation of the liver.

From rabies it is necessary to drink stems of verbena boiled in wine.

Preparation of verbena officinalis 

Medicinal raw materials are the entire aerial part of the plant with flowers, root and seeds. Grass is harvested during the flowering period. Dry in a dryer at a temperature of 50-60 °C. In addition, verbena officinalis can be dried in the fresh air or under a roof, in the attic.

Doses, dosage forms and method of application of verbena officinalis 

Infusion of verbena officinalis : brew in a thermos 0.5 l of boiling water 3 tbsp. l. crushed raw materials, insist 3&nmbsp;h, strain. Use externally while warm.

Infusion of verbena officinalis : brew 1 tbsp. boiling water 1 tbsp. l. crushed raw materials, insist 1 hour, strain. Drink 1/3 cup 3-4 times every day for 0.5 hours before meals. The same infusion can be used for rinsing the mouth, throat with stomatitis and catarrhal sore throat, as a lotion for acne, eczema, psoriasis, neurodermatitis, wounds, ulcers.

An infusion of verbena prepared by distillation is useful in anemia of the optic nerve; further distillation gives a liquid used in tuberculosis and thrombosis.

Infusion of verbena officinalis : 1 tbsp. l. dry verbena grass in 250 ml of boiling water insist 2 hours, filter. Take 100 ml 2-3 times every day with physical fatigue, exhaustion, lethargy.

Decoction of verbena officinalis : brew 0.5 liters of boiling water 1 tbsp. l. crushed raw materials, boil over low heat for 5 minutes, strain, squeeze and bring boiled water to the original volume. Drink 1/2 cup 4 times every day 20 minutes before meals.

To enhance the diaphoretic effect, the infusion is taken warm with honey or jam.

Contraindications to the use of verbena officinalis 

With prolonged use, the intestinal mucosa is irritated.

Myths, legends, beliefs associated with verbena officinalis 

The word “vervain” comes from an ancient Indo-European root, which in Greek sounded like Tabdos, “vine” – “magic rod”. From Latin, the name is translated as “sacred branch”. Priests were crowned with such branches during sacrifices. In France, in Provence, it was also called “the herb of sorcerers.”

Witches used vervain to make a love potion. It is alleged that sorcerers, in order to be indefatigable at the Sabbat, made themselves garters for stockings, weaving them from vervain stems.

The inhabitants of Gaul called vervain “the poison of the devil.” It was used to sprinkle the holy water of the places where the devil settled, as well as to predict the future. According to legend, in order to achieve the best results in divination, verbena will need to be collected in the evening at dusk.

Druids favored vervain as well as mistletoe. Both plants were considered highly sacred.

The Greeks and Romans called verbena “tears of Isis”, “blood of Mercury” or “grass of Hercules”.

In Rome, in the sacred place of the Capitol, clergy were crowned with flowering stems of vervain, whose duties included the analysis of conflict situations between Rome and other peoples.

Practical use of verbena officinalis in magic 

Verbena strengthens friendship, contributes to the reconciliation of the warring, so a sprig of verbena is highly recommended for those who are in a quarrel, but would like to make peace.

This plant helps to smooth out conflict situations, therefore, for those going to a responsible meeting, it is advised to put a twig in your pocket as a talisman. Verbena will be able to smooth out any “slippery” situation and restore harmony.

Vervain is often used to protect against evil spirits, to purify space. For example, vervain branches clean the altar before placing sacred objects on it. For the same purpose, you can use water infused with vervain.

Verbena is an indispensable remedy for expelling evil spirits. Often in ancient times, houses were sprinkled with water with vervain, since it was believed that the herb was able to cleanse the house of negative vibrations. Sprigs of vervain were hung in the corners of the house or in the room where supposedly there is “evil spirits”.

Sprigs of vervain are placed above the front door so that a witch or an ill-wisher cannot enter the house through them.

It is very useful to plant vervain near the house, as it contributes to an increase in well-being; a branch laid at home brings profit. For this reason, it is recommended to those people who are engaged in trade or other financial transactions. This plant can both protect against negative influences and attract positive energy, contributing to an increase in wealth.

For personal protection, healers advise wearing vervain roots and leaves around the neck. Used in this way, it will become a powerful talisman.

Vervain, worn around the neck of children, helps achieve academic success and promotes intellectual development.

Some sorcerers use vervain as a means of depriving someone of their magical abilities. It is believed that if you touch the magician with a sprig of vervain, he will not be able to perform his spells for some time.

Carrying vervain roots with you protects travelers from accidents and disasters, from the likelihood of being robbed or killed.

According to some beliefs, verbena increases sexual power. A person who carries ground vervain in a bag will become a magnificent and tireless lover.

Sorcerers who practice divination do not often use the plant as a means of maintaining love relationships between people by strengthening mutual affection between them: for this, a man is invited to carry a vervain root with him, and a woman – leaves. It is believed that just as the leaves and root are part of one plant, so lovers will always reach out to each other to become one.

Verbena has the ability to alleviate melancholy and sadness, suspiciousness and apathy. People who have a “heavy heart” are advised to have some part of the plant with them. Before falling asleep, some healers advise putting three leaves of vervain on the heart. After waking up, these leaves must be buried in the ground where no one can find them. It is believed that as soon as the leaves go into the ground, a person will experience sadness and heartache.

Verbena must also be used to free oneself from evil influences. If a person has made friendship with someone who pulls him “to the bottom”, but with all this he himself is weak-willed and is no longer able to get rid of this friendship, he is strongly recommended to carry vervain roots with him.

Vervain is used in blacksmithing to harden iron, which is used to make magic tools (wands, swords, candlesticks, mirror frames).

A person who carries leaves or a root of vervain with him seeks to strengthen and rejuvenate his body, protects himself from infectious diseases, from abdominal pain and colic.

Verbena leaves help to get rid of mental stress, get rid of stress and excessive nervous excitement. To do this, it is enough for the waning moon for nine days to wash your face with water infused with vervain leaves.

Here are some references to verbena. Planted, with famous ceremonies, in the field or within the confines of the house, this plant promotes wealth. If you put four leaves in wine and sprinkle the room with this wine, all the feasters will be cheerful. If, holding these leaves in your hand, ask the sick person how he feels, and the sick person answers that he is better, then he will recover; otherwise, it will die. (Albert the Great).

Verbena – sacred herb (Hierabotane); some call it pigeon grass (Peris teros). The Gauls used it to predict the future. But magicians in relation to this plant show themselves insane: they say, for example, that if you rub it, you will get everything you want. With its help, fever is expelled, friendships are made, all diseases are cured. But in order to achieve these results, it is necessary to collect it in the evening at dusk, “so that no one sees” (neither the moon, nor the sun), and offer the earth, in the form of atonement, honeycombs. They add that it must be outlined with iron, torn out with the left hand and lifted into the air. (Pliny).

The Druids revered vervain as well as mistletoe, which, in their opinion, heals all diseases, like this one later. Filters were made from it (whence its name “Veneris vena” – the vein of Venus), magical and secret Kabbalah drinks. (Firmin).

Verbena was famous as a talisman against all diseases. The ancients attributed to her many secret and miraculous qualities; so, they assured that it contributes to the spread of fictitious rumors, the strengthening of a friendly alliance, the reconciliation of the warring, etc. In the common people, it is still reputed to be the subject of witchcraft. (Casp.).

Verbena is a sacred herb used to sweep the altar of Jupiter. To drive out evil spirits, they sprinkled cleansing water with verbena. The Druids observed all rituals with special strictness: they collected it during the summer holidays, at the moment when the sun had just begun to rise. Our sorcerers follow the same rule, and demonologists say that one must be crowned with vervain in order to invoke the spirits (Migne).


The main gratitude goes to Ethernity, the author of the article.

WD Keeper, thanks for editing.

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