Verbena with light pink blues and green stem in nature
[Verbena officinalis]

Vervain: Known miracle herb of antiquity

Vervain used to be one of the most important herbs and nowadays it only lives in the shadows. Most people are probably the lemon verbena from herbal teas better known, yet vervain is a very important plant in phytotherapy! In the past, it was even considered sacred and was an important part of many cultic ceremonies! It was used for divination and recovery rituals and was always present on most altars.

Verbena facts

Did you know that...

... verbena was considered THE medicinal plant for wounds caused by iron weapons?
... Forge it during the forging process with burned because the steel should be better?
... the Greeks rubbed their envoys with verbena because it was said to make them find the right words?

What is verbena?

Verbena is a herbaceous plant that grows up to 75cm high and is native to us in Central Europe. Its stem is square and downy hairy to glabrous. The leaves are multiply lobed and pinnate and distributed opposite on the stem. There are slender, spikey partial inflorescences on long so-called thyrses. The flowers that grow out of them have five teeth and are usually whitish to pink. The true vervain can be found in meadows and along roadsides, even gravel soil does not bother the vervain.

General and healing properties of verbena

The basic knowledge

Wound healing

Vervain is wound healing. Since ancient times, vervain has been put on and in wounds to speed up wound healing. It keeps the wounds germ-free and stimulates the tissue to shoot and heal.


Verbena is digestive. Due to its high content of bitter substances, the digestive glands are activated to form their secretions and secrete them into the intestines. This allows the enzymes to work in an optimal environment and digestion runs smoothly.

Nerve calming

Vervain is calming to the nerves. Some ingredients of the wishing herb dock directly in the brain to GABA receptors, where they develop an antidepressant, anxiety-relieving and mood-lifting effect and thus calm tense nerves.


Verbena promotes lactation. Already in ancient Greece, verbena was recommended to expectant mothers as a tea to promote lactation, and even today midwives like to use it for this reason.

Verbena officinalis: Ingredients

Many of the historical uses are now obsolete and verbena is no longer used for this purpose. However, the following ingredients have been proven and give an idea of the effect.
  • Verbsin
  • Hastatoside
  • Flavonoids
  • Verbascoside (Iridoid glycosides)
  • Bitters

Vervain: effect for body and mind

In the past, it was assumed that Verbena also contains iron. Today, this has been proven wrong. However, since verbena is a bitter drug, it is suitable for optimizing the absorption of iron from food or substitution. It also helps well with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, such as heartburn and diarrhea.

Verbena is popularly used in modern phytotherapy as a sedative and for mild depression, as its iridoid glycosides seem to have an effect on GABA receptors and also have anti-anxiety potential. Another indication is the enhancement of labor pains, which may have something to do with this central effect. For this purpose, the tea is often recommended by midwives.

Its expectorant effect is popular for chronic phlegm and after colds, which is why it is often an ingredient in cold mixtures.

In earlier times, verbena was used as a ritual plant. It was used both for cleaning altars and for summoning spirits. However, the plant got its name from its good effect as a wound healing plant for injuries caused by iron weapons.

In folk medicine, it is still recommended to drink verbena tea before job interviews, as it is said to make you attractive and charming, and to help you find the right words.

Properties verbena

  • Wound healing
  • Digestive
  • Nerve calming
  • Antidepressant
  • Anxiety Relief
  • Draining

Fields of application in naturopathy:

[Verbena officinalis]
Due to its different ingredients, different indications for vervain have been established in folk medicine. Especially as a metabolism-stimulating agent it is still used today with pleasure.
anduse area motivation

Wish herb to increase motivation

Where there is no strength, there is no motivation. Vervain has a positive effect on your mood at the GABA receptors of the brain, reduces your anxiety and makes you motivated to get on with your task.

Vervain for exhaustion

Wishing herb is popularly given for exhaustion, as it has a mild antidepressant effect and restores the patient's strength to participate in daily life. Vervain is considered invigorating. It promotes and strengthens the defenses and gives the soul the fortitude for the confrontations of everyday life.
woman reaches for lemon - peppers and other fruit and vegetables on the worktop

Vervain for immunodeficiency

Verbena, in addition to the bitter substances, also contains various flavonoids. These have an antibiotic effect against fungi, viruses and bacteria, but they also promote the performance of the immune system. People like to use this optimal combination in the transitional seasons and support the immune system with the cure-like intake of drops or tea.

Verbena: action in anemia

Like all bitter herbs, verbena helps iron to be better absorbed by the body in the intestine. The substitution of iron or an iron-containing diet can therefore be well accompanied with verbena to ensure that the body can also absorb and utilize the provided iron well.

Vervain for depressive moods

Recent studies on verbena have shown that verbena with its iridoid glycosides has a positive effect on the GABA receptors of the human brain. Verbena has a relaxing, anxiety-relieving and antidepressant effect here, so that the upsets flatten out and lose their severity.
application area-sleep

Vervain: effect on insomnia

Worry or depressive moods are behind many sleeplessnesses. Verbena has an anxiety-relieving and antidepressant effect on the brain. Thus, you relax, the head stops circling and you can fall asleep and sleep well.

Verbena for labor promotion

In the last days of a pregnancy, sometimes every hour counts. Actually, the child should come, but the contractions do not start strong enough. Vervain can help here to stimulate and intensify the contractions, so that nothing stands in the way of a problem-free delivery.

Instructions for the use of verbena

Vervain is still a common ingredient in medicinal teas. But vervain is also used in phytotherapeutic mixtures such as drops or tablets. It is usually taken several times a day.

Vervain during pregnancy & lactation

Because verbena stimulates labor, it is taboo for expectant mothers during pregnancy. Only shortly before birth it should be used in consultation with a doctor, naturopath or midwife. The breastfeeding period does not affect the verbena at all. It is even said to have milk-forming properties, which is why it is even highly recommended during breastfeeding.
Verbena with light pink blues and green stem in nature

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pink. white flowering verbena



Botanical name

Verbena officinalis

Plant family

Verbena family

Other designations

Wish herb, legend herb, dove weed


May and October

Harvest time

June till September





Flower color

pale purple

Flower shape

five-leaved, round

Leaf color


Leaf shape


Sheet properties

irregularly serrated, opposite

Soil type

sandy loam and clay soils

Soil moisture



weakly acidic

Lime compatibility

rather bad

Nutrient requirements




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