Verbena officinalis
In leaf April - Sept. In flower July - Aug. Seed ripens Aug. - Sept.
Common Names / Habitat /Magickal Uses / Edible Uses / Medicinal Uses / Cultivation / Propagation

Common names: European Vervain, Gogerchin Otu, Herb Of The Cross, Herb-of-the-cross, Holywort, Kuma-Tuzura, Ma Pien Ts'Ao, Minecicegi, Rejil Al Hamam, Texas Vervain, Verbena, Verbena Oficinal

Habitat: Waste ground and roadsides, avoiding acid soils and shady positions.

Magickal Uses: Feminine. Venus. Earth. Deities: Cerridwen, Mars, Venus, Aradia, Jupiter, Thor, Juno

The Witches Herb. Love, Protection, Purification, Peace, Money, Youth, Chastity, Sleep. Healing. Empowers any magick, especially love spells. Enhances the dreaming process and is recommended for dream quests. Used to consecrate and empower any ritual tools. Protects from negative emotions and depression. Used in house and home blessings. Turns back negativity. In love spells: add to recipes to attract mates, find true love, achieve sexual fulfilment, work sexual magick, and for bringing extra bliss on the wedding night. The herb of poets, singers, and bards. Inspires artistry. Instills a love of learning. Best when gathered at Midsummer.

Edible Uses: Flowers; Leaves; Tea. Leaves - parboiled, seasoned and then eaten. The leaves can be used as a tea substitute. The flowers can be used as a garnish.

Medicinal Uses: Analgesic; Antibacterial; Anticoagulant; Antispasmodic; Antitumor; Astringent; Bach; Birthing aid; Depurative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Galactogogue; Stimulant; Tonic; Vulnerary.

Vervain, which has tonic and restorative properties, is sometimes used as a domestic herbal remedy. It is useful when taken internally in the treatment of headaches, fevers, nervous exhaustion, depession, gall bladder problems, insufficient lactation etc. It should not be given to pregnant women, though it can be used to assist contractions during labour. Externally, it is used to treat minor injuries, eczema, sores, neuralgia and gum disease. The leaves and flowering stems are analgesic, antibacterial, anticoagulant, antispasmodic, astringent, depurative, diaphoretic, mildly diuretic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, stimulant, tonic and vulnerary. The plant is harvested as flowering begins in the summer and dried for later use. Some remarkable results have been obtained when using this plant in the treatment of certain tumours, but further research needs to be carried out before definite claims can be made. The root is astringent, it is used in the treatment of dysentery. The plant is used in Bach flower remedies - the keywords for prescribing it are 'Strain', 'Stress', 'Tension' and 'Over-enthusiasm'.

Cultivation: A very easily grown plant, it succeeds in any moderately fertile well-drained but moisture retentive soil in a sunny position. Plants are very tolerant of neglect and will maintain themselves for a number of years even when growing in dense weed competition. Self-sows freely when growing in a suitable position. The growing plant attracts butterflies and moths.

Propagation: Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination should take place within 3 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and plant them out in early summer. If you have sufficient seed, it can also be sown in situ in late spring. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring. Basal cuttings in early summer. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.

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