Skip to main content


Common Name: vervain
Botanical Name: Verbena officinalis
Native Range: Europe

A description of vervain in Medicina Britannica: Or, A Treatise on Such Physical Plants as are Generally to be Found in the Fields Or Gardens in Great-Britain: Containing a Particular Account of Their Nature, Virtues, and Uses by Thomas Short, 1746:

Vervain formerly called Herba Sacra, was much admired, being good in diseases of the head, from cold humours; in diseases of the eyes and breast; in obstinate coughs, in obstructions of the liver, spleen, and jaundice; in gripes, and bloody flux. It wastes and expels the stone, suppresses lust, cures tertians, eases arthritics, heals wounds, and forwards the birth; outwardly it is a noble vulnerary; it is good for pains of the head, tooth-ach, baldness, melancholy, weakness, dimness, and redness of the eyes. It is also useful, applied in a poultice, to the throat for a quinsy, or hoarseness; for a gargle, in swellings of the throat; in an ointment, for pain of the spleen, make it into a poultice, with white of egg and barley meal, and apply; laid under the head at night, or in a plaster of it, four leaven, and oil of rose, laid to the head, cures the head-ach, from hard drinking. Its decoction is thought good against the biting of serpents, and venomous beasts, plague, tertian and quartan agues. It kills and expels worms, causes a good color of the face and body, and, drank with Peony seeds, is very good against a dropsy, and the diminished office of reins and bladder; by cleaning them from vicious and filmy humours; applied outwardly with hog’s lard, it cures swelling of the privy parts. The juice, or leaves bruised, cleanse the skin wonderfully from all spots, freckles, or inflammatory eruptions. The distilled water from the herb, in its full growth, is said to answer most of the above intentions. The leaves make a very good tea for the vapors. The water, dropped into the eyes, is good for them.

Last updated: 1/3/2020