Chris Marano of Clearpath School of Herbal Medicine shows and discusses blue vervain benefits in this article and video
Blue vervain is a native plant and Verbena hastata is its scientific name. Its most preferred habitat is damp meadows. You’ll often times see it growing in low damp areas where you might also see the invasive purple loosestrife growing. Of course, blue vervain is native and not invasive, so we encourage its growth. Today we are going over some of the its medicinal benefits.
Blue vervain is one of the plants that decided it likes our garden, but it couldn’t care less about staying where we originally wanted it. When we first planted a bed of blue vervain it was on the other side of the garden, but that is not where it is now. Only one plant remained in that bed, but every year it kept popping up in other places. Now we just let it do what it wants. It seems to be both nomadic and amicable, as it likes to visit other beds but doesn’t intrude. It’s chill.
Understanding blue vervain benefits and uses
Blue vervain is a perennial and a late bloomer. The one portrayed in the video is just coming into its prime now, trailing many of the other flowers by a few weeks. Even though it’s called blue vervain, this color looks decidedly more purple to me. As flowering season progresses, flowers bloom in clusters from the bottom of the slender spike to its top, with seeds maturing behind.
The leaf, the very upper soft stem, and the flower are the medicine. You can macerate it fresh or dry in tincture form, you can make fresh tea, or you can dry it for later on. This is without a doubt one of my favorite nervous system and mental-emotional medicines. Although I am a formula maker, this is one herb that I often use alone, because it is that good, that comprehensive, at what it does. I also love the combo of blue vervain and motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca). They work extremely well together as a mental-emotional tonic.
Blue vervain is one of my favorite remedies for addressing windy nervous system activity and jagged emotions, where it is hard to hold stable ground. Situations where it feels like your mind, your thoughts, and your emotions are all over the place, and you wish you could just anchor them and have a more secure mooring instead of being blown about.
Blue vervain benefits: It can help you come back to neutral
I liken blue vervain it to the neutral position in the fast-disappearing manual stick shift cars. The best and really only way to shift from one gear to another is to pass through neutral, a comfortable spacious place free of gears. If you don’t do this you will be grinding through the gears. It might be possible, but it makes a horrible sound and you will soon need a new clutch. Perhaps a bit different for the human psyche, but you get the picture. Blue vervain offers you that neutral position. I also say that blue vervain helps to re-establish the ambassador voice in you, the you that you consider to be the most grounded, stable, clear thinking and clear-minded. The you you like to bring to the table.
Blue vervain is well known among herbalists as a superior aid for female reproductive and menstrual irregularity complaints, especially if there is a nervous system component where the emotions and thoughts get blown about as moontime approaches. This is one of the main blue vervain benefits, but this plant is not limited to female reproductive complaints.
I use blue vervain just as much in male formulas, children’s formulas, and old age formulas. In a nutshell, it is excellent for human beings.
In addition to being a really great nerve tonic in terms of calming the emotions, it’s also a nerve tonic for helping to strengthen tired, irritated, frayed nerves. Blue vervain benefits shine where people are burning the candle at both ends, the mind clouded and dull, feeling like your nerve force is weaker and gets tired easier. Blue vervain works really well when it is hard to stay alert, aware, and bright.
Blue vervain benefits and Chinese medicine
Even though this is native medicine and not in the Chinese Materia Medica, I think of this plant as serving double-duty nervous system medicine from the Chinese point of view. Chinese medicine accredits and explains much of what happens through the nervous system to the Liver and Gallbladder and their channels of influence. They often speak of two imbalances: Liver Constraint and Liver Wind. It would be too much to go into detail what this means and why Chinese medicine speaks so much about the Liver when talking about the nervous system and mental and emotional issues, but Constraint is feeling like you are part of you is clamped, clenched, ratcheted down and tight. You can also feel constrained in your mood, tight around the lips and jaw, or worse still, like you can’t get out of a dark or a stuck place. Liver Wind is what I mentioned earlier as feeling blown about in your emotions, moods and thoughts, like being on a boat in a storm without a deep keel or a good rudder. Blue vervain works well for both situations, and even better for Liver Wind complaints. Such complaints also extend to physical twitches, tremors, tics, spasms, pains and other symptoms that come and go without a pattern. This is what internal Liver Wind looks like, and blue vervain helps to calm the physical and mental nervous system and re-establish a calm, neutral center.
Whether you’re tight, agitated and stressed or feeling all over the place and erratic or feeling like your nervous system needs a good boost, blue vervain is invaluable. It’s major medicine, and as you can see in the video, the pollinators love it, too. It is iridescently beautiful when in bloom, decidedly lovelier to the eye than it is to the taste buds. Personally, I like it. I am a fan of bitter, the predominant flavor of blue vervain, but it also imparts a subtle aromatic bouquet to the upper palate that I find curious and comforting. I wouldn’t call it the tastiest tea, but it does work wonders through the nervous system.
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