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vervain - verbena officinalis - inflorescense

Vervain, Verbena officinalis L.

When it comes to wise women’s herbs, I cannot but include vervain, Verbena officinalis. This plant has been praised since ancient times for its medicinal and magical properties. Back then, vervain was already seen as a sacred herb and used during important rituals and ceremonies. And that is quite a feat for a herb that many people overlook when walking by. It does not really stand out with her small flowers and inconspicuous stem and leaves.

Healing effects of vervain, Verbena officinalis

From a medicinal point of view, vervain’s focus is on digestion and mental well-being, but it also acts on the respiratory tract, kidneys and female reproductive system, plus a number of other common ailments. All in all, it’s a useful ally to have around.

Magical properties of Verbena officinalis

Magically, the possibilities are endless. Vervain is one of those magic herbs that was used by just about every native European people. For that reason, it should be included in the herb garden of any practitioner of the Art who identifies with that neck of the world.
To name a few interesting options, beyond the predictable applications in love and protection magic, we can use vervain to cement the peace and achieve eternal youth. Be sure to read the rest of the monograph to find out more.

Botanical description Vervain, Verbena officinalis L.

Vervain stands on a white fusiform root from which a square, thin, tough stem emerges. The stem is wide-branched and not very leafy. The leaves are mainly located at the bottom of the plant and the higher we get the fewer we find. The leaves are opposite, 2 to 8 centimetres, sessile or closely stalked, grey-green in colour. The shape of the leaves is not unambiguous, but, depending on the location, it is crenate, pinnatifid or in trifoliolate. The top leaves may even have an entire margin. At the top we find a spike shaped inflorescence of small flowers with 5 petals, pink in case a young plant to pale lilac in an older plants. The calyx is tubular. The fruit is a schizocarp with 4 nuts.

Interesting facts

Vervain is virtually odourless, unlike other relatives such as lemon verbena.
Vervain could be found in almost every monastery garden because it was rumoured that it had been used to staunch Jesus’ wounds.
Apparently, pigeons love this plant. That is why in some areas of the low countries it is called pigeon’s grass.

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