Other names: American vervain, blue vervain, false vervain, indian hyssop, purvain, wild hyssop

Scientific  name: Verbena officnalis

Common names:

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names: ma bian cao

Bangladesh names:

Arabic names:    رعى الحمام (ra’ee al hamaam)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Labiatae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Flower, leaf

Collection:  Normally collected in summer before the flowers open.

Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: 2 to 5 feet

Actions:  anti-spasmodic, anti-bilious, astrigent, emmenagogue, expectorant, diahporetic, pectoral, sedative, sudorific, tonic, vermifuge

Known Constituents:  Glycosides including verbenalin, oil, mucilage, tannin

Constituents Explained:


A slightly bitter tasting herb with small pale lilac flowers.  The leaves are opposite (picture) with toothed lobes. The name comes from a Celtic word “ferrfaen.”  The first part of the word “fer” means to drive away and the second half of the word “Faen” means a stone.  The complete meaning is to “drive away a stone” given for its use for kidney stones.

It has also been called herba veneris because of it’s aphrodisiac qualities and herba sacra because of it once being used by preists in sacrifices.

Jamaica Vervain (verbena jamaicacensis) has violet flowers and V. lappulaceae (burry vervain) has pale blue flowers.

Traditional Use:

A nervine herb that is used to feed the nervous system and evoke relaxation. it is also commonyl used for headaches.  It has been used for depression, particulary following periods of recvoering from illness.

Used to stimulate appetitie, particulary when emotional issues are at play.  For this reason it is sometimes employed in cases of anorexia nervosa.

It has been used for fevers, ulcers and pleurisy.

Sometimes used as a liver and gallbladder remedy.

Used for fevers in China.  Other uses includerelief of menstrual problems.

Jethro Kloss said “this herb should be inevery home.”1  A strong diaphoretic (sudorific). He used I in all general female problems.1  He used it in stomach trouobles, bowel troubles, and shortness of breath.1

It has been used as amouthwash for the gums.

Clinical Studies: