Vervain herb, also known as Verbena Officinalis, is native to Asia and Europe and has treated various diseases and health conditions. Read on this post to learn more about the health benefits of the Vervain herb and the possible side effects.

Vervain herb is native to some parts of Europe and Asia. It is also known as mosquito plant or holy verb. This plant has lobbed serrated leaves and produced purple flowers. There are many species of Verbena, but vervain is the only species used for medicinal purposes. It has been used over a long period as a herbal medicine due to its different compounds.

Today, its popularity has spread worldwide as many people appreciate its ability to treat kidney stones and colorectal cancer. Reading through this article will help you to understand its uses, benefits, and side effects.

Uses of Vervain Herb

Mostly, this plant is used for medicinal purposes. However, it has other non-medicinal uses. These uses are:

  • It is used for protection against evil eyes, which are believed to cause evils and misfortune on people- this was among the traditional uses of this herb. People would boil its leaves in water, then drink the solution believed to work magic on protection against misfortunes.
  • The purple flowers of this plant are used to garnish food, alcoholic beverages, and cocktails. It is tasteless hence does not interfere with the food’s flavor.
  • It is also used to stimulate lactation, especially in women who have difficulties producing milk after birth.

Medicinal Benefits

Vervain herb has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties that treat different diseases and conditions.

It Is Used to Treat Insomnia and Stress

Vervain herb can be used to make vervain tea. Vervain tea brings a calming effect on both the mind and the body’s nerves. The calming effects may soothe one to sleep. It also contributes to the reduction of stress. Research showed that mice injected with an extract from this herb spent more time sleeping. The use of this herb might have the same effects on humans. However, more research is required to support this finding.

Used to Prevent Kidney Stones

Injection with vervain extract showed increased production of urine in mice. One of the signs of kidney stones is reduced urine output. However, the mechanism by which this herb work might hurt the kidneys. It works by irritating the kidneys rather than increasing water and sodium, the easiest way to increase urine output. More research is needed to show the effectiveness of vervain in treating kidney stones in humans.

Used to Treat Colon and Rectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is among the leading cause of death today. Vervain herb contains polysaccharides which herbalists link with altering the activity of both colon and rectal cancer. These polysaccharides prevent the spread and growth of cancer cells. Research showed that high doses of vervain extract injected into mice inhibited the growth of cancer cells.

Treatment of Inflammatory Infections

Inflammation may occur on the skin due to fluid retention. The use of vervain extract reduces such inflammation when taken daily on high doses.

Used to Control Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a condition that is mostly caused by stomach infections. Taking vervain extract might help reduce both the volume and frequency of diarrhea. However, the herb might not fully control or treat the root cause of the condition. You should seek medication along with the use of this herb.

Improves Heart Health

Heart tissues may die so fast, leading to inefficiency in their function. Heart tissues may also be damaged from the inadequate blood supply. Vervain herb has been found to improve heart health by reducing the death of heart tissues and facilitating the movement of blood into the heart.

Improves Gum Health

Extract from vervain herb can be used as a mouth wash, which helps fight bacteria in the mouth, preventing gingivitis and inflammation.

Protects Nerve Cells

Taking extract from this herb may improve brain function after a stroke. A substance found in vervain known as cornin is linked to this effect. It facilitates the development of new blood vessels which supply blood and oxygen to the brain. Cornin also improves the function of mitochondria, making them produce more energy that is supplied to the heart.

Inhibits the Growth of Bacteria and Fungi

Vervain herb contains antimicrobial properties. A study shows that vervain oil tested against bacteria and fungi showed inhibitory effects on the growth of both micro-organisms. High doses of vervain worked faster. Therefore, its use can help to treat infections caused by bacteria such as salmonella Typhi.

Side Effects of Vervain Herb

Generally, taking vervain extract is safe. However, some groups of people should avoid it as it may have adverse effects on them.

  • Pregnant women should avoid using this herb. It has been linked with poor weight and fetal abnormalities, mostly caused by reduced bones hardening.
  • Lactating mothers should void vervain products too. Some compounds from the plant may find their way to the breast milk hence affecting their young ones.
  • Taking vervain may inhibit the absorption of iron. Lack of enough iron in the body may cause anemia. Patients with anemia or those with iron deficiency should avoid using any vervain product for their safety.
  • This herb is also linked to interacting with blood-thinning drugs making them less effective. Those taking such drugs should avoid them.


The vervain herb is known for its medicinal properties. It has been used over centuries to treat different conditions. It has different compounds that enable it to treat kidney stones, insomnia, stress, cancer, heart disease, and improve dental health. It is also used for non-medicinal purposes such as protecting evil eyes, garnishing foods and drinks, and stimulating milk production.  Pregnant and nursing mothers should consult health providers before taking this herb to ensure their babies’ safety. Vervain intake may interfere with iron absorption. Those with iron deficiency should avoid it. It may also interact with blood-thinning drugs making them less efficient. Patients using such medicine should avoid vervain.

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Barbara is a freelance writer and a sex and relationships adviser at Dimepiece LA and Peaches and Screams. Barbara is involved in various educational initiatives aimed at making sex advice more accessible to everyone and breaking stigmas around sex across various cultural communities. In her spare time, Barbara enjoys trawling through vintage markets in Brick Lane, exploring new places, painting and reading.

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