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This is a perennial plant with attractive, berries-like flowers. The berries have a pleasant fragrance. They develop in distended inflorescences at the top of leafless stems. It is widely grown for its fruits and for its attractive leaves and flowers. The plant has been widely naturalized in many parts of the world.The plant belongs to the Verbenaceae family and has lobed, toothed leaves, and silky, pale-purple flowers. It’s used throughout the world as an herbal remedy because of the multiple beneficial compounds it contains. Researchers linked this to the plant’s content of flavonoids and tannins, both of which are known to possess anti-anxiety and sedative properties.
Vervain, or verbena as it can be known, is native to South East Europe and was likely introduced here in Neolithic times, so has been long naturalised. It was widely cultivated as a medicinal herb in medieval gardens and has escaped often. It is a tall plant, with branching stems and clusters of small, purple flowers from June through to October. In the wild, it prefers chalky soils and can be seen on rough grassland, roadside verges, scrubby areas, coastal cliffs and waste ground.Vervain is also known as American Blue Vervain and Simpler's Joy. This plant is in the Plant Family Verbenacea, but not to be confused with Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla). These are two different plants only belonging to the same Plant Family.
Vervain is indigenous to the United States growing naturally along roadsides and tall grassy fields flowering between June and September. It is a tall (3-4 feet), slender, elegant, perennial plant with opposing leaves which are lobed and serrated in shape and have small purplish-blue flowers. Historically it was listed for use by King's American Dispensatory as, tonic, emetic, expectorant, and sudorific. A Sudorific is a substance that causes or increases sweating. It is a plant that is overlooked by modern herbalists, but one that deserves renewed interest for its versatile influences on numerous systems.Over the centuries this plant has been used as a protection charm to guard against witchcraft as well as having many medicinal uses. During the 17th century Culpeper used it to treat internal illnesses such as jaundice and dropsy, as well as external conditions like ulcers for example. It was even used to aid childbirth! Common Vervain is still used today to reduce the effects of depression and nervous disorders. (Source: www.plantlife.org.uk)