Blue Vervain is a nervine that eases your mind and also relieves pain. While blue vervain is often marketed as a plant to help aid with anxiety, like with most botanicals, blue vervain is far more multifaceted than that. In fact, blue vervain can help lower blood pressure, has been demonstrated to help you heal from coughs colds and flu, and is even useful for slowing petit mal seizure. If you get a stiff neck and head before during or after a cough cold or flu, blue vervain is a great option.
“I love my grudges. I tend to them like little pets.”-Madeline Mackenzie
The herbal community has given blue vervain the reputation of the “stiff-necked herb.”
Sometimes people who like blue vervain can get a little… how should we say this, cranky? If you place high demands on yourself, are driven and maybe even place high demands on others around you, blue vervain may be a particularly good match for you. People who do particularly well with blue vervain are fiery individuals who like to make lists and may even have a habit of keeping those lists close by as though it’s a prized item or a beloved best friend.
Famous herbalist and teacher Larken Bunce adds that blue vervain is great for when it’s time to cool things down and ease hot digestion. What this means is that if you have inflammation in your gut, it feels hot and needs to relax, blue vervain could be great for you too. We strongly encourage people to examine their mind and gut connection. Are you getting really hot and bothered? Does your stomach also feel rather irritated now that you mention it? Are you getting anxious and ready to blow your top? Try blue vervain.
Check out the secondary use of a nervine to determine one that is great for you.
The beauty of blue vervain is in the dose. If this is the right herb for you, you will know it and quickly. In fact, it may only take a few drops before you are cool as a cucumber. Many herbalists recommend taking a seat before taking a drop. The effects can be that powerful.
Blue vervain works wonders for menstrual cramping, especially when buddying up with black cohosh and skull cap. Individuals who experience ovarian pain will love having this on hand. Does it feel like someone is grabbing you by the ovaries AND twisting them while they’re at it? This trio of herbs will melt that ovarian pain in a matter of minutes.
How Does Blue Vervain Taste?
If you understand how an herb tastes, you are likely to understand how an herb will take action in your body. In the case of blue vervain, the primary taste of this plant is bitter. Many find the blue vervain to be extremely bitter. That being said, bitter plants have tons of useful health benefits to the body. Most people could benefit from the use of digestive bitters (paying attention to the gut-mind connection).
You may have guessed that the taste of bitter actually aids in digestion. Blue vervain is no different. We mentioned earlier that blue vervain is specific for hot digestive issues. But what exactly is hot digestion?
Herbalists use a lot of language about heating things up, cooling things down, moving things along, and slowing things down when discussing digestion and other symptomatic problems throughout the body.
For example, if you experience a burning sensation in your GI tract, inflammation (at times visible as bloating) and a lot of diarrhea, you probably have digestion that is too hot and too fast meaning that my body is inflamed and moving food through the digestive tract at a rate too fast to complete the digestive process and assimilate nutrients.
Blue vervain is bitter in taste and cool when you take it which means it will cool down digestion and help the body digest and assimilate nutrients at a slower rate. That being said herbs are not single-use and not as simple as isolated compounds found in commonly used pharmaceuticals. Blue vervain is also known to speed up digestion especially at higher doses and may even cause diarrhea- this is why it is important to pay attention to a dose that works for you.
The dose is just as important with herbs as with prescription medications. As a general rule of thumb, start small and build particularly with a potent herb like blue vervain.
Many people ask:
Is Vervain the Same as Blue Vervain?
The answer is not as easy as “yes,” but many herbalists would agree that blue vervain and the official species vervain may be used interchangeably. Matthew Wood slightly disagrees, he argues that the purplish-blue flower of the blue vervain indicates the nervine effect.
The scientific name you will find is Verbena hastata, a plant native to North America that grows particularly well in some of the hotter states though grows (not as abundantly) further north. There are actually a few species of Vervain that grow in the US but unless you’re a botanist or an individual with a trained eye you may not know the difference. Here’s a tip if you find yourself getting curious- head to a grassy meadow or marshy field where you may find blue vervain and look at the stem of the plant, if it curls upwards almost like a curly magic wand, you may have spotted the Verbena hastata.
Did you know that nervine just means “good for the nervous system?”
So if you are still wondering
What is Blue Vervain Used For?
Here’s a helpful bulleted list:
- Cases of flu, Coughs or Colds
- Stiff Pains in the Neck and Shoulders
- Menstrual Cramping and PMS
- High Blood Pressure
Blue Vervain is also analgesic and antispasmodic. Analgesic plants are more important than ever today in a day of over-prescription of opiates. Individuals who experience constant tension in their neck and shoulders will want to add blue vervain to their pain supplement rotation. While turmeric is very effective at reducing inflammation, blue vervain can work in about 20 minutes to help release tension in the neck and elsewhere. Sometimes getting to the root source of the pain makes the greatest impact in the short term to empower you to take further actions that will benefit your long-term health.
We mentioned earlier that blue vervain is effective for menstrual pain. As an anticonvulsant herb, blue vervain works to help ease and even evaporate cramping. We love using blue vervain with skullcap and black cohosh, but you can also take blue vervain on its own as a tincture or as a tea. Are you starting to think that blue vervain is a good match for you? Take a look at some of the best blue vervain products we have found on the market today.