Very vexing vervain
You’re so vervain, I bet you thought this post was about you. You’re so… Oh, hey, I didn’t see you there.
How are you? What’s new?
Why am I like this?
Let’s talk about this bad bitch of the plant kingdom. She’s a perennial plant with jagged leaves and tiny little five-petaled blossoms. Tall, thin, and elegant as fuck, she’s indigenous to the Mediterranean region and has been widely cultivated throughout eastern Europe, North Africa, China, and Japan. Of course, Americans have colonized it, too. Birds and bees love it, and people should, too.
While she doesn’t offer a noticeable scent, vervain does provide a few pretty solid health benefits:
A study in Spain showed the anti-inflammation properties of applying vervain topically were as good as traditional drugs, but it didn’t do shit for the pain.
Anti-bacterial — apply it topically to wounds to keep them clean.
Anti-spasmodic — chill out those restless legs or spazzy tum-tum.
Pro-making you sweaty — sweat it out! I bet this would be great for hangovers.
Vervain also helps with lactation. Folks from all over the world have been using it for this purpose for about a zillion years. That said, I’ve also read to use caution with vervain while nursing, so definitely check with your doctor, or at least do a little research on your own.
Kidney stones — There’s a lot of mixed information out there, but it seems, at least anecdotally, that vervain has helped many, many people with their kidney stones. Some articles suggest the reason it’s effective is because it’s an irritant to your kidneys, and it could actually be doing more harm than good long-term. Again, I’m not a doctor. I’m just the messenger. Do your research before committing to any hardcore herbal regimen.
Vervain is also a great astringent. (That’s why I used it in a face mask recipe for the coven box in April.) You can make a decoction from it and apply it to your face and feel all nice and warm and fuzzy inside, and look like the goddess you are on the outside.
According to Witchipedia, “Vervain resonates with the energy of Gemini, the planet Venus and the element Water. It is considered feminine in nature. Vervain is associated with Cerridwen, Isis, Thor, Jupiter. It can also be used in Midsummer celebrations.”
It’s also got this “Quartz” effect to it, where it boosts the powers of nearby herbs when added to them.
Some people say its what King Solomon used to cleanse his Temple, and the Romans placed it on altars for Venus and Diana. Because of its protective, cleansing properties, consider using dried vervain in a smoke bundle in place of sage. This is a great idea for a million reasons, honestly. We gotta stop using so much sage, y’all. And I know I’m one of the worst offenders, I know… Baby steps.
Side-effects and risks
If you’re growing or feeding a baby with your body, don’t consume very much vervain.
It can also give you gas like you wouldn’t believe.