Modern herbalists herald Blue Vervain, aka Verbena hastata or American Vervain, for it’s ability to ease the tension and stress that’s so rampant in our culture today.
Centuries ago, Blue Vervain was considered a pretty good troporestorative as well as a febrifuge and an antispasmodic, using it to ease a variety of pains associated with excess stress and tension. They connected Bue Vervain’s downward energetic flow and easing of tension with the nervous system as we do today, although they were far more likely to reach for Blue Vervain to treat seizure, epilepsy, muscle spasm, and fever than are we.
For More In-Depth info on Blue Vervain Energetics…
Modern herbalists have come to rely on other potent herbs for many of those older uses, such as Yarrow and Elder for fevered conditions and Lavender for easing tension and muscle spasms. Blue Vervain remains a tried and true friend among our nervous system support herbs for dealing with the rampant anxiety, depression, and other stress-related conditions we now face.
The Blue Vervain Type(s)
Matthew Wood connects the strong, upright stalk and character of Blue Vervain with the kind of tension it eases. A few decades ago, we would have called the Blue Vervain personality Type A, tense and often controlling, much given to stress over details, inflexible and unwilling to bend the rules under any conditions. The need for Blue Vervain’s Medicine today, though, seems to have spread well beyond that personality type. Folks struggling with exhaustion and an overly-demanding lifestyle also find support in Blue Vervain’s field.
Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and Blue Vervain
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, Blue Vervain is mildly cooling and circulating. Its energy is downward, although not necessarily draining, as it is suitable for Yin Deficiency conditions as a supporting herb.
As an Ayurvedic herb, Vervain supports balance in Pitta while reducing Kapha and increasing Vata, according to Drs. Frawley and Lad. My own experience of Blue Vervain is that it helps settle aggravated Vata, such as over-thinking and tensions associated with a mind that won’t let go, while moving energy down into the lower half of the body, thus rebalancing Kapha and cooling Pitta.
Flower Essence Practice and Blue Vervain
Flower Essence practitioners work with commercially prepared Vervain Flower Essence, or they make their own flower essences using Verbena officinalis or V. hastata. In either case, the folks for whom they’re most likely to use Vervain are those who have an intense idealism that drives their lives. When that energy becomes unbalanced, it can lead to a host of problems like the ones we’ve already discussed. People around them will likely describe them as overbearing and zealous in their pursuit of their passions.
What to Look For: Blue Vervain Stories
Anxiety, depression, exhaustion, and fatigue are all part of the symptom complex Blue Verain treats. When I’m working with a client, I listen for one of two stories.
Classic Blue Vervain: Story 1
The first is that of a perfectionist who never seems to quite reach his or her aspired goals. They’re often lofty goals that depend on cooperation from others or from the world in general, and often the client in question feels frustrated, angry, or worried about them.
Exhausted Blue Vervain: Story 2
The second story I listen for is the tale of not enough time in the day to get it all done…in other words, sheer exhaustion. The details of the pattern can differ wildly from one story to another, but the underlying patterns are the same.
Blue Vervain for the Gut-Brain: Formulate for Digestive and Nervous Systems
Many folks in the Healthcare field are beginning to recognize the power of the gut microbiome and the nervous system within the digestive system to govern our moods, thinking, and daily choices. This formula for nervous exhaustion, excessive tension, anxiety, and depression capitalizes on that connection to get around the thought processes that often compound those conditions.
Here, Blue Vervain serves to direct the energy flow back into the gut while Chamomile, Lemon Verberna, Wood Betony, Oatstraw, and Dandelion offer nutritional and general support to the system, allowing the whole of the nervous system to release tension and return to a more natural and healthy flow.
- Matthew Wood on Blue Vervain
- The Book of Herbal Wisdom: Using Plants as Medicines
- The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine
- Flower Essence Services (FES) – Repertory Book, Spiral Bound Edition