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Blue vervain (also known as verbena) is an attractive perennial plant, with lavender-blue flowers, belonging to the mint family.
Blue vervain is regarded as the "herb of the cross" because it is said to have been used by Jesus to stop the bleeding from his wounds on Calvary. The ancient Romans used this "sacred" herb to sanitize temples and their homes. It is also said that the medieval witches used it as a love potion. If someone was to wash their hands in blue vervain, anyone they touched would fall in love with them.
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• Blue vervain is used to treat colds, coughs, and fever by expelling mucus from the lungs and by cooling the body through sweating. Between the sweating and the diuretic effect it has, it makes a wonderful herbal remedy in removing toxins from the body.
• It is used to increase contractions during labor and increase a mother's milk flow for breastfeeding. It is said to induce menstruation, help regulate menses, treat painful cramps, relieve premenstrual symptoms, and increase libido.
• It contains large amounts of tannins and can be used as a mouthwash to treat mouth ulcers and bleeding gums. In ancient times, people would chew on the root of blue vervain to strengthen their teeth and gums.
• It is said to treat diarrhea, heal peptic ulcers, and expel worms. It is also used to maintain liver health, cure gallstones and kidney stones, relieve arthritis pain, and treat headaches and migraines.
• Blue vervain can also increase energy levels and alleviate tension and irritability. It is used to treat depression, calm nerves, soothe anxiety, and promote sleep.
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Preparing Blue Vervain Tea
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried blue vervain herb, cover, steep for 10 minutes, strain, and enjoy.
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Image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/people/IvanTortuga/
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