Need a New “Nightcap”? Try Vervain (Verbena hastata) – Nerve Tonic

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As I recently started a full-time venture that has been mentally, physically, and emotionally challenging, I happily reacquainted myself to my dear, old friend, Verbena hastata, otherwise known as Vervain or Blue Vervain. I first met Verbana hastata in my herbology course in graduate school. It was there that I learned Vervain was a remedy for people who are “high-minded,” “who suffer from strong ideals or opinions they wish to thrust upon others” and for people “who feel driven.” Vervain people’s deep connection to their ideals cause them to criticize others, but they are also very self-critical. People who react well to Vervain, are “constantly exhausted, yet constantly striving” and their bodies often cannot keep up energetically with their overactive minds.  Vervain people like to make lists and they could be labeled as “hormonal,” in that they are very affected by hormonal shifts, for example, they may be prone to get the munchies from time to time (not like I’m speaking from personal experience or anything).

According to Chinese medicine, Vervain is a nauseant bitter that can provoke shivering, a mechanism to help the body relax and let go of tension especially in the neck. Vervain can also help provoke secretion; it especially helps open the pores for a good sweat. Overall, Vervain relaxes the nerves and regulates hormones.

So why am I telling you this? If you happen to be a Vervain (herbalists refer to people as their relfective plants), which I am, (if you couldn’t tell)–it might be helpful for you to check out Verveine tea. Now don’t go drinking it every day, because if homeopathy has taught us anything it’s that something that can cure, can also cause, so only take it as needed once before bed. For example, if you worked a long day and feel tight in the neck and you are up late blogging instead of resting, boil some hot water and have a Vervain nightcap to calm and rejuvenate your nerves overnight. It’s all about balance.

With that said, true to my Vervain self, (as I drink the tea and “relax”/blog), I should be going off to bed to enjoy and take in the full effects of one of my favorite plants.

Sources: Lise Wolff, my dear herbalist; Matthew Wood and his book, The Practice of Traditional Westen Herbalism;  My dear and special friend, Irene’s husband, Rachid, for reminding me of this wonderful remedy and gifting me “verveine tea” straight from Morocco. Moroccans, among many other cultures enjoy the benefits of this relaxing plant.

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