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Vervain (Verbena officinalis): ingredient of Ron Ron

Grass common in the family of the Verbenaceae, is found with ease among the ruins, the fallow fields, at the edges of cultivated fields, along roads, in the woods. It is common in Italy where it grows from the plains to the mountains. It grows also in England and North America, China and Japan.
It is commonly known by the following names: Sacred Herb, Herb Crocetta, Columbine Grass, Grass Turkish barbegna, Coj dij prà, Grass de S.Gioan, Clumbeina, Verbena hastata, Crous, Purecella, Grass spleen, Birbina, Virminaca, Crebena.

Characteristics and properties

Toned, acts on the whole organism reinvigorating and reinforcing all organs. Antineuralgic, helpful in relieving neuralgic pains and menstrual. Emmenagogue, stimula-
tes the flow of menstrual blood. Diaphoretic it acts on the liver and detoxification systems due to its ability to increase perspiration, and stimulate the outflow of toxins through the skin. Febrifuge, is also used to assist the immune system due to its ability to drive away the fever.

Diuretic and purifying of the liver and spleen. Anti-inflammatory, it acts on the immune system due to its ability to counteract inflammation. Antirheumatic, acts on the immune system by relieving and preventing rheumatic pains. Expectorant, acts on the immune system and reactivity due to its ability to facilitate the removal of the secretions of the bronchopulmonary mucous membrane and favoring the expulsion of mucus from the respiratory tract. Hot tea, taken often, is recommended for fevers and colds above all to decongest the throat and chest.

Vermifuge, acts on the immune system due to its ability to cause the expulsion of intestinal worms. Vulnerary, acts on the immune system due to its ability to heal and treat wounds. Natural tranquilizer, useful in the anxiety, insomnia and nervous tension even when these disorders are associated with stress. Antispasmodic, acts on the nervous system due to its ability to prevent or relieve muscle spasms. Astringent, affects endocrine system and hormonal due to its ability to cause contraction of the tissues. Do not use in pregnancy.

History and curiosity

The verbena plant sacred to the ancient Romans, not to be confused with the pleasant Cedrina, also called Verbena odorous. The verbena is not used in culinary and gastronomic uses, because the taste will not fit in the kitchen. In cosmetics, instead, the infusion can be used as a decongestant of the eyes.
One time were attributed to the verbena magical properties. It was taken on the night of Saint John (June 24). This can be explained, perhaps, by the fact that this celebration has replaced the summer solstice (June 22), the day when the sun reaches its zenith arousing a moment of high suggestion.

Vervain was used by various tribes of American Indians to treat fevers, colds, cough and phlegm. The Cherokee also used it as a remedy for intestinal problems, diarrhea and dysentery. Vervain was also used as an analgesic for otitis and postpartum pain and is one unlocking for menstruation.
The name comes from the Celtic ferfaen, by fer (scare away) and faen (stone), since the plant was used to treat bladder problems, especially calculations. Another origin of the name is indicated by some authors from Herba veneris, for aphrodisiac qualities attributed by the ancients. Priests used it for sacrifices, hence the name Herba Sacra.

The name vervain was the Roman name for "altar-plants" in general and this species in particular. The Druids added to their lustral water and wizards and sorcerers used it extensively. It was used for various rituals and spells and by the ambassadors to conclude alliances.
Minced, was worn around the neck as a talisman against headaches, against snake bites and other venomous animals and as a lucky charm in general. It was considered beneficial for the view. All these virtues are probably derived from the legend of its discovery on Mount Calvary, where it was used to heal the wounds of the crucified Saviour. Therefore, it is blessed with a commemorative ritual when it picks.

Other verbena species

The Jamaicensis Verbena (Verbena Jamaica) grows in Jamaica, Barbados and other islands of the West Indies. Violet flowers. The juice is used to the dropsy and for children such as deworming. The blacks use it as an emmenagogue, and for sore and inflamed eyes. As a poultice, with flour, the chopped leaves are used for swelling of the spleen and cancers at their early stage.

The Verbena Lappulaceae (Burry Vervain) another herb of the West Indies, with pale blue flowers, is a sub-astringent vulnerary, used for bleeding wounds in men and cattle, especially in Jamaica.

The Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain, Wild Hyssop, Simpler's Joy) is indigenous to the United States, and is traditionally used as a tonic emetic, expectorant, etc. for scrofula, gravel and worms. A fluid extract is prepared from the portion dried and finely ground.

The Verbena urticifolia, however, is used as follows: The root, boiled in milk and water with the inner bark of Quercus Alba, is considered an antidote to poisoning by Rhus Toxicodendron.

Vervain Sinuata is employed by an infusion of the root and taken as often as possible, is said to be a valuable aid to fight syphilis.