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Verbena: natural ingredient of Wonderup

Habitat

Vervain (Verbena officinalis, Verbena hastata) is common herb in the family Verbenaceae which is found easily among the ruins, the uncultivated fields, edges of cultivated fields, along roads, in the woods. It is common in Italy where it grows from plains to mountains. It grows well in England and North America, China and Japan.
It is known by the common names of Sacred Grass, Grass Crocetta, Columbine Grass, Grass Turkish barbegna, Coj dij prà grass de S.Gioan, clumbeina, Crous, purecella grass spleen, birbina, virminaca, crebena.

It was chosen as Wonderup ingredient because it is a good galactogogue: acts on the endocrine system and stimulates the secretion of milk in nursing mothers, thus favoring the natural development of the breast that is the main receptor of the female hormones.

Other characteristics and properties of Verbena
  • Tonic: acts on the entire organism to invigorate and strengthen all the organs
  • Anti-neuralgic: useful for alleviating neuralgic pains and menstrual
  • Emmenagogue: stimulates menstrual flow if low
  • Diaphoretic: affects liver and detoxification systems due to its ability to increase breathing and stimulate the outflow of toxins through the skin. Also used to assist the immune system due to its ability to drive the fever
  • A diuretic and depurative the liver and the spleen
  • Antipyretic: acts on the immune system for its ability to drive the fever
  • Anti-inflammatory: acting on the immune system due to its ability to counteract inflammation
  • Antirheumatic: acts on the immune system, relieving pain and preventing rheumatic diseases
  • Expectorant: acts on the immune system and reactivity due its ability to facilitate the removal of the secretions of mucous membrane broncho-pulmonary and cause the expulsion of mucus from the respiratory tract. Hot tea, taken often, is recommended for fevers and colds, especially to relieve congestion on 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 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 spasm
  • Astringent: acts on the endocrine system and hormone function due to its ability to cause contraction of the tissues
  • Do not take during pregnancy.

Verbena: natural ingredient of Wonderup

History and curiosity

The Verbena plant sacred to the ancient Romans, not be confused with the pleasant Cedrina, also known as Verbena perfumed. The verbena is not used for culinary and gastronomic uses, because the taste does not fit in the kitchen. In cosmesis, however, the infusion may be used as a decongestant of the eyes. Verbena once were attributed magical properties. It was caught on the night of St. John (June 24). This explains, perhaps, the fact that this celebration has replaced the summer solstice (June 22), the day when the sun is at its peak causing a moment of high suggestion.

The verbena was used by various tribes of American Indians to treat fevers, colds, cough and phlegm. The Cherokee used it as a remedy for intestinal problems, diarrhea and dysentery. The vervain was also used as an analgesic for otitis and pain after childbirth and is a degreaser for menstruation.

The name is derived from the Celtic ferfaen Verbena, from fer (drive away ) and faen (stone), since the plant was very used to treat bladder problems, especially calculations. Another origin of the name is indicated by some authors from Herba veneris, for the aphrodisiac qualities attributed by the ancients. The priests used it to sacrifice, hence the name Herba Sacra.
The name Verbena was the classical Roman name for 'altar-plants' in general and for this species in particular. The druids included it in their lustral water and magicians and wizards used it extensively. Was used in various rites and incantations, and by ambassadors in making leagues. Bruised, was worn around the neck as a charm against headaches, snakebites and other venomous animals, and for good luck in general.
It thought to be good for the eyes. All these virtues are probably due to the legend of its discovery on Mount Calvary, where he was used to cicatrize the wounds of the crucified Saviour. So, is blessed with a commemorative verse when it is gathered.

Other species
  • Jamaicensis Verbena (Verbena of Jamaica): grows in Jamaica, Barbados and other islands of the West Indies. It has violet flowers. The juice is used for dropsy and as a vermifuge for children. Indigenous people use it as an emmenagogue and for sore and inflamed eyes. As a poultice, with flour, the bruised leaves are used for swelling of the spleen and for tumors at their initial stage
  • V. Lappulaceae (Burry Vervain): un’altra erba delle Indie occidentali, con fiorellini azzurri, è un sub-astringente vulnerario, usato per ferite sanguinanti negli uomini e nel bestiame, soprattuto in Giamaica
  • V. hastata (Blue Vervain, Wild Hyssop, Simpler’s Joy): is indigenous to the United States, and is used traditionally as a tonic emetic, expectorant. A fluid extract is prepared from the dried and finely ground portion
  • V. Urticifolia: the root, boiled in milk and water with the inner bark of Quercus Alba, is considered an antidote to poisoning by Rhus Toxicodendron
  • V. Sinuata: an infusion of the root, taken as frequently as possible, is said to be a valuable aid to fight syphilis.