The delicate flowers of the verbena yield a tea full of medicinal properties that are important for health, such as a relaxing action. For this reason, it is indicated for anxiety and stress situations. In addition, the infusion also acts against fevers, microbes and is also an antioxidant .
In addition to tea, an essential oil with its own characteristics and benefits can be extracted from the plant. But, like any medicine, whether natural or not, these versions have contraindications and side effects.
Verbena: what is it for?
The natural remedies made with this herb are used to treat internal problems, such as disturbances in the gastrointestinal system, and external ones, such as minor injuries.
The neuroprotective activity of this plant contributes to the immune system, enhancing immunity. For this reason, it can be effective in treating flu symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, and cough. ( 1 , 2 )
Fight digestive problems
Diarrhea, stomach ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders can be treated with the use of vervain flowers. The whole plant is beneficial in the case of diarrheal diseases, including those with an infectious component.
This occurs for a specific reason: the antispasmodic effect. In other words, this natural remedy promotes smooth muscle relaxation, particularly in tubular organs such as the digestive tract. In this way, it prevents the occurrence of spasms in both the stomach and intestine . ( 3 , 4 )
Detoxifies the body
The liver is the main organ responsible for cleansing the human body. It filters impurities from the blood and sends them to be discarded in the urine. Throughout this process, the plant is an ally of health, as it detoxifies the body , promoting better blood circulation and inducing the secretion of urine. For all these reasons, it helps to treat liver diseases. ( 1 , 3 )
Vervain is popularly used to treat stress, insomnia, chronic depression and nervous fatigue. In addition to acting against anxiety.
But science also supports these applications, since the herb has substances with neuroprotective activity, which are called phenylpropanoid glycosides. Not to mention the activating action of neural growth presented by compounds found in it. ( 1 , 5 , 6 , 7 )
Protect the cells
It also has antioxidant activity, which means that when the agents of this plant enter the body, they protect the body against the harmful action of free radicals. These unstable molecules attack healthy cells, giving rise to premature aging and/or degenerative diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes etc. ( 7 , 8 )
Fights pain, inflammation and injuries
The plant has analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions. Therefore, it can be used to treat headaches or muscle pain. In addition to serving to heal wounds and skin burns by applying the content made by decoction. ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 9 )
Protects health against microorganisms
Both bacteria and fungi do not develop in patients using vervain. Several studies have evaluated the antibacterial and antifungal properties of this plant and the results have always been favorable. In one of them, carried out in Tunisia, it was possible to see the beneficial action of this herb against the fungi Fusarium oxysporum and Penicillium chrysogenum, and the bacteria Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella (responsible for causing food poisoning). ( 8 , 9 )
How to make vervain tea
There are two ways to prepare this drink and the way chosen will depend on the purpose of the treatment. For example, the infusion is indicated to treat fevers , diarrhea, stomach ulcers, liver disorders and other internal problems. To do this, put a tablespoon of the vegetable in a liter of boiled water. Cover and wait for up to 5 minutes. Then just drink one to three times a day.
The decoction, on the other hand, must be made with the same dosage of water and plant, but both ingredients must be fired together. Allow it to boil and then cover the pan. Use the liquid after cold to treat wounds and external conditions. ( 3 )
Essential oil: another way to use the plant
In addition to tea, this plant can also be used as an essential oil to treat health problems such as liver congestion, digestive disorders, anxiety, insomnia, nervous tension and fever. And it can be applied in four different ways: aromatizer, massage, bath or footbath .
To aromatize, just put six to 15 drops of essential oil in hot water. If the objective is a relaxing massage, the tip is to mix 50 or 60 drops of verbena oil for every 100 ml of a carrier oil, such as avocado, coconut, almonds, sunflower etc.
Now if you want to use it in the bath, just dilute six to 12 drops in a glass of water and shampoo, adding all this in a bathtub. Finally, the footbath, which must be prepared with hot water to cover the feet mixed with three or six likes of the natural product. ( 10 )
Side effects and contraindications
Side effects are only noticeable when there is indiscriminate use of the product, for example without medical advice or not respecting dosage limits. Therefore, it is recommended to seek the opinion of a health professional, even if it is a natural remedy. Contraindications are limited to pregnant women, who should avoid using verbena tea and its oil, especially in the first three months of pregnancy. ( 6 )
About a verbena
Although little known, it can be easily found in vacant lots. However, for use in teas, it is ideal for the herb to be harvested or purchased in safe places, such as pharmacies or health food stores.
It is scientifically called Verbena officinalis L ., but in some places in Brazil the herb may be known by other names, the most popular being: algebrado, leper weed, sacred herb, gerbon, gervão and jarvão.