Also indexed as:Verbena officinalis
Vervain: Main Image © Martin Wall
Botanical names:
Verbena officinalis

Parts Used & Where Grown

The most commonly used species is European vervain (Verbena officinalis), though blue vervain (V. hastata) and V. macdougalii, among others, are probably interchangeable. V. officinalis is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa and has spread to North America. Other medicinal species are native to North America. The leaf and flower are used in herbal medicine.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy

(Chamomile, Fennel, Lemon Balm, Licorice)
1/2 cup (118 ml) of tea up to three times daily2 stars[2 stars]
A soothing tea made from chamomile, vervain, licorice, fennel, and lemon balm has been shown to relieve colic more effectively than placebo.
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vervain is a traditional herb used for depression.
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vervain is a traditional herb for dysmenorrhea.
Indigestion, Heartburn, and Low Stomach Acidity
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Vervain is a digestive stimulant widely used in traditional medicine in North America.

(Elder Flower, Gentian Root, Primrose Flowers, Sorrel)
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
An herbal combination of gentian root, primrose flowers, sorrel herb, elder flowers, and European vervain has been found to help promote mucus drainage from the sinuses.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Due to its bitter taste, herbalists used vervain to improve digestion. Vervain was also used to treat people with depression and spastic pains in the gastrointestinal tract, as a mild diaphoretic (to induce sweating and promote mild fevers), and for all manner of female reproductive system problems when associated with melancholy or anxiety.1 Early 20th century Eclectic physicians (doctors who recommended herbal medicines) in the United States felt vervain might be helpful for mild digestive problems.2 Vervain also has a reputation as a traditional remedy for stimulating production of breast milk.3

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2017.