Verbena:7 properties, benefits and contraindications

Verbena is an annual officinal herb belonging to the Verbenacee family and has historically been used as a natural remedy for migraine, insomnia , depression and anxiety. The ability to relieve menstrual pain has also been attributed to this plant.

Mystically, it is believed by some that verbena possesses magical properties due to history that the wounds of Jesus Christ once deposited from the cross were treated with this herb.

7 benefits of verbena

Verbena Officinalis is also known as cross grass, pigeon herb, wild verbena. There are several varieties of verbena that differ according to the color of the flowers such as verbena hastata and verbena urticifolia.

  1. Improves sleep quality and relaxes

One of the main recognized skills of verbena is to positively influence good mood thanks to its relaxing effects on the nervous system.

It also becomes useful in case of depression and to limit the damage caused by intense stress. To make the most of all these benefits it is possible to prepare a verbena herbal tea before going to sleep.

Research published in 2016 examined in detail the effects of verbana extracts specifically in cases of epilepsy. The researchers concluded that verbena has important anticonvulsive and sedative properties. This potentially opens up new scenarios for further applications of this medicinal herb in the treatment of neuropathologies ( 1 )

  1. Natural analgesic with strong anti-inflammatory abilities

As a natural remedy, verbena officinalis is used thanks to its anti-inflammatory power, particularly useful for calming the discomfort caused by severe headaches and migraines, but it is also particularly useful against sinusitis. It is also consumed to facilitate the elimination of mucus and help the body recover after fever and flu.

The effects of verbena officinalis extracts were examined in the Planta Medica (Journal of Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research), the results showed a strong anti-inflammatory capacity with excellent benefits also for the gastrointestinal tract ( 2 )

  1. Facilitates the production of breast milk

Historically this herb was used by women for one of its potential effects that can stimulate uterine contraction and consequently speed up the birth. Some studies have also indicated a potential galactogenic function, which can promote the production of breast milk in new mothers.

  1. Protects the heart


In 2016 a study was conducted that examined a vegetable glycoside called cornina, obviously contained in the verbena. The researchers’ interest was triggered by the possible cardiovascular effects related to the prevention of myocardial ischemia, a pathology created by the reduction of blood flow to the heart due to an occlusion in the arteries.

The results showed that subjects treated with cornin (30 milligrams per kilogram) revealed that their hearts were protected from injury due to myocardial ischemia. Based on these results, researchers believe that Verbena officinalis has cardioprotective effects. ( 3 )

  1. Good for gums

Already centuries ago the ancient Celts used the leaves of this chewing plant to reduce the pain caused by gingivitis. Our advice is to prepare a verbena-based herbal tea with two tablespoons of verbena per cup, to be consumed cold or as a mouthwash for gargling.

Also in 2016, research was conducted on the possible effects of verbena with patients suffering from gingivitis in the form of a mouthwash applied twice a day after brushing their teeth normally. The results were impressive and free of side effects ( 4 )

  1. Antibacterial and antimicrobial

Some scientific researches have shown that the essential oil has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, or is able to prevent and reduce the proliferation of germs and bacteria, including some types of fungi. The Journal of Medicinal Food has actually examined this essential oil as a possible biological alternative to chemical pesticides, this type of research is essential since with the increase of antibiotic resistance of bacteria it is necessary to run for cover. ( 5)

Furthermore, as if this were not enough, preliminary examinations have fielded verbena together with other medicinal herbs tested against Staphylococcus aureus, a Gram-positive bacterium resistant to methicillin. ( 11 )

  1. Verbena is one of Bach’s flowers

Vervain (verbena) is useful in case of excessive enthusiasm and zeal, excess of activism, stressful hyperactivity until the exhaustion of one’s strength. Vervain does not change your nature, but it teaches us to spread our ideas calmly and serenely, so that others can be attracted by what we carry inside. Vervain softens us and teaches us to be “authoritative” rather than “authoritarian”.


It is commercially available in the form of powder, capsules, essential oil, herbal teas and essences, but it is also possible to grow it without particular difficulties both in the garden and in the pot. It is an annual plant that needs special light and a well-drained soil. It can survive even in dim light but is not advisable. This herb does not require special care, but over the years it produces less flowers, and they become less aesthetically apparent.

They can also be watered directly and regularly, making sure that the soil is already dry before watering them again. They also manage to survive short periods of drought quite well but not excessively.

As for the fertilizer, we recommend using a specific type for flowering plants or a slow release granular fertilizer.

Recipe: the verbena herbal tea

  • 5 grams of verbena (leaves or flowers)
  • 1 saucepan of water
  • Half a teaspoon of honey (optional)
  • Lemon (optional)

We boil our verbena extracts in a saucepan for at least 10-15 minutes, keeping it always covered. For internal consumption we recommend a maximum of 1-2 cups a day. To make the most of its relaxing properties, a cup is ideal before going to sleep.

Do not forget that you can use the same herbal tea as a mouthwash in this case do not use honey or lemon.

Recipe: verbena oleolito


  • 1 jar of rice oil,
  • 12 verbena leaves and 12 flowers,
  • Vitamin E.


Wash and dry the leaves well, then cut them well into small pieces, now dip them in the glass jar, then add the vitamin E, add the verbena flowers, then cover everything with rice oil.

Leave the jar in the dark for a month, shaking it every 2 days.

Filter and use on stretch marks (only if you are not allergic to verbena). If it is very hot, keep it in the fridge with a special label, out of reach of children.

Contraindications and warnings

Being a uterine stimulant is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It has no particular contraindications to document or side effects but it is advisable to avoid disproportionate consumption, and it is necessary to pay attention to possible complications due to interaction with other drugs, so always consult your doctor before taking verbena.

Verbena hastata, the blue one is known to interfere with blood pressure medications, and also with hormonal therapies. High doses can cause vomiting and diarrhea.


Within the society of ancient Egypt, it was considered a divine herb originated from the tears of the goddess Isis, in mourning because of the death of the god Osiris. Romans and Greeks also attributed sacred properties to this plant, and used it to purify the ceremonial altars of their times. Hippocrates recommended it in cases of fever.

by Abdullah Sam
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