Friday, June 4, 2010

Verbena



Confusion.
There are two plants - Verbena officinalis Also known as Vervain Verbenacae
and Verbena bonariensis known as purple top.

Verbena Officinalis is used for medical purposes. Verbena bonarinsis is the purple top variety and is used in cottage gardens & for magick.

History
in Egypt Vervain was believed to have originated from the tears of Isis. Greek priests wore its root with their vestments. Vervain was the roman word for alter plants used for spiritual purification. A herb of prophecy by the magi. Anglo-Saxons thought it was as a powerful protector and plant of the holy salre against demons or disease.

Being sacred to Venus - it is used in love potions.


Goddess offerings - Aradia:- rue, vervain/verbena & apple

Cerridwen: vervain/verbena


Folklore meanings

Vervain means witchcraft

Verbena means spellbound.


stem - stiff, upright, square stemmed, hairy stem, die off in winter & re sprout from the base in spring

Leaf - on opposite sides of stem, slightly hairy, saw toothed, dark green

Flowers - small purple flowers in dense, showy clusters at top of the stem - flowers in Nz Jan - June


Grows in dense clumps ideal for cottage garden.

Hardy herbaceous perennial (living for more than 2 years & usually flowering each year)

Roots creeping rhizomes (underground stem, usually spreading horizontally)

site - direct sun or light shade

soil - fertile, well drained loam

propagation - sow in spring

Growing - thin or transplant to 12 inches apart.


Uses

verbena purple top Leaf - for love potions

Vervain infuse for eyes as an eye bath

Vervain hair tonic, mix with rosemary & massage infusion into scalp & use it as a rinse


Medicinal

Vervain Whole plant infused as a teas for digestive and for a sedative night cap after nervous exhaustion. For promotion of urine. As an anticoagulant or as a wash for bruising and to cool feverish foreheads

Vervain Leaf infuse as a gargle for sore throats. a poultice of dried leaves to treat wounds.


Harvesting

Pick leaves as required

cut whole plant when in bloom

dry leaves or whole plant if required




Worth reading....
http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Verbena
http://www.iewf.org/weedid/Verbena_bonariensis.htm

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