Vervain tincture

• stress and tension

• premenstrual tension

• menstrual headaches

• nervous tension

• poor absorption

• digestive problems

• inability to relax

• living on nerves

• hyperactivity

• thyroid imbalance

As a tincture, vervain is cooling for menopausal hot flashes. It is particularly valuable to have available where restlessness and nervous tension are part of the menopausal picture.

Vervain tea is good for childhood illnesses, where the child is restless and irritable. Instead of fidgeting, he or she will be helped to relax and recuperate. If there is a fever, vervain will encourage sweating and prevent the temperature from going too high. It combines well with lime blossom or elderflower for fevers.

Although there has been too little modern research on vervain, experience and the clinical practice of the herbalists who use it largely support its old reputation as a "heal-all." It is a safe remedy, gentle enough for children and convalescents, and tonic for older people.

Unfortunately, vervain seems to be becoming less common as a wild plant. If you can't find any near you, it is worth growing some in your garden for medicinal use. It self-seeds readily.

Harvesting vervain

Pick vervain when in flower, ideally toward the end of flowering. For use as a tea, dry the above-ground parts whole in a warm cupboard or in the open air on a piece of paper. When the plant is crisp, discard the larger stems and cut up or crumble into small pieces.

Vervain tea

Use a heaped teasoonful of the dried herb per mug of boiling water, and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Strain and drink hot.

Dose: 1 mug three times a day. For insomnia from restlessness, drink a cupful or two in the evening. For sprains and deep bruises, 2 or 3 cups a day for at least three or four days.

Combinations: Mixes well with lime blossom for flavor and therapeutic value; also effective with self-heal.

Vervain tincture

Chop up fresh vervain and put in a blender with enough vodka to cover. Blend briefly, then pour the mixture into jars and keep in a cool dark place for a week. Strain and bottle.

Dose: 20 drops in a little water three times daily.

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