The herb vervain is a common perennial wildflower in England, found growing at the edge of roads and in meadows. It has a long history of use in Celtic religious tradition, and has been used as medicine by many cultures. The leaf and flower are the parts used medicinally.
Like other bitter plants, vervain has been used to stimulate appetite and digestion. Other traditional uses include treating abdominal spasms, fevers, depression (especially following illness or childbirth), and inadequate flow of breast milk.
What Is Vervain Used for Today?
Vervain is commonly recommended today to increase flow of breast milk
One study in rats found possible sedative effects with a vervain extract.
A typical dosage of vervain is 2–3 grams three times daily, taken as dry herb or made into tea. Equivalent dosages are also available in tincture form, and may be more palatable.
Although vervain is thought to be a relatively safe herb, it has not undergone any meaningful safety testing at a modern scientific level. There is some reason to believe it may not be safe for use in pregnancy. 3 Despite its reputation for enhancing flow of breast milk, safety in nursing women has also not been established. Additionally, safety in young children or people with severe liver or kidney disease remains unknown.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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