North American native perennial herb, found growing along roadsides, in open sunny fields, and waste places throughout the United States and southern Canada. Cultivation: Blue Vervain succeeds in any moderately fertile well-drained but moisture retentive soil in a sunny position, sow seed in early spring or root division in spring. Basal cuttings in early summer. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem for transplanting. Growing erect from 2-3 feet tall, with square stems and opposite branches. The leaves are opposite, serrate, and lanceolate with short leaf stalks. The flowers are small and pale-lilac, 5 petaled and arranged on long numerous spikes in a panicle. Blue Vervain flowers bloom from June to September. Gather entire plant just before flowers open, dry for later herb use. Gather after flowers fade and dry to loosen seed for roasting.
Blue Vervain is edible and medicinal. Vervain had many uses in Native American culture as food and medicine. The seed are edible when roasted and are ground into a powder and used as a piñole (an Indian flour).
The leaves and roots of Blue Vervain are a valuable alternative medicine used as an antidiarrheal, analgesic, anthelmintic, antiperiodic, astringent, diaphoretic, emetic, emmenagogue, expectorant, sedative, tonic, vermifuge, vulnerary. It is useful in intermittent fevers, ulcers, pleurisy, scrofula, gravel, easing pain in the bowels and expelling worms. A very strong infusion is emetic. As a medicinal poultice it is good in headache and rheumatism. An infusion of the plant is a good galactagogue (increases breast milk) and used for female obstructions, afterpains and taken as a female tonic.
The infusion is used to help pass kidney stones and for infections of the bladder. Used as a sudorific and taken for colds and coughs. Also useful for insomnia and other nervous conditions. Recent medical research has detected the presents of adenosine, aucubin, beta-carotene, caffeic-acid, citral, hastatoside, lupeol, ursolic-acid, verbenalin, verbenin, and other chemical constituents in this plant which prove these uses to be valid. But much more research needs to be done on this herb and its constituents. It may prove to be useful in treating many cancers and other diseases.