Description, Characteristics, and Uses of Verbena

Are you familiar with medicinal plants and tisanes? You might want to keep reading this article as we're going to discuss the nutritional properties of verbena and its forms of consumption.
Description, Characteristics, and Uses of Verbena

Last update: 28 September, 2020

Verbena is a wild medicinal plant considered invasive in certain ecosystems. It has many applications in popular medicine as it can positively modulate your state of mind. It’s for this reason that people with recurrent anxiety and stress often use it.

Next, we’re going to tell you about all the possible uses of this plant — native to central Europe. This way you’ll be able to introduce it into your diet and begin to take advantage of its health properties.

Health benefits of verbena

This plant has been used as a purifying herb since ancient times. However, recent research revealed its intake has a soothing effect. It’s for this reason that people are beginning to use it in the treatment of depression and anxiety.

According to a study published in the Frontiers in Pharmacology journal, verbena has anxiolytic and sedative capabilities. This allows its use in various pathological pictures associated with nervous processes.

Despite this, researchers still need to do more clinical trials in order to evaluate its possible interaction with prescription drugs. Especially those prescribed for the treatment of these mental conditions.

In addition, this herb has antispasmodic and antidiarrheal properties, as stated in an article published in the Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine journal. Thus, it can improve acute diarrhea processes, reducing pain, and the risk of dehydration associated with loss of fluids.

Finally, note that verbena also has anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, there’s enough scientific evidence to affirm that it reduces inflammation associated with dental and oral problems and reduces swelling and symptoms. Not only that, it’s an effective natural remedy against pain caused by oral pathologies.

A garden with verbena.
Verbena’s anti-inflammatory properties make it an option for chronic pain.

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A possible antioxidant?

There’s speculation about the antioxidant capacity of verbena when consumed as an infusion. The phytochemicals in its composition could neutralize the formation of free radicals. Also, they could reduce the risk of developing complex diseases within the framework of a healthy diet.

It could also help delay the signs of aging. However, scientific literature has failed to demonstrate this ability so far. In fact, we need more studies to assess, evaluate, and demonstrate the effects of verbena infusion on oxidation.

Ways to consume verbena

You can find verbena, as a medicinal herb, in specialized stores. You can use it to make a drinkable infusion. There are also supplements that contain the dry plant in capsules. This presentation format is the most convenient when you want to use it in high doses. Either that or for the reduction of pain caused by gingivitis, for example.

It’s rare to use verbena as a condiment or food spice though. This is because it isn’t very tasty and doesn’t blend well with Western gastronomy.

In spite of everything, you can buy a combination of plants that contains this herb among its ingredients in many grocery stores and make infusions with it.

Drug interactions

We don’t know a lot about the interactions of verbena with prescription drugs. In any case, and given its capabilities, it’s best to avoid its consumption if you’re taking antidepressants.

The current medical literature doesn’t offer much information on the active ingredients of the plant. This is why we can’t evaluate its safety when mixed with drugs, so always exercise caution.

The best thing you can do is introduce the plant into your diet, but only if you don’t have a chronic condition or a serious pathology. As usual, it’s always best to consult a doctor who can clear up any doubts you might have.

Three bottles of verbena oil.
We don’t know much about the interactions of verbena with other drugs so consume it with caution.

The medicinal properties of verbena

Verbena is a wild medicinal plant with certain properties that can treat specific pathologies, especially those of an inflammatory nature.

Finally, know that verbena can also reduce the symptoms of acute diarrhea. However, keep in mind that there needs to be more research with which to evaluate the true potential of this herb, its application framework, and its limitations.

For the moment, we must settle for its natural form and drink it as an infusion in order to benefit from its anti-inflammatory and anti-diarrheal properties. Remember, always consult a physician to make sure that there are no contraindications.

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  • Khan AW., Khan AU., Ahmed T., Antioconvulsant, anxiolytic, and sedative activities of verbena officinalis. Front Pharmacol, 2016.
  • Sisay M., Bussa N., Gashaw T., Evaluation of the antispasmodic an antisecretory activities of the 80 % methanol extracts of verbena officinalis L: evidence from in vivo antidiarrheal study. J Evid Based Integr Med, 2019.
  • Grawish ME., Anees MM., Elsabaa HM., Abdel Raziq M., et al., Short term effects of verbena officinalis Linn decoction on patients suffering from chronic generalized gingivitis: double blind randomized controlled multicenter clinical trial. Quintessence Int, 2016. 47 (6): 491-8.
  • Etou Ossibi, A. W., et al. “Anti-oxidative stress potentiality of aqueous extract of the leaves of Lippia multiflora Moldenke (Verbenaceae).” Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry 5.6 (2016): 254-258.
  • da Silva, Alessandra P., et al. “Tyrosinase inhibitory activity, molecular docking studies and antioxidant potential of chemotypes of Lippia origanoides (Verbenaceae) essential oils.” PloS one 12.5 (2017): e0175598.
  • Almeida, Milene C., et al. “Genetic diversity and chemical variability of Lippia spp.(Verbenaceae).” BMC research notes 11.1 (2018): 725.