Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden
Blue vervain or American blue vervain, Verbena hastata, is closely related to the common (European) vervain, which is also sometimes called blue vervain. Other names by which it is known include swamp verbena, American vervain, false vervain, Indian hyssop, purvain and traveler’s joy; it shares the names simpler’s joy, wild hyssop and vervain with the common vervain. It is not related to hyssop or lemon verbena.
Blue vervain is a native of North America, whereas common vervain is a native of Europe. It reaches a height of 4’6″ (1.5m), more than twice the height of common vervain, and a spread of 2 feet (60cm). It requires moist, well drained soil and will not grow in shade.
Blue vervain is not quite as useful as common vervain, but it does have one unique property, which is that it is “antiperiodic“, which means it can be used to treat diseases like malaria. I don’t recall covering any other herb that can be used for this illness so far (though I may be wrong), and it’s true that currently this disease doesn’t often occur in the West, but with global warming it seems that this is only a matter of time. Maybe it’s not such a bad idea to start growing this plant now, so that it will be well established in case of need!
As with all herbal remedies, to avoid adulteration by foreign chemicals, you should grow blue vervain organically. To find out more about growing organic herbs visit the Gardenzone.