Aside from the aesthetics of having beautiful plants growing in my front yard, one of the main reasons I chose to grow specific plants was to learn more about their therapeutic uses by getting to know them. Verbena hastata, or Blue Vervain, has been capturing my attention lately, its blue flowering spikes extending higher and higher, continuing to bloom for what seems like an eternity for a perennial plant. Having rarely used it in my clinical practice, I know Vervain primarily as a Bach Flower remedy.
One of the twelve original remedies used by Dr. Bach, it is helpful in mental/emotional states where there is an anxious tension and physical exhaustion related to straining oneself in support of a good cause. It is for people with fixed principles and ideas, over-achievers who put everything into their undertakings, pushing themselves to take on too much, their minds consistently running, unable to slow down or stop. The positive side of Vervain is the person who holds strong views but does not impose them on others and can change them when appropriate. As Dr. Bach wrote, Vervain can help us understand that “it is by being rather than doing that great things are accomplished.”
This rigidity of mind described by Dr. Bach, is mirrored in Vervain’s botanical uses for tension or stiffness in the neck, and epilepsy, especially where the spasm begins in the neck. It is this sense of tension and straining which initially drew my attention to the plant growing in my garden. While other plants bow to the wind or bend toward the sun, Vervain continues to stand tall, stubbornly over-exerting itself by continuing to produce seemingly unending blossoms on its long flower spikes.