“Heals everything”, “sacred herb” … many expressions celebrate the virtues of verbena.
Distinguish officinal verbena and fragrant verbena
Yet she often gets stolen from the limelight by its “cousin”, the fragrant verbena, native to South America and whose leaves, oval and regular, give off a pleasant lemony scent when crumpled. Hence its name of fragrant verbena, lemon or lemongrass.
“However, they are not quite the same plants and their properties are not identical even if they belong to the same family”, confirms Dr. Jean-Michel Morel, phytotherapist.
How to distinguish officinal verbena and fragrant verbena? The officinal verbena is not lemony and its leaves have a very jagged notched edge.
Medicinal verbena calms digestive disorders
Officinal verbena soothes digestive pains (gastritis, colitis, etc.) linked to spasms thanks to the anti-inflammatory drugs and natural antispasmodics it contains (iridoids and flavonoids including apigenin).
How to consume it?
We can drink it in herbal tea, a teaspoonful of dried plant (5 g), three times a day. It can also be found in pharmacies in the form of a mother tincture, 50 drops, three to four times a day, or a fluid extract, 50 drops morning and evening to be diluted in a glass of water. To extend as long as the symptoms last.
Medicinal verbena helps to drain the bronchi
Medicinal verbena acts on dry coughs via its polyphenols, its anti-inflammatory iridoids and, to a small extent, its verbenone essential oil.
Furthermore, it thins the secretions thanks to its mucilages and thus facilitates expectoration. An ideal combination to overcome all coughs, the nature of which is sometimes difficult to determine, dry or oily.
How to consume it?
In herbal tea : 20 g of dry officinal verbena (4 tsp) thrown in half a liter of boiling water, infused for 15 minutes, then filtered, for an herbal tea to drink throughout the day, for at least four to five days.
Contraindications: in which cases should verbena be avoided?
- In case of iron deficiency because verbena slows down digestive absorption.
- During pregnancy, due to its hormonal action.
- In children and this, in a prolonged way, because we do not know its long-term effects.
How do you know which verbena you’re buying?
Nothing is specified on the bag or on the box? It is fragrant verbena whether you read “with an irresistible scent”, “delicately”, “deliciously” or “slightly lemony”.
In the supermarket, very few specialties use officinal verbena. Almost all brands – Auchan, Carrefour, Éléphant, Jardin Bio, Lipton, La Tisanière, Les 2 Marmottes, Monoprix, Romon Nature or Tiséa Marque Repère – prefer fragrant verbena because it smells good, manufacturers claiming the same qualities. In reality, it is especially its essential oil that is effective : sedative, anxiolytic, digestive and antimicrobial (essential oil of scent verbena Pranarôm, € 28 per 5 ml bottle, in pharmacies and organic stores). After skin application of scent verbena, it is contraindicated to expose yourself to the sun.