Verbena, a soothing and digestive plant
Verbena officinalis has many virtues. Rebalancing digestive, expectorant or hormonal, it is effective even in infusions. As long as you don't mistake it for aromatic verbena.
"Cure all", "sacred herb", many expressions celebrate the virtues of verbena officinalis.
Distinguish verbena officinalis and fragrant verbena
However, it is often stolen by its "cousin", the aromatic verbena, native to South America and whose leaves, oval and regular, give off a pleasant lemon scent when wrinkled. Hence its name of aromatic verbena, lemon or lemongrass.
"However, they are not exactly the same plants and their properties are not identical even though they belong to the same family", confirms Dr. Jean-Michel Morel, a phytotherapist.
How to distinguish verbena officinalis and fragrant verbena? Medicinal verbena is lemonless and its leaves have a very serrated jagged edge.
Medicinal verbena relieves digestive pain (gastritis, colitis, etc.) associated with spasms thanks to the natural anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic drugs it contains (iridoids and flavonoids including apigenin).
Medicinal verbena helps to drain the bronchial tubes.
Verbena officinalis acts on dry coughs through its polyphenols, its anti-inflammatory iridoids and, to a small extent, its verbenone essential oil.
In addition, it dilutes secretions thanks to its mucilage 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 dried officinal verbena (4 teaspoons) poured into half a liter of boiling water, infused for 15 minutes, then filtered, to drink an herbal tea throughout the day, for at least four to five days.
Contraindications: in which cases should verbena be avoided?
In case of iron deficiency, because vervain slows down digestive absorption.
During pregnancy, due to its hormonal action.
In children, because we do not know its long-term effects.
How do you know what verbena you are buying?
Nothing specified on the bag or box? This is aromatic verbena if it reads "irresistible aroma", "delicately", "deliciously" or "slightly lemony".
In the supermarket, very few specialties use verbena officinalis, they prefer aromatic verbena because it smells good, and the manufacturers claim the same qualities.