Verbenaceae

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Vervain

A sacred herb used to cleanse the table of Zeus before a feast in ancient Greece. In Rome it was also strewn on the altars of Jupiter, and water containing vervain was also sprinkled in houses to cast out evil spirits.

Among the Druids particularly it was employed in connection with many forms of superstition. They gathered it at daybreak, before the sun had risen. Later sorcerers followed the same usage, and demonologists believed that in order to evoke demons it was necessary to be crowned with vervain.

During the Crusades it was believed that when the nails were driven into the hands of Christ, vervain sprang upon Calvary.

The old herbalists recommended vervain to ease childbirth, and for jaundice, dropsy, gout, worms, stomach complaints, wound healing, ulcers and piles. Native Americans used ver-vain to cure menstrual disorders.

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vervain herbaceous plant of the genus Verbena. XIV. — (O)F. verveine — L. verbēna VERBENA.

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vervain Herb (Verbena officianilis) used to make herb tea.