Vervain, the Herb of Enchantment, is a scentless perennial herb of the northern hemisphere that is also called Vervan, Van Van, Ferfaen, Verbein, Verbena, Verbinaca, Dragon's Claw, Enchanterís Plant, Tears of Isis, Junoís Tears, Herba Veneris (herb of Venus), Persephonion, Demetria, Mercury's Moist Blood, Peristerium, Sagmina, Pigeon Grass, Pigeonwood, Frog-foot, Simplerís Joy, Columbine, Altar Plant, Herba Sacra or Herbe Sacrée, Holy Plant, Herb of Cross, Holy Herb, and Herb of Grace. It meant ìEnchantmentî in the old Language of Flowers.
Vervain achieved a reputation as a virtual panacea. Colds, fevers, so-called nervous complaints, skin infections, and gout were among the disorders it was supposed to cure. Herbalists still recommend vervain tea occasionally as a tonic, astringent, diuretic, diaphoretic (for reducing fever by inducing sweating), sedative, antispasmodic, and aphrodisiac. Brought to North America by the Puritans, Verbena officinalis is now nearly as common on the continent as the native American Verbena species. One of them, V. hastata, is also credited with medicinal properties.
Vervain is used in magic for balance, anointing, centering, banishing, releasing, clearing, prosperity, peace, youth, visions, creativity, love spells, protection, divination, enchantment, inner power, healing, sleep, purification, immortality, invisibility, fertility, luck (especially for brides), justice, happiness, will power, prophesy, self-control, inner power, money spells, ritual cleansing, success in court, averting evil, blessing the home, creating harmony, enchanting locks, removing hexes, making children happy and apt to learn, giving children a love for learning, and for defensive magic. Vervain is also considered a good purification incense. Vervain is used as an astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, galactagogue, stimulant, tonic, and vulnerary. In addition to the normal uses indicated by the categories, the decoction is said to be good for eczema and other skin conditions. It has also been used for whooping cough, dropsy, jaundice, and kidney and liver problems. An infusion or decoction is used to help heal wounds. European vervain is considered by some to be an aphrodisiac, and it is said to secure the favor of the ladies.