Description: Natural Order, Verbenaceae. This plant is common along roadsides, with its stem from three to five feet high, bearing a few paniculate and spreading branches above. Leaves opposite, oblong-lanceolate, taper-pointed, cut-serrate, on long petioles, the lower ones sometimes lobed and halbert- shaped at the base. Flowers small, in long, close, and slender spikes, terminal to the stem and branches; calyx five-toothed; corolla tubular, unequally five-cleft, bine. Root perennial, stem annual. Blooming from July to September. V. URTICIFOLIA, white vervain, is more slender in its habits of growth, with very small white flowers, and with properties similar to the blue species.
Properties and Uses: The roots and leaves are relaxant tonics, closely resembling the leaves of boneset, but a little more stimulating. A warm infusion is slowly diaphoretic, promotes laxity of the bowels, and proves emetic if used freely; and is sometimes used in colds, bilious remitting fever, and recent obstructions of the menses. A cold infusion is a good tonic and mild laxative; and a free use of a concentrated decoction many times will open and sustain the liver and gall-ducts so effectually as to cure intermittents. It has also been used for worms, where its action is similar to chelone. This article is nearly overlooked by the profession, but deserves decided attention.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com