Blue vervain is regarded as the "herb of the cross" because it is said to have been used by Jesus to stop the bleeding from his wounds on Calvary. The ancient Romans used this "sacred" herb to sanitize temples and their homes. It is also said that the medieval witches used it as a love potion. If someone was to wash their hands in blue vervain, anyone they touched would fall in love with them.
Blue vervain is used to treat colds, coughs, and fever by expelling mucus from the lungs and by cooling the body through sweating. Between the sweating and the diuretic effect it has, it makes a wonderful herbal remedy in removing toxins from the body.
• It contains large amounts of tannins and can be used as a mouthwash to treat mouth ulcers and bleeding gums. In ancient times, people would chew on the root of blue vervain to strengthen their teeth and gums.
• It is said to treat diarrhea, heal peptic ulcers, and expel worms. It is also used to maintain liver health, cure gallstones and kidney stones, relieve arthritis pain, and treat headaches and migraines.
• Blue vervain can also increase energy levels and alleviate tension and irritability. It is used to treat depression, calm nerves, soothe anxiety, and promote sleep.
- Ward W. Bond, PhD
Lobelia inflata is an herb that is used to treat asthma, allergies, whooping cough, congestion, and bronchitis. In the past, it was also useful for tobacco withdrawal as an herbal remedy to quit smoking. It is found in the southeastern part of Canada from Nova Scotia to Southeast Ontario and British Columbia. It is also present in the eastern half of the United States (excluding the state of Florida).
Lobelia is a fragile flower described as light bluish to violet in color with a touch of yellow that can grow to a height of about three feet. It is a very popular garden plant that also has pale green or yellowish leaves. It is categorized as an annual or biennial plant meaning that it reseeds every year or two. The stem is smooth towards the top and hairy and rough towards its bottom. The flowers are asymmetrical and bisexual. The main parts used of the Lobelia plant are the flowering parts and the seeds. The seeds are the most potent because they contain lobeline, a piperidine alkaloid.
Named after Matthias de Lobel, a 17th century botanist, Lobelia is known as Indian Tobacco because it contains lobeline. Lobeline is believed to have a chemical make up similar to nicotine and was therefore used as an alternative to tobacco. In the 19th century, Lobelia was also used as a medicinal herb to induce vomiting, thus removing harmful poisons from the body.
Lobelia is a wonderful herb for those who desire to stop smoking. Because it contains lobeline, a property that can mimic nicotine, it will help to reduce cravings to nicotine. Lobelia isn't just about reducing the craving for nicotine, but has the added benefit of calming the nerves while trying to quit and who can forget it's amazing power to help one breathe more effectively while removing congestion from the lungs!