This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
VERBENA belongs to the Verbenaceae plant family. There are about 800 different species in this group. The botanical name is Lippia citriodora. The plant was introduced in the Isle of Wight in England at the end of the 18th century. Planted as a shrub it became for some time a decorative plant in European gardens. It gained a certain popularity as herbal tea there and particularly after in France. Until today Verbena tea, comparable to Chamomile tea in Germany, is a common drink in French households or cafés.
The plant is native to South America, especially Chile and Paraguay, but today it is also cultivated in Southern Europe with France being said to provide the best quality. Because of its citrus-like scent it is sometimes called “lemon shrub”. Verbena reaches a height of about 2 m. with its leaves being lanceolate and with whitish blossoms at the tips of the twigs. The plant is resistant to drought and sun and is content with average soils. Once settled, it only needs little care. The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the lanceolate leaves. 100 kg of Verbena can yield between 100 to 700 gr. of essential oil. Due to its expensiveness it is often adulterated with Lemongrass thereby of course loosing much of its quality. The fragrance is citrus-like, refreshing, tender and uplifting.
The main chemical compounds are Aldehydes, also Monoterpenes, Sequiterpenes, Monoterpenoles, Sequisterpenols, Oxides. For example: Geranial, Neral, Limonene, 1,8-cineol, beta-Caryophyllene, Sabinene, Geranyl-Acetate etc. Verbena blends well with all Citrus oils, Jasmin, Lavender, Lemongrass, Neroli, Palmarosa, Peppermint, Rosemary, Tonka and Frankincense.
Historic research proves that mankind since long has associated the plant with divine powers. In Ancient Egypt it was called ‘tears of Isis’. Early Christian folk legends report that Verbena was used to staunch Jesus’ wounds on the Mount of Cavalry after he had been taken from the cross. Many ancient cultures ascribed sacred characteristics to the herb and believed in its capability of bestowing the gift of prophesy and vision upon its user. Hence, it was a favoured herb among the magic and mystical sages in the Orient.
In Ancient Greece Verbena was dedicated to Goddess Venus and used as an ingredient in love potions. Among the Anglo-Saxons it was held in high esteem as a strong guard against evil spirits. Therefore not surprising today, that Verbena is said to help people being stuck in sadness and unhappiness caused by negative experiences in the past. The chemical components, esp. the Aldehydes and Monoterpenes, help to leave behind anxieties and fears and to return back into the here and now. Due to these characteristics Verbena oil assists in overcoming listlessness, mental exhaustion, depression and grief. Beneficial therefore to put some drops of the essential oil into the aroma lamp in order to stimulate stamina and positivity.
Many healing effects
Looking from the spiritual side we see that negativity within the aura is dissolved and our magnetic field is fed again with harmonious frequencies . Therefore Verbena oil is also able to protect our physical energies. It acts as an inner trauma healer, calms and soothes the nervous system, and our consciousness is guided again by zest for life and by new perspectives. Interesting is here, that the herb also serves to heal physical wounds and to tone the skin, the mirror of our inner worlds. Mixed with carrier oil Verbena is good also to relax the muscles – for example in the field of sports.
Verbena oil unfolds also reliable medicinal reactions when blended in massage oil or diluted in the bath. Here it helps with digestive disorders and gives a boost to liver functions. Preparations of the plant act as tonic for the stomach due to its antispasmodic properties, thus strengthening the metabolic system. It also provides relief for problems with the respiratory tract such as bronchitis, whooping coughs, asthma and sore throat thereby showing its expectorant qualities.
Verbena also has medicinal effects in case the heart is affected for example through tachycardia. Here also an oral intake is recommended. Since long people knew that the herb is an excellent remedy against dizziness. In that case inhalation of the herb is helpful. By virtue of its blood circulation stimulating functions the essential oil is very beneficial in treating muscle spasms and rheumatism thereby developing its pain-killing capabilities. In this case massage oil is recommended.
Also well known already within Egyptian healing arts, Verbena has been used as a tea during the birth process particularly in the final phase to stimulate the contractions of the uterus. After the child is born it supports the milk production of the mother. It is also said to increase fertility. Furthermore it helps with skin diseases like weakness of the connective tissue, inflammation of the mucous membrane, dermatitis such as Acne and Psoreasis.
And last but not least: Verbena is an excellent helper against insomnia.
“We were on an outing during one of our intl. seminars in High Provence – a whole “caravan” of several cars and minibuses. We suddenly got a call in our front car from one of the minibus drivers that a lady participants was not feeling well at all and that they had to stop for a moment on the mountain road. We were already quite ahead and asked them whether they could join us quickly on a parking place in the nearby town. When they arrived the lady had nearly fainted. I slowly helped her out of the minibus and asked her what had happened. She had a strong flashback into a very traumatic experience with a former partner. She could hardly speak but what I understood was that she had seen the “other side” as she said, “the light at the end of the tunnel”, meaning: she was about to leave her body. I just had the right oil in my bag… I took a small bottle of lemon Verbena and asked her to hold it under her nose and inhale deeply for a few minutes. That brought her back within a few moments. She started to speak more clearly and explained the whole process she had gone through – Quite amazing. I made a 15 minute walk with her through the beautiful streets of this ancient medieval town.”
Dr. Malte Hozzel – summer 2015
A few recipes
Nervous depression (D. Baudoux)
• Verbena 0,5 ml
• Roman Chamomile 1 ml
• Ravintsara 3,5 ml
4 to 6 drops of the mix 2 times per day as friction along the spine or the chakras
• Marjoram: 1 drop
• Verbena:1 drop
applied on the solar plexus and repeated as needed
• Marjoram: 3 ml
• Verbena: 1 ml
• Petitgrain bigarade.: 5 ml
• Ravintsara: 2 ml
• Ylang-Ylang: 2 ml
• Frankincense: 1 ml
3 drops of the mixture on the solar plexus and on the inside of the wrists 2 to 3 times a day. If the depression is important, energetic massage along the spine with 8 drops of the mixture twice a day.
Severe insomnia (D. Baudoux)
• Verbena: 0.5 ml
• Petitgrain big.: 2 ml
• Ledum groenlandicum: 0.5 ml
• Ravintsara: 1.5 ml
Rose hip oil carrier oil or transcutol: 5 ml
4 to 6 drops of the mixture, applied to the solar plexus – 1/2 hour before bedtime
Asthma (D. Baudoux)
• Verbena: 1 ml
• Tarragon: 2 ml
• Red Myrtle: 1 ml
• Gaultheria: 1 ml
• Mandarin: 2 ml
6 drops of the mixture, applied locally to the chest and upper back, even before the onset of the attack and during the asthma attack. Repeat every 30 minutes until complete improvement.
Crohn’s disease (D. Baudoux)
• Verbena: 1 ml
• Marjoram: 2 ml
• Rose Geranium: 2 ml
• Origan compactum: 1 ml
• Cistus: 2 ml
Calophyll Inophyllum carrier oil: 3 ml
2 drops of the mixture – 3 times a day, before each meal on 1/4 sugar or in a teaspoon of olive oil, for 3 weeks, stop 1 week, then resume the treatment. In addition, 6 drops of the mixture, applied to the skin on the lower back and stomach – twice a day.
A few more points
As with Verbena we see that we pick up the frequencies of the plant oil through our olfactive cells that transport the information via nerve cords to the limbic system in our brain where the control centers, the pituitary, pineal, hypothalamus, and amygdala glands have their place. Here our past experiences are stored and mental and emotional “stress bubbles” filled with fear and trauma can be dissolved resonating also into the subtle layers of our physical body for regaining vitality and strength.
Apart from inhalation of the pure essential oil the fresh tonifying and at the same time smoothening Verbena oil can be blended easily with any carrier oil and rubbed into the skin of the elbow or the chest if respiratory disorders are the problem. The skin cells immediately pick up the blend and shortly after application “echoes” of this will show up in our blood. Already an hour later results can even be detected in the exhaled air of a person.
Verbena is a good example for the many simultaneous effects of medicinal plants and their essential oils. Since time immemorial mankind has been aware of the healing properties of medicinal plants. There was this ancient alliance between plant and man which we have unfortunately lost to quite some degree due to life style changes, education, the influence of modern allopathic chemo-medicine etc. Of course, also in ancient times access to certain secrets of medicinal plant knowledge was not always available for everybody. Healers, priests, and privileged persons often kept their knowledge of certain herbs and recipes hidden from the mainstream people. But today – fortunately – Nature’s medicine has become truly accessible to everybody, and not only via our local plants, but through the global ethnomedical research and availability of aromatic plants in form of essential oils.
Magic of curative energies crystallized in a few fragrant drops from Nature’s healing hands of wisdom and light!