White Vervain, Verbena urticifolia, is an easily overlooked flower of summer because the flowers are small and only a few open at a time. The flowers grow in spikes, the leaves are opposite, coarsely toothed, and egg-shaped. The stem is known to be usually hairy. It was not used as a food source but it does have some medicinal value. The Meskwaki made an infusion of the roots and took it for profuse menstruation and ate its roots to restore health. Western herbal medicine used it to relieve gastric irritations, fever, anorexia, gravel, worms and it was mixed with white oak and used for poisoning caused by poison ivy.
White Vervain Sources:
Felter, Harvey Wickes, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D. King’s American Dispensatory, Vol. 2. Cincinnati: The Ohio Valley Company, 1905. pg. 2055-2056
Foster, Steven and James A. Duke. The Peterson Field Guide Series; A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America. 2nd. ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000. Print. pg. 176-177
Moerman Daniel E., Native American Ethnobotany, Portland: Timber Press. 1998. Print. pg. 592
Newcomb, Lawrence. Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1977. Print. pg. 282-283
United States Department of Agriculture. Natural Resources Conservation Services. Web.