Blue vervain, American Blue Vervain, American Vervain, Swamp Vervain, Wild Hyssop, and Simpler's Joy are just some of the common names applied to Verbena hastata. A member of the Verbenaceae, it is native to most of the 48 contiguous U.S. states and adjacent Canada, occurring in fields, thickets; often in moist soils. Traditionally, the herb was used to relieve gastric irritation, as an expectorant and to induce sweating. Use by indigenous peoples was adopted by early European settlers. Despite widespread and long-use in herbal medicine in North America, there is scant research on this widespread native plant. It contains hastatoside, an iridoid, with anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity. An ethanolic extracts has been shown to have antidiarrheal effects and induces gastrointestinal motility.
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