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A roughly hairy, perennial plant, blue vervain has an erect, branched, four angled stem. It grows three to four feet tall with all the branches growing upward and bearing opposite, lance shaped, coarsely toothed leaves and dense terminal spikes of flowers. It is found in wet places such as fields, woods, roadsides and marshes throughout the United States and Southern Canada. The flower spikes resemble a candelabrum. The flowers open a few at a time beginning at the base of each spike. Each bloom is tubular with five equal petal lobes, usually blue but may be pink or white. The fruit is four nutlets enclosed in calyx. There is another equally widespread species, with pinnately dissected leaves and obvious bracts in the flower spikes. Other vervains have purple or violet flowers. Most are found in central and eastern areas of the United States.

Blue vervain contains an important glycoside called verbenalin. The herb also has certain volatile oil, saponins, tannins and other substances unnecessary to mention here. The saponins and tannins provide a chemical resistance against infection in the tissue and blood of the body. But it is to the above glycoside that we must address ourselves. Verbenalin works on the sensory nerves leading to the brain. These govern our sight, taste, smell, etc. This alkaloid has strong sedative characteristics about itself and virtually dominates the entire plant. Verbenalin provides a tranquilizing sensation to the mind, so that where there is restlessness and agitation, calm and order will prevail instead. This glycoside nearly always induces conditions of deep restfulness and sleep in those suffering from insomnia. More than any other single compound it gives positive relaxation to minds sorely in need of such. Blue vervain in combination with ginger root, periwinkle herb, capsicum fruit, lobelia herb and blessed thistle herb is used to nourish the brain, rejuvenate brain cells and tissues, as well as improve the memory.