Jamaican vervine bush

5 Vervine Bush Benefits: Impressive Uses and Overview

Vervine bush benefits are touted by Jamaicans everywhere. So much so that it has been used to treat a number of health issues on the island since the 1800s.

And it is still one of the most widely used herbal remedies. 

The plant’s scientific name is Stachytarpheta jamaicensis.  Vervine bush is a member of the Verbenaceae family. It is native to the Caribbean and the Americas. 

Stachytarpheta jamaicensis has become naturalized in many places and as a result it is known by different names in various locations.

Some common names for Vervine bush are blue porter weed, blue snake weed, bastard vervain, Brazilian tea and Jamaica vervain.

However, Stachytarpheta jamaicensis -has become naturalized in many places and as a result the herb is known by other names in various locations.

These are some other common names for Vervine: blue porter weed, blue snake weed, bastard vervain, and Brazilian tea. In St Croix the plant is named  “worry vine.”

Jamaica Blue Vervain Plant Description

So what does Vervine look like? Stachytarpheta jamaicensis is a perennial weed. 

It is considered an invasive weed in many places. The plant can produce as many as 2000 seeds per plant.  

Stachytarpheta jamaicensis can be found growing along the sides of many Jamaican roadsides in the rural areas. 

It can also be found in fields, pastures and other open spaces.  

The plant has broad dark green oblong leaves. There are clusters of upright stems that resemble arrows. 

The stems bloom bright blue to lavender colored flowers. The flowers only stay open for one day.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something after clicking a on a link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Several Potential Vervine Bush Benefits

Research indicates that Vervine bush may offer some remarkable health benefits.

The chief active compound in vervine is Verbascoside which gives the plant its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antineoplastic properties. 

These properties are responsible for Vervine’s possible therapeutic potential.

May Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation happens when the body tries to recover from injury or defend itself from harmful invasion

Scientific research has confirmed that Vervine has anti-inflammatory properties which can help the body in the fight to reduce inflammation.

Untreated inflammation can lead to harmful diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer formation and heart disease.

One animal study  found that compounds in Stachytarpheta jamaicensis display pain blocking properties.

This means Vervine bush may help reduce inflammation linked to joint pain resulting from osteoarthritis.

May Reduce Growth of Bacteria

Numerous studies have been done to validate the antimicrobial effect of Vervine bush.

One such study using extracts from the leaves of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis showed that the extracts inhibited the growth of a number of bacteria. 

Results  showed that Vervine curbed the growth of  Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus bacteria among others.

In addition, the study also found that Vervine displayed antifungal effects.

May Help Fight Cancer

Antineoplastic agents are used in cancer treatment drugs. They kill or prevent the growth of cancer cells. 

There are naturally occuring antineoplastic chemicals identified in Vervine bush. 

This  means that the plant has potential used as a treatment for cancer.

May Help Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is one of the most common health conditions across the globe. It is responsible for a high number of disabilities and death.

An animal study to verify the effect of Vervine extracts on hypertension was conducted on mice and rabbits. 

Results showed that heart rates and blood pressure of the animals decreased as the dosage was increased.  More studies need to be done to confirm the results.

organic vervine bush extract
Vervine Extract

Benefits of Vervine Bush

  • Reduce Inflammation
  • Inhibit Bacteria Growth
  • Fight Viruses
  • Lower Cholesterol
  • Promote Sleep

May Be Used to Treat Diarrhea

Diarrhea is another of those common conditions that affect millions of people worldwide. 

The condition is marked by watery bowel movement occurring at frequent intervals.

One study of albino mice was conducted in Switzerland to confirm the plants being used in folk medicine as a treatment for diarrhea.

It was determined that Vervine bush does display antidiarrheal effects. Therefore the plant has the potential to be used in antidiarrheal drug development.

Additional Benefits of Vervine Bush

Scientific studies identified over 20 compounds in different species of Verbena species.

Here are some of the active chemicals that were found in the herbs makeup.

Verbenalin. This is a chemical compound found in the verbena family. It known to have sleep promoting effects. 

Recent test tubes research results suggests that verbenalin has the potential to improve brain damage caused by stroke.

It does this by promoting the development of new blood vessels.

Tannins. These are phenolic compounds. They are known to produce antioxidant effects that help with preventing degenerative diseases.

Tannins fight inflammation of the gut. They are also known to help prevent the formation of local blood clots.

Studies also show that tannins found in Jamaica vervain may potentially be used in the treatment of high cholesterol.

Citral. It is one of the compounds found in Vervine essential oil. Citral is known to possess anti-cancer properties.

Citral antimicrobial properties are also known to help prevent the growth of viruses, bacteria, fungus and protozoa.

Folk Medicinal Uses For Vervine

For many years Jamaica vervain has been used for treating medical conditions in Caribbean households.  

In Trinidad the leaves are used to make what’s called a “cooling tonic” for the elderly.

Vervine tea has been used to relieve minor medical ailments in Jamaican households for centuries. These conditions include:

Janaican Blue Vervain - vervine
Vervine Bush Tea

Vervine Bush Tea Uses

  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Allergies
  • Colds
  • The flu
  • Bronchitis 
  • Coughs
  • Asthma

Science has now validated the effectiveness of some of those uses. 

Although scientific evidence shows that Vervine bush has many chemical compounds that have high medicinal values. However, a lot more research needs to be done.

Vervine Bush Tea

Fresh or dried Vervine leaves are used on the island to make a bush tea. That bush tea is used for treating number of minor ailments.

In Trinidad the leaves are used to make what’s called a “cooling tonic” for the elderly. The tea is taken to alleviate digestive issues especially in seniors.

Note however, that using vervine self-medicate is not recommended. Reason is vervine is not approved for effectiveness for treating disease.

Risks and Side Effects of Vervine Bush

There appears to be no risk in taking Vervain orally. In fact it is one of the products on Food and Drug Administration (FDA) list of products Generally Recognized As Safe-GRAS.

However you may want to avoid long term use of the herb.

Special Precaution:  If you are pregnant or breastfeeding avoid using the herb because there is very little data about its SAFETY for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Related: You May Also Like Guinea Hen Weed Benefits

Where to Buy Jamaican Blue Vervain

Blue vervain marketed online as a wildcrafted super-herb. Products are labeled as Jamaica vervain or Blue vervain.

Vervine products come in the form of tea bags, loose leaf, powder, and liquid extracts.

These products can be purchased from online marketplaces such as Etsy and Amazon.

As with all herbal remedies, keep in mind that they are not approved for medicinal use. And and some may even cause harmful side effects and intractions with medication you already take.

Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only. Nothing on this site is to be used as medical information advice. Please consult with your professional medical provider for advice relating to your healthcare.

Know someone who would like this? Please share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

2 Comments

  1. Wiedza w Blogach says:

    This is some helpful stuff. It took me a while to unearth this website but it was worth the time. I noticed this page was hidden in google and not the number one spot. This web page has a lot of high-quality material and it doesnt deserve to be burried in the search engines like that. By the way Im going to add this web publication to my list of favorites.

    1. Thank You. I am glad you found the website and I am happy you like the info.