Jamaican vervine bush

10 Impressive Benefits of Vervine Bush Worth Exploring

For many generations, Jamaicans have shared the benefits if Vervine bush among themselves. in fact Jamaican natives have used Vervine bush to treat many health issues since the 1800s.

And today it may be a more used herbal remedy than it was back then. So what is Vervine?

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

But the Vervine plant grows in sub-tropical regions of Africa, Europe, Malaysia, Indionesia and other locations.

But, Stachytarpheta jamaicensis has become naturalized in many places.  And as a result you may know the plant by its local name.

Vervine Plant

Some common names for Vervine bush are blue porter weed, blue snake weed. In St Croix the plant is named  “worry vine.”

Other people may call it bastard Vervain, Brazilian tea, But the plant’s most most accepted common name is Jamaica Vervain.

So what does Vervine look like? Here’s a brief description of the Vervine plant. It is a perennial herb with strong roots. Vervine plant has dark green leathery leaves that grow opposite to each other.

The plant also has erect green stems that are about four to six inches tall. These stems bloom small blue to purple flowers.

The blooms live for about a day. If you pick them they die within an hour. 

Vervine is considered an invasive weed in many places. Each plant can produce as many as 2000 seeds.

Stachytarpheta jamaicensis can be found growing along the sides of many Jamaican road sides in the rural areas.  It can also be found in fields, pastures and other open spaces.  

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.

Vervine Bush Health Benefits

Vervine bush has been a subject of many studies. Research identified numerous benefits of Vervine. They include some remarkable health benefits. That’s due to the chemical makeup of the plant.

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

The main active compound in Vervine is Verbascoside. This compound gives the Vervine plant its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antineoplastic and other properties. 

Below are some benefits of Vervine that you may find interesting.

1. Antacid

These are agents to counteract acid in the stomach. Antacids are used to treat heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux and stomach ulcers and similar digestive problems.

 Compounds found in Stachytarpheta jamaicensis indicate that the herb may be useful for relieving some of those digestive issues.

2. Diuretic

A diuretic is a drug that is used to increase urine output. Their goal is to remove excess sodium from the body.

Some people who experience  high blood pressure, heart failure, fluid retention, liver disease or kidney disease often take diuretics.

The Vervine bush has active chemicals that behave like diuretics. So the plant may someday be used in that capacity.

3. Vasodilator

Vervine has vasodilating properties. Vasodilators prevent muscle walls from tightening and arteries and veins from becoming narrow.  

With open blood vessels there is better blood flow. The action contributes to lower blood pressure and better heart health.

4. Anti-inflammatory

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

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

Research has confirmed that Vervine has anti-inflammatory properties which can help the body in the fight to reduce both acute and chronic inflammation.

wild vervine plant
Vervine Plant

Benefits of Vervine

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antibacterial
  • Antiviral
  • Antidiarreaheal
  • Antianxiety
  • Duiretic
  • Antacid

5. Analgesics

These are painkillers that offer relief for my different types of pan. Several animal studies support claims that Vervine can provide pain relief.

An animal study to test for anti-inflammatiory and antinociceptive power used leaves extracts to find out whether Vervine can help pain. Reports show Vervine does help relieve pain.

Bottom line is Vervine bush may help reduce inflammation related pain.

6. Antidiarrheal

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.

Research was performed using the methanol extract of the leaves of S. jamaicensis in castor oil and magnesium sulfate-induced diarrhea.

The study used Swiss Albino mice as test subjects. Evidence from this study shows that the methanol extract of S. jamaicensis had a significantly high amount of antidiarrheal activity in Swiss albino mice.

Therefore confirming the Vervine plant  may one day play a role in the development of antidiarrheal drugs.

7. Antimicrobial

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

Jamaica Vervain contains a compound call Citral. Citral antimicrobial properties are also known to help prevent the growth of viruses, bacteria, fungus and protozoa.

One such study using extracts from the leaves of Stachytarpheta jamaicensis confrims that Verine plant extracts can inhibited the growth of a number of bacteria. 

The reports state that Vervine bush extracts stunt the growth of Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

liquid vervine extract

8. Hypotensive

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 showed that Vervine had a positive effect on hypertension.

The heart rates and blood pressure of the tested animals decreased when they were given Vervine extract.

9. Repair Cells

Srokes ofen cause serious brain damage. Verbenalin is one of the active chemical compounds found in plants in the verbena family.

Recent test tube studies suggests that verbenalin has the potential to improve brain damage caused by stroke.

The compound works by feeding energy and blood supply to the brain. This action helps with improved brain function and the development of new blood vessels after a stroke.

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

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

10. Insomnia

Verbenalin is a compound found in Vervine. The compound is known to cause a calming effect. Therefore Vervine tea which contains verbenalin may help you fall asleep and stay sleeping longer.

Researchers gave mice Vervain extract, containing verbenalin, they noticed an increase in the sedative effect as they increased the dosage.

The tested mice fell asleep faster and selp for longer periods of time.

Jamaica Vervine Uses

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. Some benefits of Vervine bush includ relief from headaches, abdominal pain, coughs, colds, the flu, and other common ailments.

Fresh or dried Vervine leaves are used on the island to make a bush tea. That bush tea is used for treating several 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 note all studies referenced in this article are animal studies. There many more human studies are needed to determine the products safety for humans. So you may want to avoid long term use Vervine.

Some users of Vervain products have reported itching, rash, vomitting, swelling, wheezing and diarrhea,

Herbal remedies are not approved for medicinal use. So be sure to talk to your Doctor before starting a herbal regimen.

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

Related: You May Also Like Guinea Hen Weed Benefits

Buy Vervine

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

Vervine products are marketed online as a wildcrafted super-herb.The products are labeled as Jamaica vervain or Blue vervain on may online stores.

You can purchase wildcrafted Jamaican Vervine from Etsy and Amazon.

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