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Vervain (马鞭草 Mǎbiān cǎo)


This wild perennial herb is sometimes also mistaken for lemon verbena, but the latter does have a very distinctive lemon smell and flavour, and it is not as hardy as the wild vervain. Vervain was used extensively in England during the plague, and has also been included in various love potions up to the eighteenth century. Slightly bitter to the palate it has been found to strengthen the nerves, and acts as a soothant to bronchial congestion. It brings fast relief to the migraine headache, and also those which might be caused by stress, worry, tension and fatigue. It will also combat infections in the urinary tract, with extreme efficiency, and also in the liver, the latter being known as hepatitis. Women who suffer from amenorrhoea, when the menstrual flow ceases, will find this particular herb very beneficial, as will those with inflammation of the breast. The whole plant is used in Chinese herbalism, and it can be used fresh or as a dried herb, and when used as a tea it can be taken either hot or cold.



The Tao of Long Life - The Chinese Art of Ch'ang Ming

by Chee Soo

©Seahorse Books 2008 reproduced with permission