Verbena has been used in folk medicine to treat rheumatism and injuries. Ayurvedic medicine (traditional medicine originating in India) used certain varieties of verbena (Verbena hybrida, Verbena bonariensis) as a contraceptive. Nowadays, it is indicated for the relief of stomach cramps and spasms (painful periods), as well as the reduction of digestive disorders, sleep, stress and anxiety.
However, he To date, there is no major scientific study corroborating the medicinal properties verbena reported so far.
Verbena: understand everything in 2 min
The correct dosage is difficult to determine, as there are no clinical data obtained from standardized extracts of verbena. However, the dosage that is frequently found is as follows:
- Capsules: 1 g to take with a glass of water during the day with meals.
- Infusion: 1 to 2 g (1 to 2 teaspoons) of verbena leaves in a cup of hot water after meals.
- Essential oil: 2 to 6 drops, 2 times a day, in 250 ml of hot water
A combination of verbena (36 mg, SinuComp Phytopharmica) with other plants (gentian root, elderflower, sorrel and primrose flowers) is used in the acute and chronic treatment of sinusitis.
Verbena was once used in religious ceremonies by Gallic priests (Druids) and healers from Asia and North America (shaman) to predict the future or chase away evil spirits. Roman priests used it to clean the altars dedicated to Jupiter.
It was only around the 17th century that we began to pay particular attention to its medicinal properties, especially in the treatment of ulcers and fistulas.
There are currently no clinical studies that have demonstrated therapeutic efficacy.
Several studies carried out in vitro or in animals, however, indicate that verbena has many properties: antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-nociceptive … attributable to the many active ingredients present in the flowering plant (flavonoids, phenol acids, tannins, saponins, citral , terpenoids).
However, the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity of verbena seems weak. Other studies suggest that verbascoside, another active ingredient in verbena, has analgesic and sedative properties, and protects the liver.
Preliminary clinical studies suggest that a combination of herbs including verbena and flower extracts (SinuComp, Integrative Therapeutics, Germany) with antibiotics and decongestants appears to reduce the duration of sinusitis, compared to standard treatments.
Verbena is recognized as a safe plant if used in the recommended dosage, alone or in combination with other plants.
In case of known allergy or hypersensitivity to verbena, or one of its ingredients, it is best to avoid taking it.
Some cases of dermatitis or anaphylactic allergies have been reported in contact with certain varieties of verbena (Verbena officinalis, Verbena hybrida, Verbena elegans).
The most common side effects relate to its allergenic effects and its interaction with liver enzymes that alter the metabolism of drugs.
Gastrointestinal system: Iridoids, substances found in verbena, can cause the muscles of the intestine to contract.
Blood system: Verbena contains a variable amount of vitamin K, which can decrease the effectiveness of blood thinners.
Hepatic system: terpenoids, the active ingredients in verbena, alter the liver’s enzyme levels.
Skin. Some cases of dermatitis have been reported in contact with certain varieties of verbena (Verbena officinalis, Verbena hybrida, Verbena elegans), whether applied orally (in combination with other plants) or topically.
Precautions and contraindications
Verbena should be used with caution in patients:
- with liver failure or taking drugs metabolized by liver enzymes (cytochrome P450 enzyme);
- experiencing coagulation problems or taking blood thinners;
- with low blood pressure or taking high blood pressure medication;
- taking vasopressors;
- suffering from anemia, gastrointestinal disturbances or neurological disturbances.
Pregnancy and breast feeding
There are no studies to date that have assessed a toxic or beneficial effect of verbena in pregnant or breastfeeding women.
With drugs or supplements
Data from scientific publications or from traditional medicine have reported cases of interaction of verbena with certain drugs or food supplements such as:
- Antibiotics, the effects of which add to the antibacterial properties of verbena.
- Anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents, the effects of which can be reduced by verbena.
- Antihypertensive drugs, the effects of which add to the vasodilatory properties of verbena.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs, the effects of which could be increased by verbena.
- Estrogens and progesterones (hormone therapy). Verbena could prevent the action of estrogens.
- Iron, which verbena could inhibit absorption.