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Chronata
16-03-2004, 11:19
Hi everyone!
I wanted to post some more for the study groups last week, but I misplaced all my books as I was moving things around!

I still can't seem to find my herbal book...but I did want to talk about Verbena.

It is not one of the more well known herbs, but I did have it in my garden... when I had a garden, and I used to use it often in sachets.
It has a wonderful fresh scent!

Hopefully someone here will be able to help with my confusion about this herb...
I had always thought that..like the mints, and geraniums...that there are several different varieties of Verbena.
I am most familiar with the Lemon verbena...but I did have another herb in the garden that smelled differently than the lemon variety...and was simply called "verbena".

So, I ordered some essential oil of verbena from a new place I don't often frequent...and the woman said that there is olnly one kind of Verbena...and that is the kind that smells lemony!
Perhaps she was talking about just the essential oil that she could get....or maybe she was misinformed?

My garden did have two distinct versions! I am almost sure of it!

I was too tired to argue with her at the time.
And the lemony Verbena oil was perfect for the soap I was making at the time, so I couldn't really complain...

So, I ask...is there more than a single variety of verbena?
And does anyone else have a verbena story, or experience?

Chronata
16-03-2004, 11:24
Forgot to add some info!

The talisman book I have claims Verbena is under the influence of the Sun...great for spells done on a Sunday, and for things like carreer advancement, public speaking, and new business deals.

Verbena is also an herb sacred to Hestia/Vesta..the Greek/Roman Goddess of the Hearth and Home.(and Vestal Virgins!)

In Victorian times, It was used in posies given to loved ones with the secret message "I Will Wait "
And they often used the herb in baths.

jlbvt
16-03-2004, 13:06
Chronata, according to the USDA (http://plants.usda.gov/cgi_bin/plant_profile.cgi?symbol=VERBE), there are at least 31 different types of Verbena. Those are probably just the native speces, not hybrids or anything.
I was thinking that it's possible the Lemon Verbena it the only one used as an herb, the rest are just a really drought-tolerant flower. But now I am not so sure.
The USDA page doesn't list Lemon verbena, but they do list a mint verbena and a few others that may be herbs.
I hope this is of some help.
Joan

Richter's herb seeds lists an Anise Verbena and a Lemon Verbina, but says that only the Lemon Verbena is medicinal. (http://www.richters.com/Web_store/web_store.cgi?page=IndexPages/HerbsV.html&cart_id=7322831.12968)

More Verbena Flowers at Park's, but no Lemon Verbina (http://www.parkseed.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StoreCatalogDisplay?DisplayAvailable=A&jspStoreDir=Park&SearchUnion=Y&catalogId=10066&mainPage=textsearchresults&langId=-1&OfferCode=Q1H&SearchText=verbina&storeId=10101&ddkey=TextSearch)

Ironwing
17-03-2004, 04:02
Lemon verbena is unusual because of its scent. There are many Old World and New World species of verbena (or vervain, as the wild species are more commonly called), but most are unscented. They are used medicinally to promote relaxation, although they are much milder than strong sedatives like chamomile or (yikes!) valerian.
The drought-tolerant verbenas are creeping plants with small leaves and large (1 cm.) pink flowers. The desert verbena with lacy evergreen leaves is taking over my yard. I also have Goodding's verbena, a fuzzy plant that doesn't spread. The tall verbenas that grow in wetlands have large leaves and spikes of tiny flowers, like the blue vervain that grows in the eastern U.S.

Lorena

Chronata
18-03-2004, 02:52
Thanks Ironwing, and jlbvt!
That helps a lot!
Since the other Verbena in my garden had a nice smell also, I can assume it was the anise variety. (Now that I think of it, it did smell a little like anise or licorice!)

Here's a great thing to do with Lemon Verbena oil...

Take 3-4 ounces of white glycerine soap.
melt it in the microwave for 40 seconds on HIGH.
Add a pinch or two of green tea...
5-6 drops of Lemon verbena essential oil...
and 3-4 drops of Lemongrass essential oil.
pour into soap mold.
Use this soap as kitchen soap...it is great for getting rid of the onion/garlic smell from hands!
And that little bit of green tea works like an exfolliant.

I also use this soap to clean acrylic paint off my hands.

jlbvt
24-03-2004, 03:03
Originally posted by Ironwing
Lemon verbena is unusual because of its scent. There are many Old World and New World species of verbena (or vervain, as the wild species are more commonly called), but most are unscented. They are used medicinally to promote relaxation, although they are much milder than strong sedatives like chamomile or (yikes!) valerian.
The drought-tolerant verbenas are creeping plants with small leaves and large (1 cm.) pink flowers. The desert verbena with lacy evergreen leaves is taking over my yard. I also have Goodding's verbena, a fuzzy plant that doesn't spread. The tall verbenas that grow in wetlands have large leaves and spikes of tiny flowers, like the blue vervain that grows in the eastern U.S.

Lorena

So, do ALL verbenas have medicinal value? Even the native wild ones?