Vervain is a plant with blue or purple flowers. The flowers and leaves have been used to ease digestion and improve symptoms of depression. Vervain has also been used to improve the flow of breast milk. It can be taken as pill, powder, or extract. It can also be made into a tea or applied as a cream. Vervain can also be used as a mouthwash and has been used to improve dental health.


There are no advised doses for vervain.

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Gingivitis—may improve symptoms when used with standard treatment A1
  • Sinusitis—may ease symptoms when combined with other herbs and used with standard treatment B1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to use vervain on the skin and to take it orally in small doses for a short time, but skin rash may happen.C1 Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.


A. Gingivitis

A1. Grawish ME, Anees MM, et al. Short-term effects of Verbena officinalis Linn decoction on patients suffering from chronic generalized gingivitis: Double-blind randomized controlled multicenter clinical trial. Quintessence Int. 2016;47(6):491-498.

B. Sinusitis

B1. Neubauer N, März RW. Placebo-controlled, randomized double-blind clinical trial with Sinupret® sugar coated tablets on the basis of a therapy with antibiotics and decongestant nasal drops in acute sinusitis. Phytomedicine. 1994 Dec;1(3):177-181.

C. Safety

C1. Del Pozo MD, Gastaminza G, et al. Allergic contact dermatitis from Verbena officinalis L. Contact Dermatitis. 1994 Sep;31(3):200-201.

Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 3/26/2020

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