Written by Algoth’s Grove
“Vervain is the Witch’s right hand, her essence is the future’s eye, her heart is the priestess’s chastity… she is the defender and the protector… She is the medicine of the mind, body and soul.”
Folk names: Van-Van, Vervan, Herb of Enchantment, Herb of the Cross, Pigeonwod, Pigeon’s Grass, Juno’s Tears, Herba Sacra.
This one singular herb can fill a witch’s library. From the powerful influence from Venus right through to Mars, Jupiter and more. In Germany it was one of the herbs that was used extensively by blacksmiths to cool the metal, called an herbal quench. It is also connected to lightening and that gives it a Mars association. It was used around the home to protect against natural threats such as lightening but also against supernatural threats such as demons, curses and unwanted guests.
The Greeks saw how pigeon’s adored the plant and so it was also nicknamed pigeon’s grass or pigeonwood. On the other side of the world, on the isle of Man, infants beds were surrounded by Vervain to protect them from the fae.
The association with Jupiter is taken from the writings of Pliny the elder, he states that the Septemveri (priests who prepared the public feasts of Jupiter) would wear Vervain on their person. It is also extremely interesting to note that Vervain was used both to cause prophetic dreams and to have peaceful non-dreaming sleep too. This is where our teachings of activating an herb by stating which property you want the herb to use, is imperative. All plants have various properties and some of these properties such as the ones in Vervain are sometimes contradictory and therefore the simpler and more specific or targeted your magick is, the more effective it will be.
Both Aleister Crowley and Charles Leyland favoured the magical properties of Vervain…
“…Seeking for Rue and Vervain scented sweet,
Because they bring good fortune to all.”
According to Pliny the Elder again, it is noted that magicians always collect Vervain during a fire time, and this is pointed out to the moment when the Dog Star is rising, and the practitioner must do it when neither the sun nor the moon is shining. It is also noted, interestingly enough, that an iron implement was used to draw a circle around the plant, then it was harvested using only the left hand.
Vervain was also the main herb in making the Hand of Glory. A grotesque manner of magic using the chopped off hand of a hanged man… it was said to paralyse or render the seer invisible.
Vervain in medicine
Vervain gives us great medicine. It is brilliant at stopping excessive bleeding by applying it to the wound. This medicine has been used since the time of Pliny the Elder and has also been proved to be effective to this day. It can be used in the treatment of migraines and joint pain. It is said that together with Elderberry and Mint it is extremely effective in treating kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
Vervain is naturally a Diuretic, Antipyretic, Antispasmodic and an anti-inflammatory. However, as always if you do not have an in depth understanding of the herb, or are on chronic medication, please consult your doctor before using any herb to heal.
Algoth’s Grove works closely with Dr. Stanley Ebel. You are welcome to book an appointment with him by filling out the form below.
If you would like to order Vervain, our prices are:
75g – R65.00
1kg – R670.00
Please send us an email by filling out your details below: