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common name for some members of the Verbenaceae, a family of herbs, shrubs, and trees (often climbing forms) of warmer regions of the world. Well-known wild and cultivated members of the family include species of the shrubby Lantana and of Verbena;
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Vervain(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
Verbena officinalis, also known as vervain, is a plant in the family of Verbenaceae. Native to Europe and Asia, it is common in southern England and has become naturalized in North America. One to three feet in height, it is a slender annual with opposite, deeply incised leaves and numerous slender spikes of white or purplish flowers. The plant has been held in superstitious veneration for centuries.
Folk names for vervain include Brittanica, Enchanter's Plant, Herb of Enchantment, Herb of Grace, Juno's Tears, Pigeon's Grass, Simpler's Joy, Van-Van, and Verbena. It is ruled by the planet Venus and hence is thought to hold power in the field of love. It is also regarded as powerful for protection, purification, and chastity, and to bring healing and preserve youth. In addition to Venus, the plant is associated with Aradia, Isis, Kerridwen, Juno, Jupiter, and Thor.
Traditionally, vervain is gathered at Midsummer, or at the rising of the Dog Star. It should be gathered when neither sun nor moon is showing. Although its medicinal qualities have been held in doubt, its use as a magical herb is legendary. As a love amulet, any part of the plant may be carried. A Ceremonial Magician often wears a crown of vervain to protect from negative spirits. An infusion sprinkled around the magical temple will hold negativity at bay. Vervain is also used in exorcism.
Vervain worn around the neck, kept under the pillow, or made into an infusion and drunk each night is said to bring everlasting youth. The undiluted juice spread on the body is also said to cure numerous diseases and to guard against future health problems. Placed in a baby's cradle, it is said that vervain will ensure the child grows up with a happy disposition and a love of learning. Many Witches use vervain in love spells and protection spells and charms.