Verbena Essential Oil: Contraindications, Medicinal Properties And Benefits

What is Verbena oil?

Verbena oil is the result of the distillation of water vapor from the roots, flowers and, to a lesser extent, branches of a plant called verbena.

Origin of verbena oil

It is an herb native to Southeast Europe ; It grows wild on riverbanks, and in soils with a high content of organic matter and humidity.

It is probable that it was born in the Mediterranean region; but it is a plant that is very well spread throughout the planet.

Verbena oil history

In the history of the verbena plant or herb it is said that the Greeks and Romans called it herba sacra “Sacred herb” . It was used at first in pagan rites for luck, omens, omens; to defame or purify people.

The festival was recognized as a symbol of peace, friendship, happiness ; It was customary to send verbena sprigs to close friends on the first days of the year to wish them a happy and prosperous year full of peace and happiness.

The travelers or walkers of the time were dismissed by giving them twigs of this plant.

The Romans, when they sent their hermissaries on noble trips, gave them verbena and were called “Vermenarios” or announcers of peace.

I came to Christianity, because it is believed that Jesus walked on this vervain plant when he was on his way to Calvary and since then the plant acquired magical powers against poisonous snakes and reptiles.

Parelcelsus, a revolutionary physician in 1493-1591; he considered verbena as a magical plant; for its stimulating properties. In Germany they also attributed this magical meaning to the plant.

On the night of San Juan the dancers place it around their necks and dance around a bonfire; hence its name in Spain as “St. John’s wort”.

The shepherds of the south of France on their pilgrimages carried a twig of this plant with them; since it was said that whoever took a sprig of verbena on the morning of San Juan was protected from snakes and other poisonous animals.

Its medicinal properties have been known since ancient times; so in 1852 a professor from Paris at the pharmacy school, named Nicolas Jean Baptiste Gaston ; He spoke about natural plants and their history and among them was the official festival.

He describes it and says that it is an ancient plant of great reputation which was used in various religious acts, as well as it was used in pagan acts of many peoples. For what it was called “Yerba Sagrada”

Essential oils are found in the organs and tissues of the vast majority of plants. These essential oils are insoluble in water; but, soluble in alcohol; which allowed the history of verbena to have it in medicine for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, analgesic, antitussive, expectorant, etc. properties.

At present it is not considered a widely used plant as studies have shown that it is no better than other medicinal plants.

Its use declined due to the difficulty of extracting its essential oil for distribution and how expensive it is.

For what is given great importance is in cosmetology; in the manufacture of expensive perfumes, which have become famous for this essence.

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Verbena oil characteristics

The essential oil is lemony and its fresh aroma bathes the senses; it is yellow in color.

Among its component are the terpenes that give it that fresh aroma; as well as it contains citral, lemon tree and other compounds that give it floral notes.

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Scientific Name of Verbena

The scientific name of this herb is “Verbena Officinalis”; from the “Verbenaceae” family.

Verbena Oil Chemical Composition

The active principle is Verbenaloside ; whose effect is stimulating of the Parasympathetic Nervous System.

The essential oil of verbena is composed of citral; terpenes; lemon tree; terpenic alcohols and geraniol.

Contains caffeic acid, tannin and bitter principles.

How is Verbena Oil extracted?

It is extracted by steam distillation from the flowers and roots and to a lesser extent from their branches or stems.

This process in verbena is very unproductive since large quantities of flowers and roots of this herb hardly extract essence.

Its high distillation difficulty has made it a very expensive and difficult to find essence; so its use is more recognized today in the cosmetic industry and in the production of creams, lotions, perfumes.

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Recommended dose of Verbena Oil

It can be used both internal (consumption); as externally (skin). It has a strong aroma, which is why it is used in inhalations to improve diseases of the respiratory tract and induce a state of relaxation and sedation.

The doses will depend on the use for what is required and it is recommended that the essence be used externally always, diluted in a base oil (proportion of 80% base oil and 20% essence); to avoid irritability, allergic reactions or toxicity.

The use through inhalation is done in aromatherapy through special diffusers for this purpose. Since the essences do not need to be burned or passed through any other procedure that can cause loss of their properties or even make them harmful to health.

With these diffusers the good use of the essence and its therapeutic action in the respiratory tract and in the central nervous system is guaranteed.

The use of verbena by mouth; it can be made in the form of a tea; placing a tablespoon of dried roots or flowers in a cup of boiling water; cover for about 5 minutes; After this time it is sifted and can be consumed.

In its extract form, precautions must be taken and always diluted in water or some juice from the same citrus range; 2-4ml per day is recommended.

By having high concentrations of the plant as in the case of the extract, caution should be exercised in its administration as it can induce very marked effects at the central nervous system level.

Another form of administration is through its tincture; which are prepared from the plant with an alcohol; which is carried out through a maceration process so that this substance absorbs the properties of the plant and is able to obtain its benefits from it.

In general, the administration doses are in drops or milliliters depending on the degree of dilution and the solvent used to make the infusion.

It is recommended that it be 5 to 10ml; three times a day diluted in a preferred solvent.

When used in the form of compresses, it is recommended to boil a liter of water and place 50g of the dried plant, cover and let it rest for 5 minutes and then place in the area where you want to take advantage of its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties with a cloth.

The baths that are made with this type of herbs are also done in the same way as for compresses since the difference lies in the re-dilution that is made when placing the mixture in a bathtub and immersing the body.

The baths of this herb are used to receive its properties on skin and inhalation; improves states of anxiety, panic, problems in the respiratory tract.

Produces relaxation of the muscles which leads to relaxation capable of improving insomnia and rest.

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Uses and benefits of Verbena

Among the benefits of verbena is that it is a powerful diuretic so it protects good kidney function.

This property makes it also cardioprotective; since it regulates the amount of fluids in the body and prevents hypertension.

It is anti-inflammatory and analgesic; so it can be used in cases of arthritis, rheumatism, as well as diseases that cause inflammatory conditions on the skin.

It has antiseptic, antifungal and restorative properties of the skin tissue; which gives it great use in diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, contact dermatitis, skin peeling, acne, among others.

It has properties that by inhalation go to the respiratory system improving asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, as well as throat problems and aphonia.

It is used as a gargle to also relieve these symptoms and dental problems.

Produces parasympathetic effects in the body; Therefore, it stimulates the peristaltic movements of the intestine, which helps to eliminate waste and the proper functioning of the intestine, avoiding meteorisms or complications such as diverticulum.

It stimulates the secretion of the digestive glands producing the release of enzymes that help in the digestion of food producing a better use of them and a better pancreatic function.

This type of substance, such as verbena, is of limited use in hypothyroid problems since it causes a decrease in the production of these glands; Therefore, if there is a very marked deficit in the body, it can lead to lethal consequences.

It is neuroprotective; as it protects against degenerative diseases of the neuronal system such as Alzheimer’s; nervous diseases such as panic, anxiety, seizures, depression, stress, among others.

It has been used since ancient times in the reproductive part for its stimulating action on libido; as well as to induce uterine contractions at the time of delivery by the action of its main component, verbenaline.

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What are the cosmetic uses of verbena and benefits for the skin?

The use of verbena oil in cosmetology is very wide; Its effects on the skin are invigorating, it restores the shine and moisture necessary to regenerate the skin.

It is an essence widely used in perfumes since its pleasant aroma gives it favoritism when choosing it as a top note in the preparation of expensive perfumes on the market such as Hugo Boss; whose use preference is the masculine gender.

Being antiseptic, it keeps the skin clean and prevents diseases that cause bacterial problems, fungi or that cause some type of skin inflammation.

It can be used mixed with other essences and a base oil to rejuvenate the skin; regenerate and nourish it.

As well as; can be used to cleanse the complexion daily with a mixture of a lemon and verbena toner; Only dry verbena and lemon peel should be placed in a liter of boiling water, let it rest for 15 minutes.

After this time, three tablespoons of whole milk powder are added to a bowl and the liquid resulting from the infusion with verbena and lemon is added to form a paste.

This paste or cream will be used every night for a week to cleanse the skin of impurities and take advantage of the nutrients that the skin needs to restore its pH and vitality.

The mixture should be stored in a refrigerator for maintenance.

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Does it have many properties for hair and beard?

The properties that the use of verbena oil can generate on the skin that is under the beard are marked since they hydrate it and keep it free of infections, fungi or agents that can damage its appearance.

In the hair of the beard and hair gives a deep repair; Since the oils incorporate into the skin and scalp the ability to regenerate and activate the stem cells found in each hair follicle and produce healthy growth.

It is applied on hair and beard making an infusion with dry leaves or directly its essence mixed with a base oil on the hair and beard.

This restores hydration and generates protection against environmental aggressions and the use of high temperatures such as dryers and hair straighteners.

The use of verbena oil with collagen gives hair the possibility of growing faster and restores its lost silkiness and softness.

Is verbena oil good for weight loss?

Plants that are cleansing such as verbena are used to cleanse the liver and kidneys ; which keeps the body in good working order.

As there is no fluid retention due to its diuretic action, it avoids the weight gain that this generates and in case of having already implanted a pathology that leads to the presence of edema; This herb improves that condition, leading to a considerable loss of the weight gained by such condition.

In the liver, it helps the secretion of enzymes that participate in the digestive process, which increases metabolism, taking advantage of the nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of the body at the cellular level.

With this, it avoids the accumulation of fats since it transforms them into the vital energy that is needed for daily requirements, which generates a better use and elimination of toxins by the lymphatic and digestive system.

A positive feedback is generated and in turn a negative feedback in the organism to promote a balance or homeostasis of the systems and induce its proper functioning.

It is for this reason that it is used for the loss and maintenance of weight and proper functioning of the body; promoting health.

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Verbena Oil in Pregnancy and Lactation

One of the functions of verbena (oil, dried herb, extract, tincture); it is an increase in smooth muscle tone.

The uterus is composed of smooth muscle which leads to the use of verbena for its active principle which is “verbenaline” which leads to an increase in its tone, which in other words are contractions.

It is for this reason that its use in pregnant women is contraindicated, since it can generate abortions in the first months and decrease the blood supply of the fetus, which would also generate problems in its growth and development.

During lactation it is not recommended since it is capable of causing effects at the central nervous system level and any substance that produces this type of effects is capable of passing into the placenta and breast milk, also inducing the effects in this way to the baby.

Producing marked sedation in the baby, decreased cardiac output because it is a hypotensive substance; what can generate the sudden death of the newborn.

This is why essential oils are not indicated during pregnancy, lactation or the first months of the baby’s life.

The use of these substances in children under 6 years of age should be evaluated by physicians specialized in natural medicine.

Medicinal uses of Verbena Oil

In medicine it has been used since ancient times . Presenting great antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, digestive, antiseptic improvement, improves lung function.

It is cardioprotective , diuretic, used as an antihypertensive; astringent for diarrhea treatments.

It is hemostatic, giving it the possibility of being used in hemorrhagic conditions; It is a libido stimulant.

It exerts effects at the level of the central nervous system producing sedation (hypnosis at high doses); it is used in convulsive cases; depression; anxiety and panic attacks, stress; neuronal degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

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Culinary Uses of Verbena Oil

Food preparations with verbena are simple recipes in which they included it as a dressing or condiment to flavor oils, vinegars and in turn be used in meat preparations, salads, desserts.

To prepare oils of this herb, the edible base oil of preference is used; flowers and dried roots of the verbena are placed; let it marinate for a time (approximately two to three weeks); it is strained and packaged and ready for use.

It is used in food recipes as any other oil could commonly be used and they give a special and unique touch, taking advantage of the properties that verbena confers at once for a good digestion and a feeling of well-being.

Verbena oil nutritional value

The nutritional value of verbena oil shows that it is a special herb in its therapeutic use; since it gives the body the essential nutrients to maintain its proper functioning.

Among which vitamins stand out; like vitamin E; vitamin C; Vitamin D; vitamin F (omega 3 and omega 6); Saturated fats; polyunsaturated and monounsaturated; which can be used if the verbena oil is in its 100% pure state.

When buying or acquiring this type of essential oil, great care must be taken with the choice and where it comes from; Due to its difficult extraction, it is mixed with other oils to yield its production, thus losing a large part of its properties.

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Contraindications and risks of verbena oil

  • Verbena oil, being an essence, is irritating to the skin ; so it is recommended to use it mixed with a base oil.
  • It should not be used in pregnant women as it induces uterine contractions and therefore causes abortion.
  • It should not be used in children under 6 years of age ; since its action at the level of the central nervous system is very marked.
  • Use with caution and under strict medical supervision in patients with chronic diseases .
  • Do not use in people with a deficit in the production of the thyroid gland as it can cause a total stoppage of its functioning.

Verbena Oil Safety Sheet

  • Scientific Name: Verbena Officinalis
  • Common Name: Verbena Oil
  • Active Ingredient: verbenaline
  • Parts of the plant used: Root and flowers; to a lesser extent the stems and leaves.
  • Toxicity: high degree of toxicity if used directly on the skin as it is a concentration of the components of the herb.
  • Storage: preferably stored in dark glass containers for protection from light. Keep out of the reach of children.

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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