VervainVervain is an herb sacred since ancient times and used in both witchcraft and anti-witchcraft charms, phIltres and potions. Vervain grows throughout Eurasia and North America. It was said to be revered by the DruIds because it resembles the oak, which was sacred to them. Druids gathered it on moonless nights in the spring when the Dog Star, Sirius, rose in the sky, being careful not to touch it as they collected it into Iron containers.

The ancient Greeks and Romans considered vervain sacred as well. In Rome, it was consecrated for the purification of homes and temples and was used in medicinal remedies for a variety of ailments. Early Christians called vervain “herb-of-the-cross” because it was believed to have staunched Christ’s blood as he hung on the cross.

Because of its association with Christ, vervain was said to be an effective charm against witches, evil spells and Demons. People hung it in their homes, over their stable doors, among their crops and around their necks. Witches used it freely in their potions, ointments and brews and in the preparation of a Hand of Glory.

In Italian witch lore, vervain is sacred to Diana, patron goddess of witches. Contemporary Witches use it as an ingredient in ritual purification baths.

Vervain is a common ingredient in folk-magic love philtres, because of the belief that its undiluted juice can bring about any wish. Vervain also reputedly can bestow immunity to disease, the gift of clairvoyance and protection against bewitchment.

Among its many medicinal uses are as a cure for toothaches, ulcers, heavy menstrual flow, gout, worms, and jaundice. Early Americans wore vervain around their necks and touched it for good cures and good health.


The Encyclopedia of Witches, Witchcraft and Wicca – written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 1989, 1999, 2008 by Visionary Living, Inc.

See also