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Batch CCLXVIII. Schwarzwald, Tuesday September 26, 2017 NO. 47
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Common Vervain - Verbena Officinalis

The love herb

A member of the verbena family, common vervain is a deciduous, herbaceous plant that grows up to 75 centimetres high. The underside of the leaves are traversed by veins, and like the branching stems, are covered with glandular hairs, while the quite small, hermaphrodite flowers have five petals with a double perianth. Since as far back as ancient times, Verbena Officinalis has been used as a medicinal plant – for ritual purification of temples, and by Celtic priests, who use it as a sacrificial herb during rituals. The ancient Egyptians dedicated it to Isis, the goddess of birth.

Growing on wastelands, banks and at dumps, this rather inconspicuous plant is very undemanding – unlike Monkey 47 – yet it does have important healing properties, which were put to use already in medieval times, namely in love potions. What's more, the one true love of Montgomery Collins, forefather of Monkey 47, is said to have sipped on his morning vervain infusion – his very first sip being just three days before their engagement.

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