Botanical Name : Veronica chamaedrys
Species: V. chamaedrys
Common Names: Germander speedwell, Bird’s-eye speedwell
Habitat : Veronica chamaedrys is native to Europe and northern Asia. It is found on other continents as an introduced species.
Veronica chamaedrys is a herbaceous perennial plant with hairy stems and leaves. It can grow to 25 cm tall, but is normally about 12 cm tall. The flowers are deep blue, 8 to 12 mm wide with a zygomorphic (bilaterally-symmetrical) four-lobed corolla.This little plant has a creeping, branched root-stock, passing insensibly into the stem, which is weak and decumbent to the point where the leaves commence, and then raises itself about a foot, to carry up the flowers. The leaves are in pairs, nearly stalkless, 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches long, egg-shaped to heart-shaped, deeply furrowed by the veins, the margins coarsely toothed. On the whole length of the stem are two lines of long hairs running down between each pair of leaves, shifting from side to side wherever they arrive at a fresh pair of leaves. These hairy lines act as barriers to check the advance of unwelcome crawling insects. The leaves themselves bear jointed hairs, and the flower-stalks, calyx and capsule also have long, gland-tipped hairs. The leaves are sometimes attacked by a gall mite, Cecidomyia Veronica, and white galls like white buttons are the result on the ends of the shoots.
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The numerous flowers are in loose racemes, 2 to 6 inches long in the axils of the leaves, the flowers are rather close together on first expanding, but become distant after the fall of the corolla, which is 1/2 inch across, bright blue with darker lines, and a white eye in the centre, where the four petals join into the short tube. The corolla is so lightly attached that the least jarring causes it to drop, so that the plant at the slightest handling loses its bright blossom – hence, perhaps, its name Speedwell and similar local names, ‘Fare well’ and ‘Good-bye.’ The under lip of the corolla covers the upper in bud. The flower closes at night and also in rainy weather, when the brightness of the blossoms quite disappears, only the pale and pearly underside of its petals being visible.
Veronica chamaedrys herb has been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally (as tea) for treatment of disorders of the nervous system, respiratory tract, cardiovascular system, and metabolism.
Old writers of all countries speak highly of the virtues of the Speedwell as a vulnerary, a purifier of the blood, and a remedy in various skin diseases, its outward application being considered efficacious for the itch. It was also believed to cure smallpox and measles, and to be a panacea for many ills. Gerard recommends it for cancer, ‘given in good broth of a hen,’ and advocates the use of the root as a specific against pestilential fevers.
It is not to be confused with Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys), the celebrated specific for gout, used by the Emperor Charles V.
The Germander Speedwell has a certain amount of astringency, and an infusion of its leaves was at one time famous for coughs, the juice of the fresh plant also, boiled into a syrup with honey, was used for asthma and catarrh, and a decoction of the whole plant was employed to stimulate the kidneys.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider