Botanical Name: Veronica officinalis
Species: V. officinalis
Common Names: Heath speedwell, Common gypsyweed, Common speedwell, or Paul’s betony
Veronica officinalis is a herbaceous perennial plant with hairy green stems 10–50 cm long that cover the ground in mats and send up short vertical shoots which bear soft violet flowers. The leaves are 1.5–5 cm long and 1–3 cm broad, and they are opposite, shortly stalked, generally about an inch long, oval and attenuated into their foot-stalks, their margins finely toothed. It flowers from May until August.The flowers are in dense, axillary, manyflowered racemes, 1 1/2 to 6 inches long, the individual flowers nearly stalkless on the main flower-stalk, their corollas only 1/6 inch across, pale blue with dark blue stripes and bearing two stamens with a very long style. The capsule is inversely heart-shaped and notched, longer than the oblong, narrow sepals. The plant is of a dull green and is generally slightly hairy, having short hairs, sometimes smooth.CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES…
Easily grown in a moderately fertile moisture retentive well drained soil. Prefers cool summers. Thrives in light shade or in open sunny positions.
Seed – sow autumn in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. If you have sufficient quantity, the seed can be sown in situ in the autumn or the spring. Division in autumn or spring. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is best to pot up smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame until they are growing away well. Plant them out in the summer or the following spring.
The fresh herb is faintly aromatic. After drying, it is inodorous. It has a bitterish, warm, and somewhat astringent taste.
Constituents: Enz found a bitter principle, soluble in water and alcohol, but scarcely so in ether, and precipitated by the salts of lead, but not by tannic acid; an acrid principle; red colouring matter, a variety of tannic acid, producing a green colour with ferric salts; a crystallizable, fatty acid, with malic, tartaric, citric, acetic and lactic acids; mannite; a soft, dark green bitter resin.
Mayer, of New York (in 1863), found evidences of an alkaloid and of a saponaceous principle. Vintilesco (1910) found a glucoside both in this species and in Veronica chamaedrys.
Edible Uses: A bitter tangy tea is made from the fresh flowering herb or the dried leaves. The dried leaves can be added to tea blends.
This species of Veronica retained a place among our recognized remedies until a comparatively late period, and is still employed in herbal medicine.
Its leaves possess astringency and bitterness.
The leaves and roots are alterative, astringent, mildly diuretic, mildly expectorant, stomachic and tonic. They have been employed in the treatment of pectoral and nephritic complaints, haemorrhages, skin diseases and the treatment of wounds, though the plant is considered to be obsolete in modern herbalism. The leaves are harvested in the summer and dried for later use .
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.