Speedwell is a creeping mat-forming, hairy perennial with 7 to 14 cm. (2.7 to 5.5 in.) long stems. It is native to Europe and western Asia but is now wildly cultivated in North America. The common name 'Speedwell' (Goodbye) refers to the corollas' rapid fall if the flower spikes are picked. Its Latin name (Veronica) comes from a story of a woman, later canonized as St. Veronica, who is said to have wiped the blood from the face of Jesus on his route to Calvery. Other names: gypsyweed and bird's eye. The fresh herb is faintly aromatic. After drying, it is odorless. It has a bitterish, warm, and somewhat astringent taste. There are over 500 species of Speedwell, and beginner herbalists should be careful not to confuse veronica (Veronica officinalis) with other veronica species such as Veronica allionii and Veronica chamaedrys.
This pretty little blue-flowered plant has extraordinary medicinal powers way out of proportion to its size. Speedwell is often used in syrups and elixirs, but mostly it is consumed as tea. Gypsies took speedwell tea as a blood purifier because it can cause sweating, "purify" blood and increase metabolism. Native Americans used speedwell brew to relieve congestion and asthma. In Russia herbal tea is are traditionally used for the treatment of lung diseases. Modern herbalists still hold that the dried Veronica plant's infusion is useful in remedy coughs, clear sinus congestion, treat problems with the lungs and entire respiratory tract.
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Veronica is profoundly nutritious and is loaded with antioxidant polyphenols. It also has natural expectorant properties, astringent and diuretic traits, which all yield a wide range of potential health applications.
☛ Antioxidant Properties
Research showed that Speedwell contains a healthy dose of powerful antioxidants that can help protect the cells from damage caused by free radicals and provide an anti-aging effect.
☛ Colds, Coughs and Respiratory Health
In folk medicine Speedwell had been used to treat coughs and other respiratory symptoms for hundreds of years. Treating coughs is still one of the most common uses of Speedwell tea today.
Veronica officinalis plant is believed to act as a natural expectorant that can help clear up mucus and phlegm build-up, allowing people to clear their airways and breathe more comfortably. Besides, Speedwell has proven anti-inflammatory actions that can help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract. A study published in 2013 found that the Speedwell herb inhibited pro-inflammatory mediators associated with inflammatory lung disease in human lung cells.
☛ Sore Throat
Some people use Veronica tea as a gargle to treat sore throat. According to research, Speedwell holds antibacterial properties that may help treat throat infections and soothe soreness in the throat and mouth.
☛ Urinary tract Infections
Speedwell tea has mild natural diuretic properties, meaning that Veronica tea can help boost urination frequency, helping treat urinary tract and bladder infections often associated with cold and flu.
☛ Digestive Health
People also drink Speedwell tea to treat digestive troubles and boost appetite during sickness and recovery times. The Veronica herb has superior anti-inflammatory properties, contributing to improved digestive health. Speedwell also helps treat diarrhea naturally because its astringent properties can help reduce mucus' secretion in the intestines and prevent loose stool.
☛ Liver Health and Detox
Veronica helps the body to get rid of viruses, toxins, alcohol, and other unwanted substances. Speedwell tea stimulates liver function and can increase sweat production, which also helps remove the toxins from the system.
What is Speedwell good for?
Speedwell is commonly used to treat coughs and other respiratory diseases. It is also appropriate for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism, digestive problems like diarrhea, and a gargle to treat sore throat. Finally, it can also be applied topically to the skin to deal with a range of skin ailments such as eczema.
Scientific research on Speedwell (Veronica officinalis):
Dunkić, V., Kosalec, I., Kosir, I., Potocnik, T., Cerenak, A., Koncic, M., . . . Kremer, D. (2015). Antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of Veronica Spicata L. (PLANTAGINACEAE). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26028041
Gründemann, C., Garcia-Käufer, M., Sauer, B., Stangenberg, E., Könczöl,
M., Merfort, I., . . . Huber, R. (2013). Traditionally used veronica officinalis inhibits PROINFLAMMATORY Mediators via the Nf-κb signalling pathway in a human lung cell line. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23142555
Mocan, A., Vodnar, D., Vlase, L., Crișan, O., Gheldiu, A., & Crișan, G. (2015). Phytochemical characterization of veronica officinalis L., V. TEUCRIUM L. and V. orchidea Crantz from Romania and their antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26404257/?i=5&from=Veronica+officinalis