Our rating
 Question mark: This treatment has not been properly researched. It is not possible to say whether they are useful or not.


The rating system

  • 3 smiliesThese treatments are very useful. They are strongly supported as effective by scientific evidence.
  • 2 smiliesThese treatments are useful. They are supported by scientific evidence as effective, but the evidence is not as strong.
  • 1 smileyThese treatments are promising and may be useful. They have some evidence to support them, but more evidence is needed to be sure they work.
  • No smiley On the available evidence, these treatments do not seem to be effective.
  • Question markThese treatments have not been properly researched. It is not possible to say whether they are useful or not.
  • Exclamation MarkSafety or other concerns have been raised for the use of these treatments.

What is it?

Vervain (scientific name: Verbena officinalis) is a small flowering plant. Its flowers and leaves have been used as a traditional herbal remedy.

How does it work?

This is not known.

Is it effective?

There is no scientific evidence on whether vervain works for depression.

Are there any disadvantages?

Dietary supplements and herbal remedies may produce side effects or have negative interactions with prescribed medications or other supplements. They should always be taken under the supervision of a health care professional. 

It may not be safe to use vervain during pregnancy. Because there are no studies which have looked at the use of vervain for depression, we cannot say whether or not there are any other potential side effects.

Where do you get it?

Vervain can be purchased as dried leaves (for making tea) or as liquid drops from some health food shops.


Given the lack of evidence on vervain, it cannot be recommended as a treatment for depression.

Last reviewed and updated: 27 November 2023