While the common vervain has flowers that are typically some shade of blue, the true vervain or Imperial vervain is known for tight clumps of tiny yellow-green flowers. It is recognised by its brilliantly green, excessively hairy leaves which release a delicate, fresh aroma when crushed or bruised. These leaves are carefully gathered, dried and prepared to release their powerful healing qualities.
The aromatic juice of the crushed leaves and stems is held to have a calming, relaxing effect when added to boiling water and the steam inhaled. Small quantities, when mixed with soda crystals, can also provide relaxing bubbles for bathing. The juice can also be used to create a salve that keeps the skin supple and youthful, and it is occasionally used by leatherworkers to produce particularly soft, supple leather.
True vervain is extremely efficacious when treating anything to do with the internal organs - the bowels, the kidneys, the liver, the lungs, and the brain. It favours dry, temperate conditions and grows quickly and easily in the herb gardens of the Empire. Foreign merchants trading with the Empire are often interested in acquiring quantities of good quality true vervain.
Its popularity is perhaps unsurprising - in addition to its obvious usefulness to the physick on the battlefield, it is very much in demand by apothecaries. It is a primary component of several preparations of great use to warriors including Skop's Mead, Philtre of Strength, and the vital Elixir Vitae (along with cerulean mazzarine).
Overuse may result in stomach ache, apathy, and a feeling of mental dullness, listlessness, fatalism, or mild depression. It seems impossible to actually poison someone with true vervain so that they die, however, and these negative side effects are quickly purged or treated with Imperial Roseweald tea.
- Can only be applied by a character with the physick skill.
- Using 30 seconds of appropriate roleplaying, the physick can heal a target to full hits.
- The herb use fails if you or your target are hit or attack another character during application, but the herb is not consumed