Birds Eye Speedwell – Veronica persica

Birdseye Speedwell
Birdseye Speedwell

This annual herb is a native of Eurasia that has become naturalized throughout the USA in disturbed areas like roadsides, lawns, fields, and empty lots. It was first recorded here as early as 1825, probably imported with clover and other cover crop seeds.

The name is derived from the story concerning a young girl (later canonized as St. Veronica) who wiped Jesus Christ’s face with Speedwell flowers on his journey to Calvary. As a result of this, healing properties were transferred to this lovely plant.

The use of Speedwell in healing to clears sinus congestion; eases eye soreness and helps eyesight. Goes to areas of tension, specifically the neck and shoulder areas and relaxes the muscles. A decoction of the plant is used in the treatment of dysmenorrhoea and hemorrhage.

Due to the bitter flavor, speedwell leaves and young shoots are used for food only in famine situations.

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