Veronica

When comparatively larger and more attractive plants are close by, the petite flowers of speedwell are generally overlooked by most. Nevertheless, the tiny light blue lavender flowers of speedwell are a frequent spectacle in the woods during summer. There was a time when herbalists used the speedwell to treat a large assortment of medical conditions. In contemporary herbal medicine, an herbal tea prepared by brewing dehydrated flowering speedwell plant is occasionally used to treat cough or in the form of a lotion that is applied topically to heal skin irritation. The speedwell herb has a slight bitter and astringent flavor and odor akin to tea which led people in the 19th century France to use the herb as an alternative to tea. In France, people called the speedwell tea as the d'Europe or the ‘European tea'. In fact, people in France continue to call speedwell tea by this name till date.

This herb derives its name from an ancient meaning of the term speed - ‘thrive'. However, the botanical name of the herb ‘Veronica' dates back to about 500 years and it seems that it is related to the name of the celebrated Veronica, who is known to have wiped Jesus' face when He visited Calvary. It is very likely that the genus Veronica was attributed to her since the flowers of this herb reportedly have resemblance to the stains that remained on the cloth which was used to wipe the face of Jesus.

HT