Speedwell/Gypsyweed, Veronica officinalis
Speedwell is a member of the Veronica family, a rather large family with about 500 species.
The official speedwell is not only a cute little groundcover it is a powerful medicinal herb, used since antiquity for blood cleansing properties, to treat respiratory, gastrointestinal, nervous, arthritic, liver and urinary conditions and as a relaxant. It has anti-inflammatory properties, makes a great tonic, was used against rheumatism, gout, to help the liver,the spleen and was used for skin problems. As a bitter herb, speedwell stimulates the stomach that more digestive juicesare released, which helps us to digest our food more easily. Many herbalists use it to relieve various types of allergies.
Externally it can be used in ointments to treat skin inflammations, wounds and eczema.
Speedwell was used as a tea substitute, because of the slightly bitter and astringent taste and the smell similar to tea. In France it was called thé d'Europe. Speedwell tea is sold as well under the name 'Swiss Tea' to aid digestion.
Grow speedwell as an attractive perennial groundcover under trees in part shade. It grows to 0.1 x 0.3 m.
Other names: Heath Speedwell, Common Speedwell, Common Gypsyweed, Paul's Betony, fluellen, groundhole and Veronica.
German: Ehrenpreis, Allerweltsheil und Männertreue