Veronica officinalis. N.O. Scrophulariaceae.
Synonym ► Bird’s Eye, Cat’s Eye, Common Speedwell, Fluellin (in Wales). Habitat ► Dry banks and sandy commons.
Features ► Stem slender, creeping, covered with short hairs. Leaves opposite, oval, hairy, serrate, short-stalked, about half an inch long by a quarter of an inch broad. Flowers small, pink turning blue, in axillary spikes. Astringent to the taste, odour when dry rather tea-like.
Part used ► Herb.
Action ► Mildly alterative, expectorant, diuretic.
Helpful in minor skin blemishes, coughs and catarrhs. Made as tea, it resembles certain varieties of China tea, both in taste and aroma.
Tilke recommends the substitution of Speedwell and Wood Betony for tea as, in addition to their positive virtues, they produce none of the bad effects of the last-named beverage.