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What are the Uses and Health Benefits of Wood Betony (Stachys Officinalis)?

Wood Betony, Stachys officinalis

Wood betony is a medicinal plant whose parts are dried and used to make medicines since ages. It is said that there is no ailment brought by a cold which Wood betony cannot treat. It is a fascinating herb with much goodness. Wood betony plant is commonly grown in physics gardens of monasteries for medicinal purposes. This plant is being used to treat symptoms of gout and arthritis since a very long time. It is believed to treat symptoms of drunkenness.

What are the common names for Wood Betony?

Common hedge nettle, purple betony, bishopwort, betony, and woundwort.

How Wood Betony is Scientifically Classified?

  • Kingdom - Plantae
  • Phylum - Angiosperms
  • Subphylum - Eudicots
  • Class - Asterids
  • Order - Lamiales
  • Family - Lamiaceae
  • Genus - Stachys
  • Species - S.officinalis

What is the Botanical name of Wood Betony?

Stachys officinalis

General Description of Wood Betony

Wood betony is a plant which lives for several years. It grows from 30 to 60 cm in height. This plant is very tough and durable with much visual attraction. Wood betony can tolerate well-drained and average soils and is also drought tolerant. It does not grow well in overly damp soil. This tree usually prefers full sun and rarely suffers from any kind of diseases. Leaves are narrow, oval and stalked on upright stems. They have a heart-shaped base and have toothed margins and wrinkled texture. The calyx is edged with bristles and 5-7 mm long. Wood betony flowers from July to September, i.e. midsummers.

Where is the Wood Betony Distributed?

It is commonly found in dry grassland, open woods, and meadows in Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia. This plant is also found in some areas of England and Wales, also rarely in northern Scotland and Ireland.

What type of Area is Required for Cultivation of Wood Betony?

This plant is difficult to grow and hard as it grows in open woods, moist areas and at the roadside. It is well cultivated in a partially shaded area and well-drained soil.

Which parts of the Wood Betony is used for the Medicinal Purpose?

Roots and Flower.

What are the Medicinal uses of Wood Betony?

  • Wood betony is used to treat digestive problems like heartburn and acidity. It has astringent properties which help to treat diarrhea. This herb stimulates the digestive system. Carminative action of this herb helps to relieve flatulence.
  • It is used to treat irritation in mouth, gums, and throat by taking Wood betony's tea or doing gargles. Wood betony's infusion or decoction is used to make herbal tea which can be used either by drinking it or using it as a mouthwash to treat mouth ailments.
  • This plant given in the tincture form to treat anxiety.
  • Wood betony is smoked to treat headaches as it calms the nerves. Powder of this herb if snuffed induces sneezing which relieves congestion and headaches.
  • It has antioxidant action, i.e. Wood betony removes free radicals. This herb inhibits oxidation or damages oxidizing agents in a living organism.
  • Wood betony kills microorganism or stops their growth and protect the body against infections.
  • This herb reduces inflammation and relieves pain, swelling, and redness in the affected part.
  • Wood betony eliminates parasites from the body either stuns their growth or kills them.
  • It prevents the growth of the disease-causing micro-organism.
  • The breathing difficulties as in bronchitis can be relieved by smoking leaves.
  • This herb is very effective in the treatment of high blood pressure.
  • Constipation can be relieved by the use of Wood betony as it has mild purgative action too.
  • Wood betony helps to stimulate or increase menstrual flow. O it is used for pre-menstrual complaints also.
  • It prevents kidney ailments by increasing the frequency and quantity of urine which also acts as a barrier in the stone formation.
  • This herb prevents liver ailments by increasing the discharge of bile from the system.
  • Wood betony relives insomnia and induces deep sleep.
  • It improves poor memory and relieves tension.
  • In homeopathy, this herb is used under the name of medicine Stachys betonica. This medicine is given to patients having complaints of suppressed breathing due to paralysis of diaphragm, dizziness, dullness, and heaviness in the frontal region of the head. Patient gets affected from cold easily.
  • Wood betony can be used to stop nasal bleeding.

What Precautions should be taken While using Wood Betony?

  • Use of Wood betony should be avoided during pregnancy as it stimulates menstruation which can lead to abortion.
  • During breastfeeding, it can cause harmful effects to mother and the child so it should not be used.
  • As this herb lowers the blood pressure so people prone to low blood pressure should not take this.
  • Wood betony usage should be stopped before two weeks of surgery as it may affect blood pressure  during and after the surgery.


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