Wood Betony: is a cerebral tonic that is useful for any problem to do with the head, from headaches and forgetfulness to anxiety and sleeplessness due to nervous tension - wood betony tones and strengthens the nervous system ...
Common Names: Betony, Purple betony, Bishopswort
Botanical Name: Stachys officinalis, Stachys betonica
Plant Type: Hardy perennial
Parts Used: Leaves and flowers
Flowering: July to September
Wood betony is found in dry grassland, meadows and open woods in most of Europe, western Asia and North Africa. In the British Isles it is common in England and Wales, but rare in Ireland and northern Scotland.
Description: Wood betony or Bishop's wort, is a perennial grassland herb growing to 70cm tall. Its leaves are stalked on upright stems, narrowly oval, with a heart-shaped base, with a somewhat wrinkled texture and toothed margins. The calyx is 5-7mm long, with 5 teeth, edged with bristles. The corolla 1-1.5cm long. Its upper lip flat, almost straight when seen from the side. The anthers stick straight out. It flowers in midsummer from July to September.
Cultivation: Betony grows in average, well-drained soil with a pH of 4.0 It prefers full sun to part shade.
Harvesting: Collect aerial parts during flowering.
Culinary Uses: Betony makes a good substitute for black tea.
Wood Betony Magick
Protection. Purification. Love.
Betony is protective and purifying.
Burn it on your Midsummer bonfire.
Grow it in your garden to protect your home.
Herbal Healing with Wood Betony
Medicinal Actions: Astringent, nerve tonic, sedative, vulnerary
Medicinal Uses: Betony is nervous-system tonic, and useful for any problem that has to do with the head, from headaches and forgetfulness to anxiety and sleeplessness due to nervous tension. It is gently sedative, but strengthening as well. Betony works best when taken over time as opposed to a first-aid remedy. For headaches and migraines, combine betony with rosemary (Rosmarinus) and verbena. For anxiety, depression due to nervous exhaustion, and in convalescence after an illness, combine betony with skullcap (Scutellaria), oats (Avena) or St. John's wort (Hypericum). Use it as a gargle for sore throats, or drink it to treat nervous headaches and diarrhea.
Body Care with Wood Betony
- To relieve a sore throat, gargle with 1/2 cup double-strength wood betony infusion three times daily.
- To provoke strong sneezing to relieve sinus headaches and treat nasal congestion, inhale a pinch of dried wood betony as a herbal snuff
Infusion: 2 teaspoons wood betony's dried aerial parts in 1 cup just-boiled water.
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