Wood Betony is a heeling herb for many ailments that is also known under the names Bishop’s wort, Purple Betony and its biological names Betonica officinalis or Stachys Betonica.
Betony is used for digestion problems including heartburn, diarrhea, and intestinal gas; for breathing problems including bronchitis and asthma; for painful conditions including gout, headache, and facial pain; and for urinary tract conditions including bladder and kidney stones (nephrolithiasis) and bladder pain and swelling (inflammation). It is also used to treat stress and tension, nervousness, and epilepsy.
In combination with other herbs, betony is used to treat nerve pain (neuralgia) and anxiety.
Wood Betony usage is now limited and used for several ailments (it has earlier been used as a cure-all), mainly for:
- Treating headaches and facial pain
- Its sedative properties are used for calming down emotional tension and treating anxiety and stress (it also strengthens the nervous system of the body), promotes good sleep
- Nervous disorders
- Treating diarrhea (very small doses are used, as in large it gives laxative effect)
- Memory problems and lack of concentration
- Nasal congestion and pain in facial region due to sinusitis
- Chronic rheumatism
- Wounds and bruises (poultice from fresh leaves is used), ulcers (when infusion is added to a bath)
- Mouth ulcers, gum inflammations and sore throat (mouthwash is used)
- Stomach cramps (as it stimulates and cleanse digestive system) and gastritis
- For improving of the function of the liver
- Premenstrual (menstrual )pain
- May be helpful in case of hard and painful labor (though some sources do not recommend Betony for pregnant women usage)
- In case of different ailment with lung (bronchitis, asthma)
- It is even used in case of insect bites, worm and some other ailment
The herb is generally used as a general tonic with ability to cause muscles to relax. The effectiveness is doubled when the herb is used in combination with other herbs, but this is the prerogative of the professional herbalist. The taste of Betony is rather sweet and slightly bitter, so it usually used together with honey or hot milk.
There is not enough information about betony to know if it is safe to take. It might cause stomach upset in some people.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking betony if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Low blood pressure (hypotension): Betony might lower blood pressure. It might cause blood pressure to drop too low in people prone to low blood pressure.
Surgery: Betony might affect blood pressure. So there is some concern that it might interfere with blood pressure control during and after surgery. Stop using betony at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs) interacts with BETONY
Betony seems to decrease blood pressure. Taking betony along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.
Some medications for high blood pressure include captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), diltiazem (Cardizem), Amlodipine (Norvasc), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDiuril), furosemide (Lasix), and many others.
Bétoine, Betónica, Betonica officinalis, Bishopswort, Bishop Wort, Épiaire Officinale, Épiaire Vulgaire, Hedge Nettles, Stachys betonica, Stachys officinalis, Tabac des Gardes
Source: Chinese Herbs, http://www.chinese-herbs.org/wood-betony/