Mother Earth's Medicine Cabinet: 7 Medicinal Benefits Of Betony

Wood Betony (Stachys betonica or Botanica officinalis) is an edible herb that’s packed full of alkaloids, tannins, saponins and several medicinal healing benefits. Wood Betony has been a part of traditional medicine for centuries. In fact, during the Middle Ages it was considered to be one of the cure-all herbs. It was once one of the most used medicinal herbs by the Anglo-Saxons.

Aside from the health benefits, it is a beautiful addition to any garden and butterflies, honeybees, hummingbirds, and other pollinators all benefit from it as well. Some of the healing properties found in the Betony are anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, antipyretic, analgesic, anthelmintic… and this is just to name a few. I have used Wood Betony several times for different ailments and today I’d like to share some of them with you along with some of the other awesome benefits provided.

The Benefits of Betony

  1. Works As Anti-inflammatory – Wood Betony has anti-inflammatory properties that help ease the inflammation of the skin caused by eczema and other skin conditions. Not only does it ease any inflammation to the skin, but Betony will also reduce how often you have flare-ups and the redness. The Anti-inflammatory properties are also incredible for the whole body concerning inflammation issues.
  2. Provides Headache Relief – This herb works wonders on various headaches including migraines, sinusitis, and headaches caused by anxiety. Not only can it ease the pain, but regular use of Betony can also help eliminate the onset of headaches.
  3. Strengthens Digestive Tract – Wood Betony stimulates and strengthens the gut. It can be used to stimulate the appetite, as well as keep your gut healthy. The herb can treat and relieve numerous gastric disorders such as heartburn, gastritis, constipation, bloating, and poor digestion. The laxative properties and anthelmintic properties help detox your body and it can also expel intestinal and gut worms.
  4. Proivdes General Pain Relief – I think it is amazing how Betony handles pain. When you ingest the herb, it will locate the nerves in the painful area of your body and increase and improve the blood flow to that specific area, providing relief from the pain. The analgesic properties make it great for topical pain cream and muscle rub.
  5. Provides Respiratory Aid – Betony can strengthen the respiratory system and help ease different respiratory conditions. It is a natural expectorant, which will help clear unwanted mucus in the upper respiratory tract. Betony can also help ease congestion brought on by bronchitis, asthma, cough & cold, and sinusitis. The antispasmodic properties will help control coughing fits brought on by tense muscles causing spasms.
  6. Improves Cardiovascular Health – Wood Betony naturally and safely lowers blood pressure, helping to maintain good levels. It also stimulates and improves overall heart function.
  7. Works As Antispasmodic – The same antispasmodic properties that help ease spasms within the respiratory tract can help ease and eliminate muscle spasms in most parts of the body.

These 7 health and medicinal benefits of Wood Betony are really just a few on a very long list. I have seen books that list well over 20 healing uses for Betony, some originating from the 1500s – it’s obvious why it was one of the most revered medicinal herbs in Europe and many other places on this planet. I have seen for myself that Betony can help with the above-listed issues and in a very good way. It amazes me how many people will just call it a weed or wildflower when it has so many positive healing benefits.

You can make a nice Betony tea or just take the capsules found at the health food stores. I prefer to use much of Nature’s Medicines as fresh as possible, so I like to find it wild, but when I don’t have time to forage, I look for all natural and organic versions of the tea, capsules, and just the dry herb alone. When I use it in tea I just add about 2 teaspoons of the dried herb into a cup, add close to boiling water, and the most important part is to cover it with a saucer or plate. Covering the tea allows the medicines to remain in the cup instead of seeping out with the steam.

Do you have any unique uses for Wood Betony? Share in the comments below!

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The photograph that accompanies the text is not of Wood Betony, but of Stachys sylvatica - Hedge Woundwort.

Hi Anna, Thanks so much for bringing this error to our attention! We've now replaced it with an accurate picture. Thank you for being a Basmati reader -- we appreciate the feedback.

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