Introduction of Wood Betony:bishop's wort, purple betony, or common hedge nettle.

Popular Herbs. ✵The article gives records of the herb Wood Betony, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source two plant species, ①.Stachys officinalis(L.)Trev., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Wood Betony, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.

Wood Betony(bishopwort).

purple flower spike of Wood Betony:bishopwort English Name: Wood Betony.
 Latin Name: Stachys officinalis(L.)Trev., sometimes referred to as Stachys betonica or Betonica officinalis.
 Common Names: Betony, bishop's wort, common hedge nettle, purple betony, wood betony, bishopwort.
 Property and flavor: 

 Brief introduction: The European and Asian perennial bears loose spikes of pink or white summer flowers and faintly pungent, piliferous oval leaves. It favors open woodlands and meadows and is popular for herb gardens. The dried above ground parts of the plant and occasionally the roots are used medicinally.

 Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Wood Betony as the dried above ground parts of the species (1).Stachys officinalis(L.)Trev. It is a plant species of the Stachys genus, the Lamiaceae family (Labiatae, mint family). It is also known as Betonica officinalis L. The dried fruit and essential oil from the ripe fruit are used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:

(1).Stachys officinalis(L.)Trev.

 flowering plant of Stachys officinalis with purple flower spikes and green leaves grow in sunny field Botanical description: Stachys officinalis is a hardy perennial herb, upright, straight, unbranched square stems (15~40 cm) bear narrow stem leaves. The stalked basal leaves are oval and bluntly toothed with a cordate base.

 Dense, terminal, cylindrical spikes of reddish-purple magenta flowers occur in summer. The cylindrical flowerheads distinguish it from woundworts.

 purple flower spike of Stachys officinalis in sunny field The flowers are tubular with five lobes, the lower three lobes are bent back, and there are axillary flowers with a characteristic pair of leafy bracts below each whorl of flowers. The fruit is composed of four small nutlets hidden in the persistent, smooth five-toothed calyx. The plant has dense terminal spikes of reddish-purple flowers in summer and early autumn.

 Ecological environment: Stachys officinalis grows on hedge banks, grassland, heaths, open woods, and woodland rides and margins. It is occasionally found in cliff-top grassland. The plant is distributed throughout Europe and Central Asia.

 green leaves and small purple flower of Stachys officinalis Growth characteristics: The plant grows in well-drained chalk, loam, and sand soil. It favors mildly acidic soils, but is also found on those that are neutral or somewhat calcareous. It requires full sun and partial shade.

 purple flowers of Stachys officinalis Characters of herbs: The herb wood betony is the flowering plant of Betonica officinalis collected from June to August at flowering time.The herb, including the basal leaves, is collected and dried in the shade at a maximum temperature of 40 °C (Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit).

 Pharmacological actions: ①.astringent; ②.aid digestion; ③.tranquilizer; ④.disinfectant, etc.

 The herb contains about 15% tannin content, which explains its astringent effect on skin and mucous membrane irritations including sore throat, gum inflammation, and diarrhea, tannins constrict skin tissue and reduce oozing and bleeding.

 Betonica officinalis has a mildly bitter taste, it stimulates the digestive system. The herb act as a tranquilizer, a disinfectant, and an astringent. Its glycosides have hypotensive characteristics.

 Medicinal efficacy: In medieval Europe, wood betony was used for warding off evil spirits. It was ever used for relieving headaches, treating diarrhea, and mucous membrane irritations such as sore throats and inflamed gums. Today it is recommended by herbalists as a mild sedative and treatment for anxiety, nervous tension, nervous system disorders, indigestion, and premenstrual syndrome. It stimulates the liver and digestive system and functions as an overall tonic. It is also used as a flavoring in herbal tea blends. Today the herb made of Betonica officinalis is used as an expectorant for coughs, bronchitis, and asthma, used as a sedative in preparations for the treatment of neuralgia and anxiety, in folk medicine it is used as an antidiarrheal agent, a carminative, and a sedative, for catarrh, lung catarrh, heartburn, gout, nervousness, bladder and kidney stones, and inflammation of the bladder. In homeopathy, it is used for asthma and general states of debility.

 Administration of Wood Betony (bishopwort): 
Reference: Administration Guide of Wood Betony (bishopwort)
Herbal classic books: Dosage: The liquid herb extract is taken in doses of 2~4 ml. The infusion can be taken daily. The total daily dosage of the powder is 1~2 grams, to be taken in 3 separate doses. The fresh leaves may be boiled and used for wounds and swelling.
 Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: The typically recommended amounts of wood betony have no serious adverse reactions. But any tannin-rich herb used over long periods may increase the risk of malignant changes. Some herbalists advise pregnant women to avoid the herb, as some say the herb stimulates the uterus.




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  • 1.Introduction of Wood Betony:bishop's wort, purple betony, or common hedge nettle.

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