A tall and regular growing wild plant, with small deep purple flowers. It grows four feet high, and is common in our woods and ditches, where there is little water; there is another kind of it in wet places, called also water betony, which is to be distinguished from it by the round indentings of the leaves: it also grows in water, or just by it: the right figwort only loves shade and dampness, but not absolute wet. The stalk is square, upright, hollow, and very firm; the leaves stand two at each joint, opposite one to the other; they are large, broad at the base, narrow at the point, and sharply indented; they stand on long foot-stalks, and they have the shape of the nettle leaf, but they are perfectly smooth, and of a shining colour; they are sometimes green, but often brown, as is also the whole plant. The flowers are very small and gaping, their colour is a blackish purple. The root is long, white, and full of little tubercles, it spreads a great way under the surface.
The juice of the fresh gathered root is an excellent sweetener of the blood taken in small doses, and for a long time together. The fresh roots bruised and applied externally, are said also to be excellent for the evil. They cool and give ease in the piles, applied as a pultice.