Wood Betony.

Botanical name: 

Wood betony (Betonica officinalis).

Natural Order—Labiatae.

This is one of the best-known herbs in the vegetable kingdom. It has many leaves rising from the root, rather broad and round at the end, dented at the margins, standing upon long foot-stalks. The stem is square, slender, and hairy; the upper leaves are smaller than the lower, whereon are set several flowers of a purple colour. The roots are like white thready strings. It grows in woods and by the waysides, In pastures and shady places. It flowers from June to August.

Medicinal Properties: Nervine, Tonic, Antiscorbutic, Stomachic.

Much has been said and written in praise of this plant, and it cannot be over-rated as a stomachic. It may be given with the greatest confidence for headache, pains in the head and face, neuralgia, and for all bilious and nervous affections, delirium, heartburn, cramp in the stomach, and colic pains. Make up the following for the above complaints:—

Wood Betony ... 1 oz.
Rosemary ... ½ oz.
Scullcap ... ½ oz.

Infuse in one quart of boiling water, and let it steep for 20 minutes; strain off the clear liquor, and take one wineglassful three or four times a day.

Or the following may be made:—

Wood Betony ... 1 oz.
Great Burnet ... 1 oz.
Raspberry Leaves ... 1 oz.
Agrimony ... 1 oz.
Meadowsweet ... 1 oz.
Wood Avens ... 1 oz.

Cut all up into small pieces and mix well together. To every pint of boiling water add one-quarter ounce of the above mixture, and infuse for about 10 minutes. To be taken as required instead of tea or coffee, lukewarm, sweetened, and add milk to taste.

In case of fevers, where there is insensibility or delirium, it will be found that after the above infusion has been used a few times the natural condition will be restored.

Health from British Wild Herbs was written by Richard Lawrence Hool, N.A.M.H., in 1918.