Stachys betonica. N.O. Labiateae.
Synonym ► Bishopswort.
Habitat ► Thickets, woods and shady waysides.
Features ► The stem of this well-known wild plant is slender, square and hairy; it gives off a few distant pairs of rough, oblong leaves with rounded teeth. Purplish flowers, arranged in a terminal, oval spike, bloom in July and August. The roots are white and thready. Bitter to the taste, the odour is slight and pleasant.
Part used ► The whole herb.
Action ► Aromatic, astringent and alterative.
It is highly recommended for biliousness, stomach cramp and colic, and as a tonic in digestive disorders generally. It is a helpful component of prescriptions in the treatment of rheumatism and blood impurities. A wineglass of the ounce to pint infusion may be taken frequently.
Tilke is interesting on Wood Betony, as his remarks show that the herb was as popular a carminative a hundred years ago as it is to-day ► “This herb boiled with wine or water,” he tells us, “is good for those who cannot digest their meals, or have belchings and a continual rising in their stomach.”