The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!


Scientific Names


  • Stachys officinalis L.
  • Lamination
  • Mint family

Common Names

  • Lousewort
  • Purple betony
  • Wood betony

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Parts Usually Used

Flowering herb
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Betony is a perennial plant; the hairy, unbranched or slightly branched, quadrangular stem grows to a height of 6-24 inches. The leaves are opposite, more or less fairy on both sides, the lower leaves oblong-cordate, the upper more lanceolate. Spicate whorls of red-purple flowers appear above a rosette of leaves over a long blooming period from June to August. Full sun or partial shade.
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Where Found

Found in old European gardens, damp or dry meadows, on sunny slopes, and along forest paths.
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Medicinal Properties

Anthelmintic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, vulnerary.
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Legends, Myths and Stories

During the Middle Ages betony was grown in monastery gardens and was believed to ward off a host of evils, including mad dogs.
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Betony is recommended for asthma and bronchitis, as well as for heartburn. The infusion is also popularly used for neurasthenia, neuritis, neuralgia, bladder and kidney problems, spitting blood, and excessive sweating; regular use is recommended for varicose veins. A strong decoction is said to be effective against worms. The juice of the plant can be used to heal cuts, external ulcers, and cold sores.

If you have a sprain, don’t throw away the leaves boiled to make a decoction; make them into a poultice to put on the injured part. Taking 1/2 to 1 cup of the infusion a day is recommended for children who, for no apparent reason, fail to thrive.

Fresh betony leaf was believed to prevent drunkenness if chewed before a party, and, as a nightcap, an infusion is supposed to keep away bad dreams.

Betony tea is a good substitute for oriental black tea because it is similar in flavor. Can be used daily.
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Formulas or Dosages

Infusion: use 1 to 2 tsp. per cup of water; take 1 to 2 cups during the day, a mouthful at a time.

Decoction: use 2 tsp. with 1/2 cup water; sweeten to taste. Take 1/2 cup per day, a mouthful at a time.
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Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

Buy It!The Magic of Herbs, by David Conway, published by Jonathan Cape, Thirty Bedford Square, London, England. (Out of print)

Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

Buy It! Country Home Book of Herbs, Meredith Books, Editorial Dept. RW240, 1716 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309-3023, copyright 1994

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