Betony is a plant. Native to Europe, wood betony is now planted in many parts of the world with temperate climates. This perennial herb belongs to the family Labiatae. It has been used in medicine for centuries, and was written about by Dioscorides in the first century AD and was mentioned by Pliny the Elder who called it Vettonica.


Previously all the plant was used by herbalists, but now the roots are not used. It was used in snuff because it makes you sneeze violently and so clears the nasal passages. It is claimed that the fresh leaves have an intoxicating effect, which is why the tisane is always prepared with the dried leaves and flowers.


Wood betony has tannins and so astringent qualities making it a good treatment for diarrhoea and also the tisane can be used as a mouthwash and gargle for sore throats.


Properties of Betony have been summarised as emmenagogue, anodyne, anti-tumour, aphrodisiac, blood tonic, cardiac, and stomachic. It has been used as a blood tonic, as a cardiac for anaemia and heart troubles and to treat stomach aches, ulcers, and diarrhoea.

Betony Herb

Betony Herb

A medicinal infusion of the herb has been used to treat sore throats, tonsillitis, cough and bronchitis, also used to treat headaches, dizziness and urinary pain.


Wood Betony is available on the market in various forms, but mainly in extracts, tinctures and teas. Betony teas are very good in taste (similar with oriental black), infusions are often drunk as tea as well (from leaves or root).


Leaves (fresh or dried) are used for poultice preparation. Its sedative properties are used for calming down emotional tension and treating anxiety and stress (it also strengthens the nervous system of the body), promotes good sleep.


Traditionally, usage of wood betony has been involved in treating menstrual problems. It may help to relieve discomfort associated with menstrual cramps. Pregnant women should avoid taking wood betony in any form, as it can induce uterine contractions, which may lead to miscarriage.