7 Amazing Wood Betony Benefits

Wood betony benefits are best known for its calming effects. It is great for digestive discomfort caused by nervous tension, anxiety, and depression. It is also known as a “nerve tonic” (nervine) (1). An herb that is used in traditional herbal medicine for people with anxiety. Studies have shown wood betony benefits include antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory effects.

Wood betony (Stachys officinalis) is a sustained grassland herb that’s natural to Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. “Sell your coat and buy betony,” advised an Italian proverb of the Middle Ages. Since ancient times, people claimed that wood betony benefits could cure anything. From the common cough to epilepsy. While these ancient claims might have been exaggerated, this fascinating herb still holds many benefits.

In the past, wood betony was thought to possess many magical properties, including the power to ward off evil spirits. It was extensively used in amulets for this reason. In modern folk medicine, the herb is especially valued for its astringent properties. It is useful as a remedy of problems such as diarrhea and in treating irritations affecting the throat, the mouth, and the gums. 

The leaves of the wood betony are usually made as an infusion or used in the preparation of a herbal tea. These infusions can be used as a gargle or mouthwash to treat oral and throat disorders (2). The use of the leaves to make an infusion or tea depends on the type of ailment concerning the individual.

Learn more about the benefits of wood betony in the video below and continue reading:

Plant Medicine Series: Wood Betony

Wood Betony Benefits

1. Relieves Headaches and Migraines

The mildly sedative action of the wood betony is also effective in relieving nervous stress and emotional tension (3). It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce stress and anxiety (which are often the source of migraines). A cup of wood betony tea can soothe your sorrows and alleviate stress-induced headaches.

2. Improves Digestive Issues

Wood betony benefits have been known to stimulate the digestive system and to boost the functioning of the liver (4). It is used for digestion problems including heartburn, diarrhea, and intestinal gas. It eases stomach cramps and nausea, helps expel gas from the bowel and prevent fermentation in the stomach.

It can also help relieve bloating and is stimulating to the liver. It improves appetite, increases milk production and eases colic. 

3. Relieves Toothaches

If you have a toothache, it’s important to figure out what’s at the root of your discomfort. From there, you can determine how to best relieve any pain, swelling, or other symptoms.

Wood betony has powerful antibacterial and antioxidant properties that can help to treat toothaches (5). It can effectively ease pain and reduce inflammation.  It can relieve inflammation in your mouth and prevent infections. 

4. Improve Sleep Quality

Getting a good amount of sleep is incredibly important for your health. Sleep helps your body and brain function properly. A good night’s sleep can improve your learning, memory, decision-making and even your creativity

Wood betony has been used as a natural remedy to reduce inflammation and anxiety and treat insomnia. It’s regarded for its sedative effects. This sedative effect is likely attributed to the compound honokiol, which is found in abundance in the leaves (6).

5. Improve Mood

Wood betony is also effective in relieving nervous stress and emotional tension. It’s been used as a nerve tonic and calming agent for hundreds of years. Wood betony nervine properties make it effective in reducing feelings of anxiousness and distress (7).

It is effective due to its ability to help support the parasympathetic nervous system, which means it will not only help calm frayed nerves but also have a soothing impact on the digestive system

6. Fights Colds

Being sick, even when you’re home in bed, isn’t fun. The combination of body aches, fever, chills, and nasal congestion can be enough to make anyone miserable.

Wood betony has been recommended by some for the treatment of coughs and colds in particular, as well as its possible help in fighting illnesses of the digestive, circulatory and respiratory systems.

7. Treats Asthma

Wood betony has been used as a natural remedy to manage many diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease, because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Since asthma is an inflammatory disease, it would make sense that Wood betony may also help relieve asthma symptoms.

How to Recieve Wood Betony Benefits

INFUSION – For general use as a relaxation, easing stress or anxiety it can be used as a tonic. Small doses one tsp per cup can be taken daily.

An infusion can also be used in the treatment of migraines and other headaches, to alleviate nervous tension, or to stimulate digestion and cleanse the system.

TINCTURE – The wood betony tincture can also be used in the same doses as the infusion. It useful for nervous headaches, easing nerves, treating asthma, and arthritic disorders.

POULTICE – The poultice made from wood betony can be applied to heal wounds and bruises on the skin. This can be prepared by grinding fresh wood betony leaves to a pulp.

WASH – The infusion can be used as a herbal wash to bathe and clean leg ulcers and other wounds on the skin especially if they are infected.

MOUTHWASH/GARGLE – The herbal infusion is useful in treating mouth ulcers, various gum inflammations, toothaches, and as a gargle in the case of sore throats.

Side Effects

  • There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking wood betony if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
  • Betony might lower blood pressure. It might cause blood pressure to drop too low in people prone to low blood pressure.
  • Since wood betony is effective in stimulating the digestive system, overdosage may cause stomach irritation.

Where to Buy Wood Betony

You can buy the herb at online herb vendors and make your own tea or tincture. You can also buy the tincture already made from herbal tincture vendors or in a supplement form.