The medicinal part is the herb, including the basal leaves.
Flower and Fruit
The flowers are crimson and labiate in a terminal, spikelike, irregular formation. The calyx, with 5 even, triangular tips, has long ciliate hairs and is shorter than the corolla tube. The corolla is curled downward, and the white tube has no ring of hair. The upper lip is erect, and the lower lip has 3 lobes, with the middle one being broad. There are 4 stamens.
Leaves, Stem, and Root
The plant grows to a height of about 30 to 100 cm. The stem is erect, unbranched, quadrangular, bristly-haired, and usually only has 2 distal pairs of leaves. The basal leaves are rosettelike. The leaves are elongate-ovate with a cordate base and crenate. The lower ones are larger and long-petioled, and the upper ones are smaller and shorter.
The plant grows in Europe.
Wood Betony is the flowering plant of Betonica officinalis collected from June to August at flowering time. The herb, including the basal leaves, is collected and dried in the shade at a maximum temperature of 40º C.
Not to be Confused With
Actions & Pharmacology
Betaine: including betonicine [(-)-oxystachydrine), (-)- stachydrine), ((+)oxystachydrine]
Caffeic acid derivatives: including chlorogenic acid, isochlorogenic acid, rosemary acid iridoid glycosides Diterpene lactone
Iridoids: iridoid glycosides, including harpagide
The drug is said to act as a tranquilizer, a disinfectant and an astringent. It contains glycosides with hypotensive characteristics.
Indications & Usage
Wood Betony is an astringent. As an expectorant, it is used for coughs, bronchitis, and asthma. It is contained in combination preparations as a sedative and for the treatment of neuralgia and anxiety. In folk medicine, it is used as an antidiarrheal agent, a carmative, and a sedative, and for catarrh, lung catarrh, heartburn, gout, nervousness, bladder and kidney stones, and inflammation of the bladder.
Betonica officinalis is used in homeopathy for asthma and general states of debility.
Precautions & Adverse Reactions
No health hazards or side effects are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages.
Mode of Administration
The herb is used topically, as an extract and an infusion. The fresh leaves are also used.
The infusion can be taken daily. The total daily dosage of the powder is 1 to 2 g, to be taken in 3 separate doses. The fresh leaves may be boiled and used for wounds and swelling.