The physicians of ancient Greece and Rome regarded the betony plant as a kind of panacea. It is believed that Roman Emperor Nero’s physician wrote a list of forty-seven diseases that can be cured with Betony. However, most of the properties attributed to this plant could not have been proven, but this does not mean it does not have them. Perhaps in the future, scientific research can learn the reason for the Roman physicians.
Betony Plant Scientific Facts
- Other names: Bettonica Officinalis L, lousewort, purple Betony, wood betony.
- French: Betoine.
- Spanish: Betonica.
- Environment: Native to western and southern Europe, it also grows in warm regions of America.
- Description: Plant of the Labiatae family, growing up to 60 cm high, with a quadrangular stem and oval-shaped leaves covered by a hair layer. Its flowers grow in terminal spikes and are purple or pink.
- Part of plant used medicinally: The whole plant.
Healing Properties and Warning
The betony plant contains tannin, bitter substances, glycosides, and saponins. Internally used, it is astringent, though, in high doses, it can produce gastritis and diarrhea. Its most important application is its vulnerary properties. It helps heal wounds, sores, and ulcers. It renders good results when it is applied locally on varicose ulcers.
The powder made with dry leaves has sneezing properties; therefore, it reduces nasal congestion of sinusitis or the cold.
How to use Betony
- Compresses with a decoction of 100g of plant per liter of water. Use in local application, several times a day, one compress on the affected skin, keeping it for 15 minutes.
- Powder of dry leaves: Inhale it to induce sneezing.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 730. Print.