Wild Betony

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The LEAVES of wild betony are like the nettle’s; however, they lack rashing hairs. They have, however, a slightly hot flavor and give off a fetid odor.

Betony (Stachys officianalis [L.] Trevisan) belongs to the same botanical genus as wild betony; however, it has different medicinal properties.

image of the wild betony plant and flowers

Wild Betony Scientific Facts

  1. Scientific Name – Stachys silvatica L.
  2. French – Stachys, epiaire.
  3. Spanish – Ortiga hedionda.
  4. Environment – Widely spread in humid forests all over Europe, especially near oak and beech tree forests.
  5. Description – Vivacious plant of the Labiatae family, growing from 0.6 to 1 m high, with stem and leaves covered by fine hairs and purple flowers with two lips, like all plants of the Labiatae family.
  6. Parts of the plant used medicinally – The flower clusters.

Healing Properties

The entire plant contains an essential oil whose composition is very complex and has antispasmodic (it relaxes muscles of involuntary contraction), sedative, and emmenagogue (regulates and normalizes menstruation) properties.

Its main application is to treat irregular or painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea) and menopause disorders. This plant alleviates spasmodic contractions of the uterine muscles and eases the pain that those spasms can cause.

image of marsh betony

Marsh Betony

Marsh betony (Stachys palustris L.), also called red betony, is a species similar to wild betony. It is usually employed in the form of extract. Its antispasmodic and sedative properties are practically the same as wild betony.

According to Leclerc, when administering marsh betony, the dose of barbiturates can be reduced, making the risks of these pharmaceutical preparations’ usage decrease.

How to use Wild Betony

  1. Infusion with 20-30 grams of flower clusters per liter of water. Drink two or three cups daily, especially during the week before the expected menstruation date.


  • 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. 641. Print.

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