Wood Betony

Also indexed as:Stachys officinalis
Wood Betony: Main Image © Martin Wall
Botanical names:
Stachys officinalis

Parts Used & Where Grown

Native to Europe, wood betony is now planted in many parts of the world with temperate climates. The primary portions of the plant that are used as medicine are the leaves and flowers, though historically the root has also been used. There are many similar species originating from Eurasia, including Stachys sieboldii (Chinese artichoke, kan lu) and S. atherocalyx (hedge nettle).

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

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This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Anxiety
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Wood betony is one of a group of “nerve tonic” (nervine) herbs used in traditional herbal medicine for people with anxiety, with few reports of toxicity.
Common Cold and Sore Throat
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners use Chinese artichoke, a species similar to wood betony, for colds and flu.
Gastritis
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Wood betony has been used in European traditional herbal medicine for the treatment of heartburn and gastritis.
Shingles and Postherpetic Neuralgia
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Wood betony is a traditional remedy for various types of nerve pain and may be helpful for postherpetic neuralgia.
Sinusitis
900 mg per day of diosmin and 100 mg per day of hesperidin1 star[1 star]
Wood betony is used in traditional European herbal medicine as an anti-inflammatory remedy for people with sinusitis.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Wood betony was used in European folk herbalism as a remedy for respiratory tract inflammation, heartburn, urinary tract inflammation, varicose veins, intestinal worm infestations, and failure to thrive.1 It was considered a calming remedy and was used for headaches as well as some forms of neuralgia, including shingles.2

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.