Wood betony herb is also known as stachys officinalis, betonica officinalis, bishop's wort, purple betony and stachys betonica. All the parts of stachys officinalis have been used since the middle ages to treat ailments such as eczema, hives, shingles, chest and lung problems, fever, gout and many other conditions and illness. It was also used in witchcraft and as a protection from evil.
Purple betony contains betaine, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, harpagide, rosmarinic acid, stachydrine and tannins. The herb has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties.
The top and flowering parts of stachys officinalis is now used as an herbal remedy and sold as health supplement. The presence of tannins contributes to its astringent properties and it is helpful in treating sore throat caused by allergies or the common cold and mouth and gum infections. Gargling with purple betony tea seems to help treat the symptoms.
The presence of betaine is one of the possible reasons this herb is used to treat diarrhea, urinary tract infections and as one of the herbal remedies to remove intestinal parasite.
Stachys officinalis extract may also help relief migraine and tension headaches, anxiety and neuralgia. A study found that stachys officinalisy extract has the potential to lower blood pressure probably because of the glycosides. It may also help as an herbal remedy for asthma, bronchitis and kidney stones. Another use of bishop's herb include relieving PMS or premenstrual symptoms.
Stachys officinalis is available cut and dried and the extract is also sold in capsules, liquid extract, tincture and tea. It is also available as powder. There is no recorded side effects if you take the supplement as recommended. But if you are pregnant or on prescription medication, avoid taking it.