Betony (Stachy Officinalis) is a woodland perennial and a member of the mint family with its characteristic square stem and bilabiate flowers. The flowers are lavender in color and appear in whorls from June through August. The leaves and stems are hairy and fragrant. The plant appears along woodland edges and can reach up to two feet in height. Betony is a European native that has naturalized over much of the United States and is considered a weed in many areas.
Betony betonica officinalis is also known as; St Brid’s Comb, Stachys betonica, woundwort, common hedge nettle, lousewort, purple betony, bishop wort, bishop’s elder, spiked betony
History and Folklore
The name betony is said to derive from a Celtic word bewton which means “good for the head”.
The Egyptians regarded betony as a magical herb. A Spanish saying, “He has as many values as betony,” shows the regard that people had for the plant. The Romans listed 47 different medicinal uses for betony and believed that even wild beasts used betony as medicine, and would seek it out when wounded.
|Protective Charm||Betony has long been regarded as a protective herb, believed to ward off evil spirits and protect against witchcraft.|
|Healing Powers||In traditional folk medicine, Betony was used to treat various ailments, including headaches, digestive issues, and respiratory problems.|
|Symbol of Good Luck and Prosperity||Betony was sometimes carried as a talisman to attract good luck, abundance, and prosperity.|
|Dream Enhancer||It is said that placing Betony leaves under your pillow can enhance dreams, bring about clarity, and provide insights into the subconscious.|
|Warding Against Nightmares||Betony was often hung above beds or placed in dream pillows to protect against nightmares and promote restful sleep.|
A common traditional use for betony was a guard against evil spirits and mischief. During the Middle Ages, it was planted in churchyards and worn in amulets for protection.
Makes a chartreuse dye with an alum mordant.
|Protection||Betony is associated with protection, warding off negative energies and shielding against harm.|
|Healing||It is believed to possess healing energies, promoting physical and emotional well-being.|
|Purification||Betony is used in purification rituals and spells, helping to cleanse and clear negative influences.|
|Enhancing Psychic Abilities||Some practitioners use Betony to enhance their psychic abilities, intuition, and divination skills.|
|Strengthening Spells||Betony can be incorporated into spells aimed at strengthening personal energy, boundaries, and magical work.|
Betony can be added to any protective mixtures, grown around the home to protect it or carried on the person (especially under one’s hat) to protect from negativity, misfortune, and hexes. Scattered near doors prevents unwanted energies (and people) from entering. It has been planted in graveyards to prevent evil spirits from escaping.
Betony can be stuffed into a pillow or placed underneath to prevent nightmares and night terrors.