Drugs A - Z

Betony

Generic Name: Stachys

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Alkaloids, Betoine (French), betonica (Spanish, Italian), Betonica officinalis, betonicolide, betonicosides A-D, Betonien (German), betulinic acid, bishopswort, bishop wort, D-camphor, delphinidin, diterpenoid, glycosides, heal-all, hedgenettle, hedge nettles, hyperoside, Labiatae (family), Lamiaceae (family), lousewort, manganese, oleanolic acid, purple betony, rosmarininc acid, rutin, self-heal, stachydrine, Stachys atherocalyx C., Stachys betonica, Stachys bombycina, Stachys byzanthina C. Koch., Stachys byzantina, Stachys candida, Stachys chrysantha, Stachys grandidentata, Stachys inflata, Stachys lavandulifolia, Stachys officinalis, Stachys palustris L., Stachys parviflora, Stachys persica Gmel., Stachys plumose, Stachys recta, Stachys riederi, Stachys sieboldii, Stachys sieboldii (Miq.), tannins, ursolic acid, wood betony, woundwort.

Background

The term "betony" is frequently used for many species of Stachys. Betony should not be confused with Canada lousewort (Pedicularis canadensis), which is also called wood betony.

Betony has been regarded as a cure-all by many societies including Greece, Italy, Spain, and Britain, as far back as 2,000 years ago. Its constituents include tannins, alkaloids and glycosides, which are typically the active ingredients in herbal remedies.

Its most commonly reported use is as a nervine (sedative or relaxing agent); the validity of this application has not been confirmed with clinical research.

Laboratory study has shown that betony may function as an anti-inflammatory, although this effect has not been confirmed. At this time, there are no clinical human trials supporting the use of betony for any indication.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Amenorrhea, anthelmintic (expels worms), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antipyretic (fever reducer), antiseptic, antispasmodic, anxiety, asthma, astringent, bronchitis, carminative (digestive aid), colds, diarrhea, diuretic, epilepsy, expectorant, gall bladder disorders, gout (foot inflammation), headache, heartburn, Helicobacter pylori infection, hepatitis, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), hypertension (high blood pressure), kidney stones, liver health, nephritis (kidney inflammation), nervousness, neuralgia (nerve pain), pain, respiratory disorders, rheumatism, sedative, stimulation of digestion, stress, tension, tonic, urolithiasis (kidney/urinary tract stones), vertigo, vulnerary (wound healing).

Dosing

Adults (18 years and older):

There is no proven safe or effective dose for betony in adults. As an infusion, 2-4 grams dried herb infused in one cup of boiling water for 10-15 minutes and ingested three times daily has been used traditionally. As a liquid extract (1:1 in 25% ethanol), 2-4 milliliters three times per day has been used. Also, 2-6 milliliters of tincture (1:5 in 45% ethanol) has been taken one to four times per day in water.

Children (younger than 18 years):

There is no proven safe or effective dose for betony in children.

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