Betony, also known as Wood Betony, was once held in high regard by ancient folk healers. Used as a herbal treatment for a host of human ills ranging from the common cold to warding off supernatural spirits, Betony is still used by herbal practitioners, though for a much more limited set of maladies.
Current use of the dried herb of Betony involves the use of a tincture or infusion as a remedy for chronic headaches and to treat anxiety and nervousness. Like most herbs, Betony possesses mild astringent properties, for which it is occasionally recommended as a the treatment for diarrhea, or as a mouthwash to soothe mucous membranes of the mouth and throat.
Betony contains relatively high amounts of tannin, explaining its astringent activity. It also contains choline, alkaloids and glycosides. One glycoside has been shown to lower blood pressure, possibly supporting its use as a treatment for anxiety and headaches.
Betony is nontoxic, though excess consumption may lead to mild stomach upset.