Wood betony is excellent for headaches, hysteria, and other nervous afflictions. It is most frequently used in combination with other nervines to calm the nerves. The special work of wormwood is that of a stomach medicine. It is useful for indigestion, gastric pain, increasing stomach acidity, and improving appetite, as well as related problems of heartburn and flatulence.
Wood Betony (Betonica officinalis)
Part Used: Tops
Properties: Nervine, alterative, aromatic, hepatic, parasiticide
What it affects: Nerves and liver
Preparation and Amount
- Infusion: Steep 5-15 minutes. Take 3 oz 3-4 times daily.
- Tincture: Take 30-60 drops (1/2-1 teaspoon) 3-4 times daily.
- Fluid extract: Take 1/2-1 teaspoon 3 times daily.
- Powder: Take 5-10 #0 capsules (30-60 grains) 3-4 times daily.
Internally, wood betony is excellent for headaches, hysteria, and other nervous afflictions. It is most frequently used in combination with other nervines to calm the nerves. It benefits the function of the liver. It is also useful in treating diarrhea, convulsions, and nerve twitching in the face, as well as palsy, insanity, neuralgia, and cramps. Prepare powder herbs of equal parts of wood betony, marjoram, plus a pinch of eyebright, and sniff it up the nose. It is said that this will stop the most stubborn headaches. It stimulates the heart and relaxes muscles. It improves appetite and digestion. Combine it with other blood purifying herbs in the treatment of rheumatism and gout. Combine it with other nervines in the treatment of nerve diseases and to calm the nerves when stress is present from sickness and disease. An infusion, taken 3-4 times a day in 3 oz. doses, will kill worms and open up obstructions of the liver and gallbladder. It is good for colds, hyperactivity, nerve pain, anxiety attacks, and cardiovascular disorders.
Externally, a poultice of the fresh green herb will draw out splinters, help heal open wounds, and relieve back pains and stitches in the side.
Note: Because it has a similar flavor, but lacks the caffeine and harmful acids, wood betony can be used as a substitute for commercial black tea. Use 1/2 oz. and steep in a pint of boiled water for 10 minutes.
Warning: Avoid the use of wood betony during pregnancy.
Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
Parts Used: Tops, leaves
Properties: Antihelmintic, antiseptic, aromatic, diaphoretic, tonic
What it affects: Liver, gallbladder, stomach, intestines, uterus and joints
Preparation and Amount
- Infusion: Steep 5-15 minutes. Take 3 oz as needed, up to 2 cups daily.
- Tincture: Take 10-30 drops 3-4 times daily.
- Fluid extract: Take 15-60 drops 3-4 times daily.
- Powder: Take 2-4 #0 capsules (5-20 grains) 3-4 times daily.
Internally, because it is an intensely bitter herb, the special work of wormwood is that of a stomach medicine. It is useful for indigestion, gastric pain, increasing stomach acidity, and improving appetite, as well as related problems of heartburn and flatulence. It stimulates the uterus and will help bring on suppressed menstruation. It is helpful for liver insufficiency by stimulating liver and gallbladder secretions. It induces sweating and lowers fevers. It can reduce migraine, headaches and will relieve pain during childbirth.
Wormwood tea has been used for years for gastritis, stomach ulcers, dysentery, tuberculosis, liver and spleen conditions, and kidney and bladder problems. It expels roundworms and pinworms; and it is often used with black walnut, to remove parasites. If there is bleeding from the bowel, inject the tea and hold it for 5 minutes several times daily as needed.
Externally, it is good for healing wounds; blemishes skin ulcers and insect bites.
Warning: Wormwood definitely must not be used during pregnancy. With long-term use, it can be habit-forming.