• Wood Betony

    Synonyms: Bishopswort, Canada Lousewort, Lousewort, Woundwort

    Family: Labiatae

    Genus species: Betonica officinalis, Stachys officinalis, Stachys betonicifolia, Pedicularis canadensis

    Type: Perennial herb

    Part Used: Aerial Parts collected during flowering

    Homeopathy: Tincture of whole fresh plant

    Location: Europe, North America, northern Africa, western Siberia, widely cultivated

    Actions: Antidiarrheal, antihyperglycemic, antispasmodic, antituberculotic, astringent, bitter, blood purifier, cardiac stimulant, cerebral vasodilator, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, hepatic, nervine, peripheral vasodilator, sedative, uterine stimulant

    Indications: Anxiety, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, bruise, colic, common cold, convulsion, cuts, delirium, diarrhea, epilepsy, fever, gout, headache, headache in neurasthenia, heartburn, hysteria, indigestion, intestinal worms, jaundice, liver disorders, migraine, neuralgia, pain, pain in face and head, palsy, Parkinson's disease, rheumatism, sore throat, stomachache, tuberculosis, varicose veins, vertigo

    Homeopathic Indications: Common cold, headache, paralysis of diaphragm, vertigo

    Chemicals & Nutrients: Betaine, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Tannins (15% in Stachys officinalis)

    Preparation & Dosages: (3x/day)

    Dried Herb: 2-4 g or by infusion

    Liquid Extract: 1:1 in 25% alcohol, dose 2-4 ml

    Tincture: 1:5 in 45% alcohol, dose 2-6 ml

    Contraindications: Pregnancy.

    Drug Interactions: May potentiate antidiabetic (hypoglycemic) drugs. Due to the diuretic action of this herb the following drug interactions are possible: increased risk of toxicity with anti-inflammatory analgesics; if hypokalemia occurs possible antagonism with antiarrhythmics and potentiation of muscle relaxants; antagonizes antidiabetic (hypoglycemic) drugs; may potentiate and/or interfere with antihypertensives; may potentiate lithium therapy; when taken with corticosteroids there is a risk for hypokalemia; may potentiate other diuretics and increase the risk of hypokalemia. Due to the cardioactive chemicals in this herb the following drug interactions are possible: interference and/or antagonism with antiarrhythmics; antagonism of beta-adrenoceptor blocking drugs; potentiation of cardiac glycosides and increased risk of hypokalemia; when combined with depolarizing muscle relaxants there is a risk of arrhythmia; interference with nitrates and calcium-channel blockers; may increase the potential terfenadine has to cause arrhythmias.

    Safety: Safe when used appropriately.

    Warning: Tannins are incompatible with alkalies, gelatin, heavy metals, iron, lime water, metallic salts, strong oxidizing agents and zinc sulfate. Tannins precipitate proteins. Tannins may cause bowel irritation, kidney irritation, liver damage, irritation of the stomach and gastrointestinal pain. Long-term and/or excessive use of herbs containing high concentrations of tannins is not recommended. A correlation has been made between esophogeal or nasal cancer in humans and regular consumption of certain herbs with high tannin concentrations (Lewis, W.H. and M.P.F. Elvin-Lewis. 1977. Medical Botany. Plants Affecting Man's Health. New York: John Wiley & Sons.)

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