So while in the Clinic today, I decided to poke around some of the books in the library there, and looked up wood betony, of course. I found an interesting two volume text called The Energetics of Western Herbs, by Peter Holmes. It talks about lots of western herbs in terms of chinese energetics, that is fascinating, if a bit confusing to a western practitioner with little or no knowledge of chinese diagnosis or energetics. BUT, I knew enough to look over the descriptions of Wood Betony, and found that some of my sneaking suspicions about wood betony that I'd gleaned over a week of taking it as an Herb of the Week last semester, were echoed quite clearly in the entry.
Functions and uses listed for wood betony are as follows
1. circulates qi and loosens constraint, frees spasms and relieves pain
including liver yang rising, plus constrained qi of lung, uterus and bladder,
2. Nerve dificiency with weakness, mental dullness, depression and local paralysis or numbness
3. causes sweating (diaphoretic) releases the exterior, scatters wind heat
lung phlegm/damp heat
4. clears stasis, promotes excretions
lliver qi stagnatation with pain, swelling, constipation, jaundice and water retention
kidney qi stagnation with skin rash and poor appetite
5. Stimulates the uterus, promotes menstrual and labor contractions
uterus qi stagnation with delayed and cramping menses
difficult, painful and stalled labor.
6.promotes tissue repair, dries mucuous damp, restrains infection and antidotes poison
think wound healer!!!
he also calls it a trophorestorative to the nervous system! There aren't too many trophorestorative herbs out there, so it is awsome to find one that might be considered such!
my experience with it is that it is supberb as a digestive system tonic and restorative, and an excellent nervine/sedative/relaxant. One of my top few. I dont much care for valerian, and this herb works a charm for calming down an uptight mind, body, or releasing tension anywhere that prevents relaxation and sleep.
Yay for wood betony!