Rosette type plant found in open woods and scrubland. Flowering June onwards with terminal spikes of rich magenta. Noted for its healing properties.
The leaves and flowering tops make a good tea substitute. Refreshing and aromatic, it has all the good qualities of tea without the negative ones.
A fine yellow dye is obtained from the leaves.
Wood betony was at one time commonly used as a medicinal plant in the treatment of a wide range of disorders, especially as a nervine and tonic for treating maladies of the head and as an external application to wounds. It also stimulates the digestive system and the liver, having an overall tonic effect upon the body. Wood betony is much less used nowadays, and more often forms part of a mixture of herbs.
Sow spring in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer.