Wood betony is one of the plants I learned about later in my journey of herbalism. It isn’t a very high-profile herb here in The States, and it’s often overlooked for more powerful alternatives. This isn’t entirely surprising; it is native to Europe after all, where it has a lot of traditional uses as a folk remedy. However, it doesn’t occur naturally or abundantly here in North America. Instead, we have Pedicularis, which has a similar common name, but it works in a different way than Stachys.
I met wood betony during a shamanic herbalism class. The teacher said it was good to help us ground and center. I have indeed found that a wood betony tea is instantly relaxing and soothing to my nervous system, and helps me very much to connect with the earth under my feet, centering me and allowing me to focus on the bigger picture. It has since become a favorite for me to use in grounding blends and centering practices. It helps me to focus on what is truly important, like being present with my children, and ignore the noises and demands which can distract me.
Indeed, it is a wonderful way to ground, center, and nourish and regenerate the nervous system. I believe it helps bring us out of our harried and hectic sympathetic state, into a restful parasympathetic state. This is a friend I highly recommend getting to know. In our fast-paced world, it can help us resolve the stress from our busy lifestyles.