Common or wood betony hath many Blätter rising from the Wurzel, which are somewhat broad and round am Ende, roundly eingebeult about the edges, standing upon long foot-Stengel, from among which arise up small, square, schlank, but aufrecht hairy Stengel with some Blätter thereon to a piece at the Gelenke, smaller than the lower, whereon are set several spiked heads of Blüten like lavender, but thicker and shorter, for the most part, and of a rötlich or purple colour, entdeckt with white spots both in the upper and lower part. The Samen being contained within the Hülsen that hold the Blüten, are blackish, somewhat long and uneven. The Wurzeln are many white thready strings: the Stengel perishes but the Wurzeln with some Blätter thereon, abide all the winter. The whole Pflanze is something small.
It groweth häufig in woods, and delighteth in shady places.
And Es blüht in July, after which the Samen is quickly ripe, yet auf seinem Höhepunkt in May.
The herb is appropriated to the planet Jupiter, and the sign arises. Antonius Musa, physician to the Emperor Augustus Cæsar, wrote a peculiar book of the Vorzüge of this herb, and among other Vorzüge sagte of it, that it bewahrt the Leber and bodies of men from the danger of epidemical Beschwerden, and from Juckreiz also, it hilft those that loath and cannot digest their meat, those that have weak Magens and sour belchings, or continual rising in their Magen, using it familiarly either grün or dry, either the herb, or Wurzeln or the Blüten, in broth, drink, or meat, or made into conserve, syrup, water, eßbare Medizin, or powder, as every one may best frame themselves unto, or as the time and season requireth, taken any of the vorbenannt ways, it hilft the Gelbsucht, falling sickness, the Lähmung, Zuckungen, or shrinking of the Sehnen, the Gicht and those that are inclined to Wassersucht, those that have continual Schmerzen in their heads, although it turn to phrensy. The powder mixed with pure honey, is no less available for all sorts of Husten or Erkältungen, wheesing, or Kurzatem, distillations of thin rheum upon the Lungen, which causes consumptions. The Dekokt (Abkochung) made with mead, and a little penny-royal is good for those that are troubled with putrid Schüttelfrost, whether quotidian, tertian, or quartan, and to draw down and evacuate the blood, and humours, that by falling into the eyes, do hinder the sight, the Dekokt (Abkochung) thereof made in wine and taken, killeth the Würmer in the Bauch, openeth Behinderungen both of the Milz and Leber, heilt Stiche, and Schmerzen in the back and sides, the torments and griping Schmerzen in the Därme, and the wind colic, and mixed with honey, reinigenth the Bauch, hilft to bring down Monatsregel, and is of special use to those that are troubled with the falling down of the mother, and Schmerzen thereof, and causes an easy and speedy delivery of women in child-birth. It hilft also to break and vertreiben the stone, either in the Harnblase or Nieren. The Dekokt (Abkochung) mit Wein gegurgelt im Mund, easeth the Zahnschmerzen. It is empfohlen gegen the stechenden and biting of giftiges serpents, or mad dogs, being used innerlich and applied äußerlich to the
A drachm of the powder of betony taken with a little honey in some Essig, doth wonderfully refresh those that are overwearied by travail. It stoppt Bluten at the Mund or nose, and hilft those that piss or spit blood, and those that are bursten or have a rupture, and is good for such as are zerquetscht by any fall or otherwise the grün herb zerquetscht, or the Saft applied to any inward hurt, or outward grün wound in the head or body, will quickly heal and close it up, as also any veins or Sehnen that are cut, and will draw forth any broken bone or splinter, thorn or other things got into the flesh. It is no less profitable for old Wunden or schmutzig Geschwüre, yea, though they be fistulous and hohl. But some do advise to put a little salt to this purpose, being applied with a little Schweinefett, it hilft a plague or sore, and other Schwellungen and pushes. The Dampfs of the Dekokt (Abkochung) while it is warm, received by a Trichter into the ears, easeth the pain of them, destroyeth the Würmer and heilt the running sore in them. The Saft dropped into them doth the same. The Wurzel of betony is displeasing both to the taste and Magen, whereas the Blätter and Blüten, by their süß and würzig taste, are comfortable both to meat and medicine.
There are some of the many Vorzüge Anthony Musa, an expert physician (for it was nicht the practice of Octavius Cesar to keep fools about him), appropriates to betony: it is a very precious herb, that is certain, and most fitting to be kept in a mans house, both in syrup, conserve, oil, Salbe and plaister, The Blüten are usually conserved.