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Hedge Woundwort by Heather


Stachys sylvatica


Whilst out on my morning wanders of the lanes around Pagan Tribal Gathering campsite, each day I became aware of the increasing numbers of a pretty purple flower, bobbing in the breeze to catch my attention. On investigation the plant was hedge woundwort; there is also a field woundwort and a marsh woundwort, with different flowers and habitats, all belong to the family Lamiaceae (Dead-nettle).


Hedge wound wort is also known as Archangel, Common Hedge Nettle, Grass Nettle, Hedge Stachys, Red Archangel, Whitespot, Wild Nettle Grass, Wood Betony, Wood Hedge-nettle, Wood Woundwort.


It is native to Europe, where it is found in woods, hedgerows, and damp meadows. It has small, pink, purple or white flowers that bloom in the summer and leaves that are opposite, simple, and hairy. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate shade, and it is also tolerant to dry conditions.


Hedge Woundwort plant has been used as a natural remedy for a variety of ailments, including wounds and bruises. The plant contains tannins that have astringent properties, making it a useful herb for treating skin conditions.  It has also been used as a remedy for digestive problems, such as indigestion and diarrhoea. In traditional medicine, the roots and leaves of the plant were used to make poultices, decoctions, and infusions that were applied externally or taken internally. Modern research has shown that Hedge Woundwort has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.


Hedge Woundwort is also believed to have magical powers, it was often planted near homes to ward off evil spirits and protect the inhabitants. In other areas, Hedge Woundwort was believed to bring good luck, whilst in others it was used in love spells, or to attract wealth and prosperity.

 

Sources and further reading –

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