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Fleoh þu nu, attorlaðe, seo læsse ða maran, seo mare þa læssan, oððæt him beigra bot sy.

Put to flight now, Venom-loather, the greater poisons, though you are the lesser, until he is cured of both.

A perennial grass herb related to mint, Betony has many common names and a plethora of uses. It is associated with fire, and is used in magic to reverse curses. There is no wonder why this is one of the herbs used in the Nine Herbs Charm. Its purple flowers bloom from June to August, often growing along the wood line. Betony can grow in partial to full sun, and will take about three years to take over an area.

Betony gives balance to the Nine Herbs Charm, as it has masculine attributes of Jupiter and fire. It is a well-known herb for protection, and was even planted around churches during the Middle Ages to ward off bad spirits and keep the dead in their place. Betony has been used for centuries, and there are historical references of it being used dating back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. This herb has so many beneficial uses; it was complimented by the Spaniards by being preserved in the saying, “As many virtues as betony.”

In cooking, all of the aerial parts of the plant can be used in teas, and many herbal teas use betony as a base. It is a perfect alternative to black tea if used alone. It can be used in tinctures as well to help ease the discomfort of headaches. It is also believed to soothe a sore throat. Various species of betony are used in culinary dishes by picking its tubers. However, this is usually considered famine food, since the tubers are so small and it would take a lot in order to create a filling dish on its own.

In magic, the uses of betony are endless for protection. Growing it around the property will help to keep trespassers out, and keeping a sachet of it under a pillow will keep away nightmares. Carrying it will help ward off hexes and curses, and adding it to any herbal mix will help increase its protective blend. If one wished to keep their magic more hidden, betony can make a beautiful yellow dye that can be used on cloth. Putting a spell on an item and wearing it is a perfect way to have magic concealed in plain sight.

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