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Hedgenettle; Betony (Stachys), fam. Lamiaceae.
Grows in the forest in moderately sunny places. It is edible in small quantities, though has no taste. Contains alkaloids, flavonoids, anthocyanins, choline, betaine, stachydrine, essential oil, resinous, tanning and bitter substances. It provides choleretic, antiinflammatory and antitoxic action. Its effect is similar to Motherwort, lowering blood pressure – so it is counterindicated in case of hypotension.
There is also a root vegetable variety of hedgenettle (Chinese artichoke, Crosnes, Stachys affinis), with original small tubers shaped like long spiral seashells. Unfortunately, it is not common yet in our country.
Before blooming, it is not easy to distinguish two species of hedgenettle that grow in the forests around Kyiv:
Common Hedgenettle; Betony (Stachys officinalis) – with pink flowers:
Stiff Hedgenettle (Stachys recta) – with white flowers: