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Stachys palustris
Marsh woundwort, clown's woundwort, all一heal 

        Woundwort is a close relative of betony, Stachys offcinalis. bike betony, the plant enjoyed a considerable reputation as a healer from the Middle Ages onward, hence its common name, all-heal. Woundwort was principally employed for healing cuts and wounds, usually in the form of a poultice of the fresh leaves. Gerard actively promoted the herb in the latter part of the sixteenth century after visiting a farmer who had healed his own deep scythe wound with a poultice of bruised, fresh woundwort. When the celebrated herbalist offered to treat the wound himself free of charge and the farmer turned him down, Gerard christened the herb `clown's woundwort'. Afterwards Gerard claimed to have `cured many grievous wounds, and some mortale with the same herb'.
        Woundwort has long been a traditional remedy for cramp, gout, and painful joints, due to its antispasmodic action, and modern herbalists continue to prescribe the herb for cramping pains. The herb also has astringent and antiseptic properties, hence its efficacy in staunching bleeding and healing wounds. In folk medicine direct application of the fresh leaves is still recommended for cuts and wounds, while a tea of the leaves is thought to be helpful for diarrhoea.
         Country people once collected the large, tuberous roots of the herb and ate them boiled as a vegetable. Young woundwort shoots were also considered edible, despite their unpleasant smell, and cooked like asparagus.
         Hedge woundwort, Stachys sylvatica, is a related species with branching stems, large nettle-like, coarsely toothed leaves, and dark, reddish-purple flowers. Like marsh woundwort, the bruised leaves have healing properties and were once employed in the treatment of wounds and swellings.
        HABITAT Native to Europe and common in the UK in marshy meadows, and by rivers, streams and ditches. Widely distributed in northern temperate zones.
        DESCRIPTION Nettle-like perennial with stout, quadrangular stems from 60-90cm(2-aft) and long-stalked basal leaves that wither before flowering. The oblong, lance-shaped leaves have rounded bases that clasp the stem and taper to a narrow point. They are arranged in pairs up the stem, and both leaves and stem are hairy. From late summer spikes of mauve, two-upped, mottled flowers bloom in whorls of site at the tip of the stem.

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