The Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) is a common Labiate
plant in our hedges and woods, branched and hairy, with whorls of
small dull purple flowers on a spike two feet high or more. There
are other varieties of the herb, such as the Marsh (March)
Woundwort, the Corn Woundwort, and the Downy Woundwort.
The Hedge Woundwort was named by Gerard, Clown's all heal, or
the Husbandman's Woundwort, because a c
untryman who had cut
his hand to the bone with a scythe, healed the wound in seven days
with this plant.
It is called by some the Hedge Dead Nettle, from its nettle-like
leaves, and the place of its growth.
The leaves, says Gerard, stampt (pounded) with hog's grease, and
applied unto green wounds in the manner of a poultice, heal them in
such short time and such absolute manner, that it is hard for anyone
that hath not had the experience thereof to believe. For instance, a
deep and grievous wound in the breast with a dagger, and two others
in the abdomen (or nether belly), so that the fat commonly named
the caul, issued forth, the which mortal wounds, by God's
permission, and the virtues of this herb, I perfectly cured within
twenty days--for the which the name of God be praised.
The name Stachys given to this herb, is from the Greek stakos,
a bunch, because of the arrangement of the flowers. It contains a
volatile oil, and a bitter principle undetermined.
The Stachys Germanica (Downy Woundwort) is so called from
its soft, downy leaves having been employed instead of lint as a
surgical dressing to wounds. The plant grows on a chalky soil in
Bedfordshire,  Berkshire, and Oxfordshire: being named also
This Stachys lanata (Woolly Woundwort) is known as Saviour's
blanket, in Sussex; also in Devonshire and Somersetshire, as
Mouse's ear, Donkey's ear, and Lamb's tongue.
The Knights' Water Woundwort (Statiotes aloides) was supposed
from its blade-like leaves, acting on the doctrine of signatures,
to heal sword wounds.