Perennial herb growing to 2 ft (60 cm). Has a square stem, lance-shaped leaves, and whorls of whitish flowers.
Habitat & Cultivation
Bugleweed is common throughout most of North America, thriving close to water. It is harvested in summer when in flower.
Bugleweed contains phenolic acids (including derivatives of caffeic, chlorogenic, and ellagic acids).
History & Folklore
In the 19th-century Physiomedicalist tradition, bugleweed was regarded as astringent and calming to the nerves, and was given for loose coughs, internal bleeding, and urinary incontinence. Herbal practitioners once considered the plant to be a mild narcotic.
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Bugleweed has sedative properties and today the herb is principally prescribed to treat an overactive thyroid gland and the racing heartbeat that often accompanies this condition. Bugleweed is also considered an aromatic and tonic astringent that reduces the production of mucus.
Studies indicate that bugleweed and, to some degree, gipsywort (see Related Species, below) reduce the activity of the thyroid gland.
Gipsywort (L. europaeus), a European native, has astringent and cardiotonic properties. It is taken for palpitations and anxiety, and has been used to lower fever.
Take only under professional supervision. Do not take during pregnancy.