Bugleweed: Snapshot

Bugleweed reduces the activity of iodine, the activity of an overactive thyroid, and blood levels of thyroid hormones. It also lessens mucus discharge and contracts tissue to a more firm, solid state. It quiets the pulse, calms the spirit, and increases the strength of the heartbeat.

Botanical Name

Lycopus virginicus

Part Used


Common Names

Buglewort, carpenter’s herb, gypsyweed, gypsywort, horehound, Paul’s betony, purple archangel, sweet bugleweed, water horehound, water bugle, wolf foot, wood betony, Virginia bugleweed, sweet bugle, gipsyweed.

Brief History

Lycopus virginicusIn the 19th century Anglo-American Physiomedicinalist tradition, bugleweed was regarded as astringent and calming to the nerves and was given for loose coughs, internal bleeding, and urinary incontinence.


Essential oil, luteolin, tannin

Therapeutic Properties

Antihaemorrhagic (systemic), antitussive, cardiotonic, diuretic, sedative, vasoconstrictor (peripheral), antithyroid, TSH antagonist

Vitalist Properties

Temperature: Warm

Moisture: Dry

Therapeutic Indications

Cough, Graves’ disease, Hyperthyroidism, Nervous tachycardia, Thyrotoxicosis with dyspnoea, tachycardia and tremor

Primary Uses

Overactive Thyroid, Grave’s Disease.

Studies indicate that bugleweed and, to some degree, gypsywort (Lycopus europaeus) reduce the activity of the thyroid gland.

Clinical Research

  • Lycopus europaeus inhibited iodine metabolism and thyroid T4 output in human volunteers.
  • Lycopus europaeus extract has been beneficial for treating hyperthyroidism in uncontrolled trials conducted in the 1940s and 1950s.
  • In Germany, the Commission E supports using bugleweed to treat mild thyroid hyperfunction with disturbances of the autonomic nervous system and mastodynia (breast pain or tenderness).

Dosage (Divided Daily)

Dried Powder: 3000 – 9000mg

• Liquid Extract: 2 – 6mL (1:2 liquid extract)


Contraindicated during pregnancy and lactation, and in patients with hypothyroidism.

Side effects

Headache, increase in size of thyroid, and occasionally an increase in hyperthyroid symptoms, including nervousness, tachycardia, and loss of weight

Interactions with other drugs

Avoid concurrent use with preparations containing thyroid hormone.

Buy Bugleweed Capsules & Loose Tea
Dried Bugleweed Leaf

  1. Bone, K. (2003). A clinical guide to blending liquid herbs: herbal formulations for the individual patient. St. Louis, MI: Churchill Livingstone.
  2. Chevallier, A. (2000). Encyclopedia of herbal medicine (2nd American ed.). New York: DK Pub.

  3. Herbalpedia (2013)

  4. Mars, B. (2007). The desktop guide to herbal medicine: the ultimate multidisciplinary reference to the amazing realm of healing plants, in a quick-study, one-stop guide. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Pub. 

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