Bugleweed

Bugleweed

Lycopus Americanus

Bugleweed works tremendously to tackle the aggressively excessive levels of thyroid hormones to treat hyperthyroidism. Its leaves are applied to wounds for rapid healing and mitigation of pain.

  • Plant type: Perennial
  • Other names: American bugleweed, American water horehound, Common water horehound, Water horehound, Cut-leaf water horehound
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: No
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Stems, leaves and flowers
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About Bungleweed

Lycopus americanus is an upright perennial that develops from elongated rhizomes, reaching a height of 3 to 5 feet. This sparingly branched species of the mint family is marked by a greenish or reddish four-angled stem with ridges. It is a sparingly branched plant having sessile and short-petiole leaves, arranged in opposite fashion. The upper leaves are coarsely dentate while the lower ones are lanceolate/lanceolate-ovate/elliptic-lanceolate with blades as long as 3”.

Upon reaching its flowering phase, bugleweed exudes pure white flowers in a small dense cluster. The stems, leaves, and flowers of bugleweed are used in different medicinal preparations to treat many ailments. It works tremendously to tackle the aggressively excessive levels of thyroid hormones to treat hyperthyroidism. Its leaves are applied to wounds for rapid healing and mitigation of pain. 

In women, bugleweed enjoys a remarkable repute due to its excellent women-friendly benefits. Herbalists recommend bugleweed to reduce the secretion of prolactin for ameliorating breast pain. It also assists with premenstrual syndrome, heavy menstrual bleeding, nosebleeds, nervousness, fatigue, and insomnia.

Growing

Bugleweed loves to dwell in flood-prone areas where it gets to enjoy the goodness of loam, clay, and silt. The seeds are directly sown in the soil as soon as the soil can be worked in spring. Try not to sow bugleweed seeds too deep because they require a generous amount of light to germinate.

Bugleweed requires plenty of water and partial to full sun exposure for proper germination and also after it reaches maturity to spread robustly via its rhizomatous system to form colonies. It is preferred to be grown outdoors as the indoor plantation does not do well and is quite laborious. The seeds need to undergo cold stratification for a month, all the while keeping them moist. Then after the last frost, the seedlings can be planted either outdoors or in a giant-sized pot that mimics a wetland, wet meadow, or shore.

It takes around 8 to 12 weeks for the American bugleweed seeds to germinate. If it is provided with ideal moist, soggy conditions, it can thrive and spread by both stolons and seeds to form colonies.

From July, American bugleweed sets its foot in the blooming phase and continues to produce exquisite clusters of white flowers till September. The tiny white flowers proffer nectar for honeybees and butterflies in return for robust pollination.

After fertilization comes forth a fruit in the form of a set of 4 nutlets, each bearing a single seed. The seeds can then spread in the wild on their own or be saved by humans to be planted again for the perpetuation of the bugleweed life cycle.

Harvesting

Bugleweed should be harvested as soon as the plant starts giving flowers, usually in July. 

Only the aerial parts of American Bugleweed are harvested and the rhizome is left intact to encourage the re-growth of the aerial matrix.

 

 

Usage

Bugleweed is an impressive herb with a myriad of fringe benefits. It is used in the following preparatory form to extract most of its perk.

  • Tincture - Infuse fresh or dried chopped bugleweed leaves in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Tea - Dried bugleweed is steeped in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes to form bugleweed tea.
  • Decoction - Dried bugleweed is boiled in water for not more than 2 hours to form a decoction.
  • Salve - Bugleweed-infused oil is added to the melted beeswax and shea butter to form a bugleweed salve.
  • Syrup - Dried bugleweed leaves can be simmered in a sugar solution to form bugleweed syrup.
  • Infused Oil - Dried bugleweed leaves are heated in olive oil for a few minute at low flame to yield bugleweed-infused oil.