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Scientific names: Lycopus europaeus L. Family: Lamiaceae (mint). Other members of the Lycopus (water horehound), including Lycopus asper Greene, Lycopus unifloris Michx., and Lycopus virginicus L., are also broadly termed bugleweed.

Common names: Bitter bugle, bugleweed, carpenter's herb, green archangel, gypsywort, northern bugleweed, Paul's betony, purple archangel, rough bugleweed, sweet bugle, Thyreo-loges N tablets, Virginia water horehound, water bugle, water horehound, wolf foot, wolfstrappkraut

Efficacy-safety rating:

ÒÒ...Ethno or other evidence of efficacy.

Safety rating:

...Little exposure or very minor concerns.

What is Bugleweed?

Bugleweed is an herbaceous perennial mint that grows in wet habitats. The leaves are toothed, and the small white flowers surround the square stem in clusters. The whole herb is used medicinally.

What is it used for?

Traditional/Ethnobotanical uses

Traditional uses of bugleweed include treatment of nosebleeds, heavy menstrual bleeding, and coughs. It has also been used as a sedative, astringent, and mild narcotic, and for tuberculosis characterized by bleeding from the lungs. More current uses are primarily for mild hyperthyroid conditions and for premenstrual syndrome, including breast pain (mastodynia).

General uses

Bugleweed is used to treat mild hyperthyroidism, premenstrual syndrome, and breast pain; however, there are few clinical studies to support these uses.

What is the recommended dosage?

Clinical trials are lacking regarding dosages for specific clinical applications. A daily dosage of 2 Thyreo-loges N tablets (Lycopi europaei herba 40 mg/day) taken in divided doses was used for 3 months in an open-label clinical study for mild hyperthyroidis.

How safe is it?


None specifically identified except pregnancy. Exercise caution in patients with hypothyroidism.


Contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation because of the potential for antigonadotropic and antithyrotropic effects; however, clinical data are lacking.


None well documented.

Side Effects

Clinical trials and case reports are lacking. Bugleweed taken in high amounts or stopped suddenly has the potential to cause thyroid enlargement.


Information is lacking.


  1. Bugleweed. Review of Natural Products. Facts & Comparisons 4.0. October 2009. Accessed November 3, 2009.

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