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7 Science-backed Health Benefits And Side Effects Of Bugleweed

Botanically termed as Lycopus virginicus, bugleweed is a medicinal herb with a plethora of health benefits. Some of the common names of the herb include blue bugle, bugleherb, common bugleweed, gypsywort and many more. The perennial plant belongs to the mint family but does nit have any minty odour.

The leaves, flower, fruit and seeds of the herbal plant are used for various medicinal purposes. The pungent tasting aromatic herb has astringent properties which have been prominently used in Old Europe's folk medicine and also by American herbalists during the early 16th century.

The herb's ability to improve respiratory conditions, regulate sleep patterns and balance the hormonal levels has made it a prominent part of traditional medicine and has now moved forward into the sphere of modern medicine as well[1] .

Let's get to know the health benefits the herb can offer you.

Phytochemical Compounds In Bugleweed

The perennial herb is packed with various phytochemical compounds, including tannins, lycopene, lithospermic acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, rosmarinic acid and ellagic acid. Apart from that, bugleweed is also a source of magnesium and resin[2] .

The herb also contains tannins, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds.

Health Benefits Of Bugleweed

1. Boosts heart health

Bugleweed is known to help promote heart health as it aids in normalising the heart rate and reducing blood pressure. Due to this, the herb is beneficial in preventing the onset of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes [3] .

2. Soothes anxiety

One of the major health benefits of bugleweed is that is anti-anxiety. That is, the soothing and sedative properties possessed by the herb help improve the condition by calming the heart palpitations and thereby soothing the stress hormones[4] .

3. Improves sleep quality

The soothing property of the herb makes it beneficial for sleep disorders. That is, the herb interacts with the hormones in your body and helps balance your Circadian rhythms and promote healthy rest. A natural remedy for insomnia, bugleweed is prescribed for individuals suffering from insomnia [5] .

4. Promotes respiratory health

The anti-inflammatory properties possessed by the herb is responsible for it being used to relieve respiratory distress, such as excessive coughing, shortness of breath, and sore throats. Bugleweed is extremely beneficial in soothing and providing relief for respiratory irritations as well as help remove phlegm and mucus from your system [6] .

5. Prevents hormonal disorders

Bugleweed can help prevent various hormonal disorders, especially thyroid problems [7] . It can be used to treat hyper and hypothyroidism, which has curing effects on one's thyroid levels; thereby preventing the onset of hormonal disorders. Consequently, it also aids in regulating the oestrogen levels in women.

6. Speeds-up healing

One of the other major health benefits possessed by bugleweed is that it helps promote the healing process. Applying bugleweed extract topically can promote rapid healing; due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of the compounds present in the herb which can promote cell growth, reduce pain and prevent infection [8] .

7. Promotes digestion

The anti-inflammatory properties possessed by the herb can help ease stomach disorders, regulate your appetite and thereby promote your digestion [9] . It is also known to ease the irritation caused by diarrhoea and promotes faster recovery from diarrhoea. Bugle tea also helps in treating various stomach disorders, including digestion, enteritis, gastritis and dyspepsia.

Bugleweed Tea Recipe


  • 1 bugleweed tea bag
  • 200 ml of water
  • Honey for taste
  • ½ lemon


  • Boil the water in a pan
  • Remove from heat and pour it in a cup
  • Place the tea bag and let it steep for 8 minutes
  • If you want a strong flavour, let it steep for 10 minutes
  • Add the honey and squeeze the lemon
  • Mix well and enjoy!

Side Effects Of Bugleweed

The herb can cause allergic reactions in some individuals and symptoms are as follows [10] :

  • Hives or welts
  • Swelling of the lips, face, or eyes
  • Tingling of the mouth
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

It may cause anaphylactic shock (a severe allergic reaction), to which the symptoms are as follows:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Constriction of the throat
  • Swelling of the tongue or throat
  • Hoarse voice
  • Wheezing or coughing
  • Dizziness


  • Individuals with diabetes should avoid the herb due to its hypoglycaemic action which can lower the sugar levels in the body [11]
  • Pregnant women and lactating mothers should avoid using the herb
  • Avoid the herb if you are undergoing chemotherapy
  • Avoid bugleweed if are taking sedatives
  • Bugleweed may interfere with blood glucose medication
  • People with endocrine disorders such as hypopituitarism, pituitary adenoma or hypogonadism should avoid it
  • People with hypofunction, enlarged thyroid or receiving medications for thyroid should not use this herb[12]
  • Patients who suffer from osteoporosis or who are taking oral contraceptives or fertility drugs should avoid bugleweed
View Article References
  1. [1] Al-Snai, A. E. (2019). A review on Lycopus europaeus: A potential medicinal plant. IOSR Journal of Pharmacy, 9(7), 80-88.
  2. [2] Wu, S., Sun, Y., Niu, G., Pantoja, G. L. G., & Rocha, A. C. (2016). Responses of six Lamiaceae landscape species to saline water irrigation. Journal of Environmental Horticulture, 34(1), 30-35.
  3. [3] Dunican, K., Dawson, A., & Lynch, A. (2019). Endocrine Disorders. Principles and Practice of Botanicals as an Integrative Therapy, 97.
  4. [4] Axterer, M., Müller, C., & Dweck, A. C. (2019). NATURAL ANTI-IRRITANT PLANTS.
  5. [5] Romero, K., Goparaju, B., Russo, K., Westover, M. B., & Bianchi, M. T. (2017). Alternative remedies for insomnia: a proposed method for personalized therapeutic trials. Nature and science of sleep, 9, 97.
  6. [6] Carter, S. G., Masiz, J. J., Stephens, L., Zhu, Z., & Patel, K. (2016). U.S. Patent Application No. 15/140,801.
  7. [7] Sparbanie, T. (2019). The Vascular Flora of Bill Yeck Park: Supporting the Conservation of Local Biodiversity.
  8. [8] Wu, X. K., & Ng, E. H. (2018). Dietary Supplements, Phytotherapy and Chinese Herbal Medicine in PCOS. In Infertility in Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (pp. 181-193). Springer, Cham.
  9. [9] Miller, D., & Lynn, S. (2016). U.S. Patent Application No. 14/598,033.
  10. [10] Lampe, M., & Duggins, D. W. (2016). U.S. Patent No. 9,375,033. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  11. [11] Short, L., Freeman, J., & Wade, K. (2017). Examination of Comparative Manual Removal Strategies for Non-Chemical Control of Invasive Non-Native Phragmites australis subsp. australis: PHASE II.
  12. [12] Gu, X., Huang, N., Gu, J., Joshi, M. K., & Wang, H. (2016). Employing observational method for prospective data collection: A case study for analyzing diagnostic process and evaluating efficacy of TCM treatments for diabetes mellitus. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 192, 516-523.
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