Lycopus virginicus

Botanical Name: Lycopus virginicus
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Lycopus
Species: L. virginicus
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Synonyms : Euhemus officinalis. Euhemus sylvaticus. Lycopus macrophyllus

Common Names: Bugleweed, Virginia water horehound, Virginia water horehound, American water hoarhound, Sweet bugleweed, Water bugle, Carpenter’s herb, Green archangel, Purple archangel, Paul’s betony, Woodbetony, Wolf foot, and Egyptian’s herb.

Habitat : Lycopus virginicus is native to Eastern N. America – New York and Wisconsin south to Georgia and Texas. It grows in Low damp shady ground in rich moist soils.

Description:
Lycopus virginicus is a perennial herb with a hairy, squared stem reaching a meter tall. The oppositely arranged leaves have oval to lance-shaped blades with toothed edges. The leaves are dark green or purple. Clusters of tiny white or pink-tinged flowers occur in the leaf axils. It is in flower from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies.The plant has a mint scent and a bitter taste. This species can be easily confused with Lycopus uniflorus. The latter has stamens exserted from the flowers, while the stamens of L. virginicus are included. The two species may hybridize, producing Lycopus × sherardii……..CLICK & SEE  THE  PICTURES

Cultivation : Tolerates most soil types so long as they are wet. Succeeds in full sun or in partial shade, in damp meadows or in wet places by ponds or streams.

Propagation :
Seed – sow spring or autumn in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Edible Uses: Root – cooked.

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Medicinal Uses:

Antianxiety; Antidandruff; Astringent; Cardiac; Hypoglycaemic; Narcotic; Sedative.

Bugleweed has sedative properties and is used in modern herbalism principally to treat an overactive thyroid gland and the racing heartbeat that often accompanies this condition. The whole plant is used as an astringent, hypoglycaemic, mild narcotic and mild sedative. It also slows and strengthens heart contractions. The plant has been shown to be of value in the treatment of hyperthyroidism, it is also used in the treatment of coughs, bleeding from the lungs and consumption, excessive menstruation etc. It should not be prescribed for pregnant women or patients with hypothyroidism. The root has been chewed, a portion swallowed and the rest applied externally in the treatment of snakebites. Current uses are predominantly for increased activity of the thyroid gland and for premenstrual syndrome symptoms such as breast pain . The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Lycopus for nervousness and premenstrual syndrome.

It should be used only in its fresh state (or freshly tinctured), not dried. For treating traumatic bruises and injuries, it is combined with other herbs in a liniment, and also taken internally. Good for cardiac problems. Studies indicate that bugleweed reduces the activity of the thyroid gland by slowing the release of the hormone thyroxine in the thyroid. It should help ease abnormal excitability, relieve acute hyperventilation, slow a rapid heart rate and relieve spastic coughing from those suffering from spontaneous hyperthyroidism. Bugleweed is also useful in many heart and vascular system disorders. It is believed to work in the cardiovascular system in a way that is similar to the drug digitalis—by strengthening the heartbeat while slowing a rapid pulse. But it is virtually free of the dangerous side effects.

Bugleweed is a good hemostatic or coagulant for home use, nearly as specific as shepherd’s purse without the latter’s diuretic or hypertensive effects. The fresh tincture is preferable, but the dried herb is adequate; one-fourth to one-half teaspoon of the tincture or a rounded teaspoon to tablespoon of the herb in tea. Treatment should be continued one dose after the bleeding has stopped to allow firm clotting or sealing. It can be used for nosebleeds, excess menstruation, bleeding piles and the like. Particularly useful for two or three days after labor, exerting little effect on colostrums or milk production.

Known Hazards : Known to cause the enlargement of the thyroid gland. Avoid in patients with thyroid disease or given concomitantly with thyroid therapy. Avoid during pregnancy.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycopus_virginicus
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Lycopus+virginicus

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