Facts and benefits of Bugle weed

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Facts and benefits of Bugleweed

Bugleweed Quick Facts
Name: Bugleweed
Scientific Name: Ajuga reptans
Origin Europe, Britain, and parts of Asia and northern Africa
Shapes Schizocarp with four chambers
Taste Bitter, sweet, pungent
Health benefits Good for heart, respiratory health, Grave’s diseases, sleep disorders, weight loss, menstrual cramps & Helps to maintain blood pressure levels
Native to Europe, bugleweed is one of the many common names of Ajuga reptans, a perennial flowering species that is commonly used for medicinal purposes. Other common names of this herb include blue bugle, bugleherb, bugleweed, carpetweed, carpet bungleweed, common bugle, Common Bugelweed, Gypsywort, gipsywort, water horehound, ou di sun, lycopus europaeus, lycopus virginicus, egyptian’s herb, famsyon maiy, menta de lobo, sicklewort, middle comfrey and water bugle. Bugleweed is a perennial plant belonging to the mint family but lacks the familiar minty odor of real mint and is closely related to a European herb known as gypsywort (Lycopus europaeus). The two herbs are so closely related they are often used interchangeably as medicinal herbal treatments. The term Ajuga which might have been a variant of the term Abija has been derived from the Latin word abigo, meaning to drive away. Bugle is also known as “carpenter’s herb” due to its supposed ability to stem bleeding.

Plant Description

Bugleweed is an herbaceous flowering plant that grows about 10 to 35 cm (4 to 14 in) high with overground rooting runners sprouting from the rosette-like basal leaves. The flower stem is quadrangular, villous above and glabrous below. The rest of the plant is glabrous. The plant is found growing in damp broadleaved woodlands, typically in shaded places, and in damp meadows and pastures. The plant is easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils. Prefers moist, humusy soils with good drainage, but tolerates moderately dry ones.

Leaves

Leaves are purplish-green, stalked leaves are in opposite pairs. The leaf blades are hairless and are elliptical or ovate with a rounded tip and shallowly rounded teeth on the margin. The basal leaves are large, long-petioled, spatulate and dentate. The cauline leaves are crossed opposite, short petioled, small and oval. The elongated leaves are purple in color initially and then turn green as they unfold.

Flower & Fruit

The flowers are 1 to 1.5 cm long. The flowers are in spikes. They are located in the axils of undivided bracts at the end of the stem. The 5-tipped, hairy calyx is short-stemmed, erect, labiate and campanulate. The tips are triangular and about as long as the tube. The corolla is bright violet-blue, pink or white. It is downy-haired on the outside with a long straight tube, which has a circle of hairs under the stamen. There are 4 stamens with yellow anthers. The 4 mericarps are 2 mm long and finely reticulate. It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to September. Fruit is schizocarp with four chambers.

Health Benefits of Bugleweed

Lycopus virginicus (Bugleweed) has been traditionally used in the treatment of respiratory disorders, cough, tuberculosis, mild heart ailments, fever and cold. It is used in conjunction with lemon balm for treating Graves’ disease. Bugleweed moderates estrogen levels in women. It also provides relief from cyclic breast pain. Listed below are few of the health benefits of bugleweed include:

1. Respiratory Health

Bugleweed extract consists of various anti-inflammatory compounds which are why this herb is commonly used to relieve respiratory distress, such as excessive coughing, shortness of breath, and sore throats. It can calm the respiratory tracts and eliminate irritation, while also helping to expel phlegm and mucus, where bacteria and other pathogens can develop. (1)

2. Protect the Heart

Bugleweed helps in normalizing the heart rate and reducing blood pressure, it helps to protect against atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes, which are some of the primary killers around the world today.(2)

 

3. Good for Grave’s diseases

Many people recommend taking bugleweed to treat Grave’s disease which an immune disorder is resulting in excessive thyroid hormones being produced. Symptoms of the condition are extremely uncomfortable and include palpitations, tremors, weight loss, and lack of libido. It can also cause certain physical changes such as bulging eyes and goiters.

4. Speed Healing

If you have suffered a small cut or abrasion, applying bugleweed extract topically can encourage rapid healing. The powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of the compounds will promote cell growth, prevent infection, and reduce pain and inflammation all at the same time! (3)

5. Sleep Disorders

Bugleweed has long been used by people who suffer from sleeplessness or insomnia. If you frequently wake up throughout the night and struggle to get continuous, restful sleep, then adding it to your herbal supplement schedule might be a good idea. It interacts with your hormones in the body, helping to balance your Circadian rhythms and promote healthy rest. (4)

6. Good for weight loss

This herb is low in calories and rich in hypoglycemic properties. So, it is a good option for those who are on a weight loss diet. It is also good for decreasing your crave for food and therefore prevents you from over eating.

7. Hormonal Disorders

When it comes to the thyroid gland, there are few parts of the body that aren’t affected by its hormone distribution. Thyroid hormone itself is crucial to health, and hyper- and hypothyroidisms are serious conditions that need diligent medical care. Research has shown that bugleweed has a powerful effect on thyroid levels and can help to prevent various hormonal disorders that can be so devastating to the body. It also helps to regulate estrogen levels in women, which protects women from cyclic breast pain. (5)

8. Anti-anxiety

Soothing effects of bugleweed can be very effective for those people who suffer from chronic stress and unexplained anxiety. This can also promote a healthier heart, as chronic stress can lead to heart palpitations and arrhythmias. Stress hormones in the body for extended periods of time can cause havoc on the organ systems and metabolism, so bugleweed is often turned to as a general health booster for those suffering from chronic stress.(6)

9. Overall Health

Antioxidant cocktail that is found in bugleweed extract mean that it helps to affect dozens of organ systems and have a powerful effect on countless health conditions. Phytochemical compounds helps to eliminate the dangerous free radicals present in our body that cause cellular breakdown and death, as well as mutation. By adding a regular boost of antioxidants to your system, you promote overall health of your metabolism and organ systems. (7)

10. Relieves Menstrual Cramps

Research has revealed that this weed can help women who are suffering from intense premenstrual disorders. This herb is known to ease the anxiety, tension, and stress experienced during this stage by improving the flow of blood. It is also effective in reducing the pain experienced in the breasts during pre-menstrual stage. Infusion as well as tincture of Bugle is known to give women a hassle-free period by regulating menstruation and easing cramps.

Women, who are looking to wean their little one, can also take the help of this herb as it is known to lower and even suppress the production of breast milk.

11. Helps to maintain blood pressure levels

Anti-hypotensive and anti-hypertensive properties of this herb help in protecting your body from the negative effects of high blood pressure as well as low blood pressure. As a result your body is kept healthy.

12. Promotes Digestion

Naturally rich tonic for your body, it helps in easing stomach disorders. It regulates your appetite and promotes digestion. It is also known to ease the irritation caused by diarrhea, helping in faster recovery from diarrhea. Bugle tea also helps in treating various stomach disorders, including digestion and dyspepsia. It is also an effective cure for enteritis and gastritis.

13. Effective for Dysuria

Dysuria is a medical condition where urination is accompanied by intense pain. Natural diuretic agent, bugle is also a vaso-relaxant. These properties help soothe the muscles of the urinary tract, easing the pain associated with this condition.

14. Natural anti-pyretic agent

Bugleweed is often used for treating high fever, particularly when it occurs along with bleeding of the nose. It also has the ability to calm tensed nervous system, thus helping in lowering the high temperature associated with fever.

Traditional uses and benefits of Bugleweed

  • Ajuga reptans herb has been used in traditional Austrian medicine internally as a tea for the treatment of disorders related to the respiratory tract.
  • Bugle has a long history of use as a wound herb.
  • It has also been considered good for the treatment of excessive alcohol intake.
  • Whole plant is aromatic, astringent and bitter.
  • Homeopathic remedy is made from the whole plant.
  • It is widely used in various preparations against throat irritations and especially in the treatment of mouth ulcers.
  • An infusion of this plant is still considered very useful in arresting hemorrhages and is employed in coughs and spitting of blood in incipient consumption and also in some biliary disorders.
  • It has also been considered good for the bad effects of excessive drinking.
  • This herb has been used to cure coughs and respiratory disorders.
  • It is also thought of as a natural remedy for sleeplessness.
  • It is widely used in folk medicine for treating anxiety, tuberculosis and heart palpitations.
  • Extracts from this herb are thought to aid in normalizing heart rate, which is indicative of its potential as an alternative treatment for a tachycardia.
  • Bugleweed is used as an alternative treatment to hormone therapy.
  • Components of the plant may lower the levels of the thyroid-stimulating hormone and thyroxine.
  • Herb is commonly used as a natural treatment for some symptoms of Grave’s disease, such as palpitations and convulsions.
  • It is traditionally used to stop iodine conversion in the thyroid gland and can be used as a natural treatment for hyperthyroidism and related diseases.
  • Leaves may also be used as a natural cure for wounds and abrasions.
  • Herb also helps to slow down as well as strengthen the contractions of the heart muscles.
  • It alleviates cyclic breast pain in the case of women.
  • It effective in alleviating excruciating situations involving tension as well as irritability.
  • It is also effective for healing fistulas and gangrenes.
  • Its extract also aids in alleviating the usual type of breast pain, also called mastodynia.
  • Decoction is extremely effective for treating all internal wounds, stabs or thrusts in the body or the bowels.
  • Lotion is useful for treating sores and ulcers that may occur in the private parts of both men as well as women.
  • Bugleweed extract is useful in alleviating general pain and uneasiness.
  • It also helps to lessen tension and get rid of irritability.
  • It is also used for gallbladder and stomach disorders.

Ayurvedic Health Benefits of Bugleweed

  • Hyperthyroidism: Add 1 to 2 tsp of bugleweed leaves in a cup of hot water. Steep it for 10-12 minutes. Strain and drink once a day for 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Menstrual disorders: Prepare a decoction of Rosa Rugosa buds, dong quai root and bugleweed leaves. Take it twice a day.

Other Facts

  • Bugle is also known as “carpenter’s herb” due to its supposed ability to stem bleeding.
  • It is a good ground-cover for a position in semi-shade, forming a carpet and rooting as it spreads.
  • Extract obtained from bugleweed is also known to be effective, especially when prepared from the stems, leaves, and flowers.
  • Plant is usually applied externally.
  • It is also commonly used fresh in ointments and medicated oils.

Precautions

  • Avoid use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Plant is said to be a narctic hallucinogen that is known to have caused fatalities.
  • If you are already on hormone-related medications, adding bugleweed to the mix can complicate treatment.
  • If you are undergoing chemotherapy, the constituents may react poorly with radioactive isotopes and induce illness.
  • If you are already taking sedatives, this could be complicated by bugleweed’s sedative properties.
  • Lactating mothers are also advised to stay away from bugle, unless they want to start weaning.
  • People suffering from hypothyroid diseases should consult a health care provider before using bugleweed.
  • Bugleweed may interfere with blood glucose medication; it is contraindicated in patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia.
  • People with endocrine disorders such as hypopituitarism, pituitary adenoma or hypogonadism should not take it.
  • Bugleweed should never be replaced for prescription thyroid medications except on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • Patients who suffer from osteoporosis or who are taking oral contraceptives or fertility drugs should consult their doctor before taking the herb.
  • People with hypo function, enlarged thyroid or receiving medications for thyroid should not use this herb.
  • Prior to undergoing any surgery, you need to stop taking bugleweed, at least two weeks before the operation.

References:

https://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/673/

http://www.hear.org/pier/species/ajuga_reptans.htm

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxonomydetail.aspx?id=314389

https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/112079

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=b200

http://www.floracatalana.net/ajuga-reptans-l-

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-5385

https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=AJRE

https://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Ajuga+reptans

https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/buglec82.html

https://www.allinahealth.org/CCS/doc/Thomson%20Alternative%20Medicine/48/10215.htm

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