Bugleweed Benefits | Thyroid & Cardiovascular Health

Bugleweed Health Benefits

Bugleweed (Lycopus spp.) is a perennial herb with many species. Lycopus europaeus is commonly found in Europe and Asia, and Lycopus americanus is native to North America. Bugleweed is traditionally used in western herbal medicine for hyperthyroidism symptoms and to support a healthy cardiovascular system.

Bugleweed Pharmacology


Botanical Name

Lycopus americanus, Lycopus europaeus & Lycopus virginicus


Other Common Names

Ajuga, Green Wolf's Foot, Gypsy Weed, Gypsywort, Water Horehound & Wolfstrapp.


Part Used

Herb


Main Therapeutic Compounds

Essential oils, luteolin, tannin, phenolic acids & flavonoids.


Herbal Actions

TSH Antagonist

Antithyroid

Cardiotonic

Mild sedative



Bugleweed Herbal Benefits


Hyperthyroid Symptoms | Anxiety, Palpitations & Tremor



Hyperthyroidism / Overactive Thyroid


Bugleweed is rich in the phenolic compounds rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, lithospermic and chlorogenic acids. These compounds may have an antithyroid effect and have been used historically to relieve hyperthyroid symptoms


Recent research has suggested that Rosmarinic acid slows down the way thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) stimulates thyroid cells by stopping adenylate cyclase. Rosmarinic acid was shown to form loose bonds with TSH, making it less likely to activate thyroid receptors and produce thyroid hormones. As a result, Bugleweed may calm an overactive thyroid, and relieve the symptoms of Grave's disease and autoimmune thyroiditis. 


One human clinical study examined Bugleweed (Lycopus europaeus) and its effects on the thyroid hormones tri-iodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) in people with hyperthyroidism. The researchers concluded that the patients in the study who took Bugleweed for three months had reduced urinary T4 compared to the control group. The thyroid hormone reduction may have resulted from Bugleweed reducing the reabsorption of T4 via the kidneys. 


In another clinical cohort study, groups of hyperthyroid patients who used Bugleweed extracts for various amounts of time were compared to a placebo group of hyperthyroid patients. The group who received Bugleweed (Lycopus europaeus) reported statistically significant improvement in hyperthyroid symptoms such as heart palpitations, tachycardia, tremor, and anxiety.



Bugleweed Typical Use


Dried Herb & Powder

100mg - 2g in powder, capsule or tablet form.


Tincture & Liquid Extract

Typical adult use of Bugleweed tincture or liquid extract is approximately 2-5mls daily in divided doses or as directed by your practitioner.


Herbal Combinations

Bugleweed combines well with Lemon Balm, Motherwort, Rehmannia & Reishi Mushroom


Cautions & Safety

Not recommended during pregnancy & breastfeeding. 

Bugleweed is best avoided in hyperthyroidism (underactive thyroid).
If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical medications, please consult your primary healthcare practitioner prior to use.



Buglweed Liquid Extract Tincture
Naturopath Herbals​​

References

Goodman GA, Rall TW, Nies AS, Taylor P. The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 9th ed.

Newall CA, Anderson LA, Philpson JD. Herbal Medicine: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London, UK: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996.

Blumenthal M, ed. The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. Trans. S. Klein. Boston, MA: American Botanical Council, 1998. 

Schulz V, Hansel R, Tyler VE. Rational Phytotherapy: A Physician's Guide to Herbal Medicine. Terry C. Telger, transl. 3rd ed. Berlin, GER: Springer, 1998. 

McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, eds. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, LLC 1997. 

Auf'mkolk M, Ingbar JC, Amir SM, et al. Inhibition by certain plant extracts of the binding and adenylate cyclase stimulatory effect of bovine thyrotropin in human thyroid membranes. Endocrinology. 1984 Aug;115:527-34. 

Vonhoff, C., Baumgartner, A., Hegger, M., Korte, B., Biller, A., and Winterhoff, H. Extract of Lycopus europaeus L. reduces cardiac signs of hyperthyroidism in rats. Life Sci 2-2-2006;78(10):1063-1070. 

Bucar, F. and Kartnig, T. Flavone Glucuronides of Lycopus virginicus. Planta Med 1995;61(4):378-380. 

Sourgens, H., Winterhoff, H., Gumbinger, H. G., and Kemper, F. H. Antihormonal effects of plant extracts. Planta Med 1982;45(6):78-86. 

Auf'mkolk, M., Ingbar, J. C., Kubota, K., Amir, S. M., and Ingbar, S. H. Extracts and auto-oxidized constituents of certain plants inhibit the receptor-binding and the biological activity of Graves' immunoglobulins. Endocrinology 1985;116(5):1687-1693. 

Beer AM, Wiebelitz KR, Schmidt-Gayk H. Lycopus europaeus (Gypsywort): effects on the thyroidal parameters and symptoms associated with thyroid function. Phytomedicine. 2008;15(1-2):16-22 


DISCLAIMER

This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal primary healthcare practitioner. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Naturopath Herbals nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their doctors or qualified health professionals before beginning any herbal product, nutritional supplement or lifestyle program.