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Bugleweed

What is it?

Bugleweed is an herbal medicine that is used to treat thyroid and heart problems, upset stomach, gout, hemorrhoid bleeding. It may also be used after childbirth and to treat painful breasts.

Other names for Bugleweed include: Lycopus virginicus, Lycopus americanus, Lycopus europaenus, Archangle, Ashangee, American Bugleweed, Carpenter's Herb, Common Bufle, Egyptian's Herb, Farasyon Maiy, Green Wolf's Foot, Gypsy-Weed, Gypsy-Wort, Menta de Lobo, Middle Comfrey, Paul's Betony, Sicklewort, Su Ferasyunu, Water Bugle, and Water Horehound.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have primary or secondary hypopituitarism, pituitary adenoma, primary or secondary hypogonadism, TSH-stimulating tumors, or osteoporosis
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much Bugleweed you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Bugleweed. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Drug and Food Interactions:

Do not take Bugleweed without talking to your doctor first if you are taking:

  • Iodine and iodine I-125 (8)

Warnings:

  • Before taking Bugleweed, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Lycopus europaeus and Lycopus virginicus (Bugleweed) should not be taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding (6)
  • Lycopus lucidus and Lycopus americanus can be used without adverse effects for 2 to 3 days after childbirth for mild bleeding (7)
  • Use with extreme caution if you have primary or secondary hypopituitarism, pituitary adenoma, primary or secondary hypogonadism, TSH-stimulating tumors, or related disorders (2)
  • Do not take Bugleweed if you have osteoporosis (2)
  • Bugleweed can lower your heart rate and should be used cautiously if you have systolic dysfunction or heart failure (2)

Side Effects:

Call your doctor right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hand, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing, or rash

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • If Bugleweed is used too much or for too long, your thyroid gland may increase (1)
  • Decrease in heart rate (2)

References:

1. Blumenthal, Busse, Goldberg, et al: The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. The American Botanical Council, Austin, TX; 1998.

2. Fetrow C & Avila J: Professional's Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Springhouse Corporation, Springhouse, PA; 1999.

3. Brinker F: Inhibition of Endocrine Function by Botanical Agents. J Naturopath Med 1990; 1:1-14.

4. Winterhoff H et al: Endocrine effects of Lycopus eurapaeus L. following oral application. Arzneimittelforschung 1994;44:41-45.

5. Hoffmann D: The New Holistic Herbal. Barnes and Noble Books, New York, NY; 1990.

6. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R et al (eds): American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1997.

7. Moore M: Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West. Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe, NM; 1979.

8. Keller K, Hansel R, & Chandler RFKeller K, Hansel R, & Chandler RF (Eds): Adverse Effects of Herbal Drugs, 1, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany, 1993.

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Last Updated: 7/4/2017
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