Scientific: Lycopus americanus [WikiPedia]
Composition: Lycopus contains
rosmarinic acid, a phenolic compound derived from caffeic acid and found
in several other Lamiaceae plants, all indicated historically for the
symptoms of hyperthyroidism. Rosmarinic acid, and the related
lithospermic and chlorogenic acids, may exert an antithyroid effect in
cases of hyperthyroidism.
Appearance: Not to be confused
with Carpet bugle or common bugle (Ajuga virginicus), bugleweed is a
marshland native to Europe and naturalized to the United States in the
17th century by colonists who grew it for its beneficial qualities. The
herb is also known as gypsywort or waterhorehound. It bears clusters of
white, bugle-like flowers where stems connect to leaves. It is of the
lamiaceae family, but is often referred to as the “odorless mint”. The
botanical name Lycopus refers to the resemblance of the cut leaf to a
wolf’s paw, which also explains the plethora of common names in many
languages referring to wolves.
Parts Used: Dried leaves and flowers.
Common Uses: Bugleweed’s
reputation for treating an over-active thyroid aka hyperthyroidism is
exciting, even if hyperthyroidism is more common in cats than dogs.
Hyperthyroidism shouldn’t be confused with hypothyroidism. While
hyperthyroidism describes an overactive thyroid, hypothyroidism occurs
when the thyroid gland underperforms. Nevertheless, dogs that do
struggle with this condition can see some serious results with
bugleweed. Bugleweed might reduce the body’s production of thyroid
hormone. Bugleweed also seems to reduce the release of the hormone
prolactin, which might help relieve breast pain. Bugleweed is used to
lower high levels of thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism). It is also used
to treat premenstrual syndrome; breast pain; nervousness; trouble
sleeping (insomnia); and bleeding, especially nosebleeds and heavy
bleeding during menstruation.
Dogs with hypothyroidism, a condition caused by an underactive thyroid gland, should NEVER take bugleweed.
Topic Specific Research:
PLEASE NOTE that herbal and
other natural products can harm your animals – not all plants are safe
and gentle! Do not attempt using any of the ingredients listed, or any
other plant matter, without the guidance of a qualified herbalist.
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