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Ajuga reptans

Other Names: Ajuga, Bugle, Bugleweed, Blue Bugle, Bugleherb, Bugula, Carpenter's Herb, Carpet Bugle, Carpet Bugleweed, Common Bugle, Middle Comfrey, Sicklewort

Habitat: Perennial herb, evergreen in warm climates, native to Europe, western Asia and Iran. It has escaped cultivation and become naturalized in some parts of the northeastern and north central U.S. Bugleweed is found growing in damp meadows and woodland areas. Cultivation: Bugleweed prefers a humus-rich, moisture retentive soil and partial shade. Can be invasive as it grows rapidly even in poor, heavy soils. It should be divided every 2-3 years to reduce crowding. A good bee and butterfly plant. Considered a creeping plant, the roots are stringy and spread on the ground. They produce a black dye. Bugle sends off self rooting runners which form a basal rosette. The leaves are dark green, opposite sometimes in whorls of three, oblong to obovate, with scalloped edges fringed with few priestly hairs. Stems are smooth and square with reddish or purple veins also with few priestly hairs. The erect flower stalk is 6 to 10 inches high and rises from the basal rosette. Flowers are tubular about 1/2" long, light purple, with two unequal lips bottom and two side or wing petals, they bloom in whorls at the leaf axis in May to July. Gather the whole plant in May and early June, dry for later herb use.

Properties: Bugleweed is edible and medicinal. Young shoots are eaten in spring salads. Bugle has a long history of use as a medicinal herb. It is aromatic, astringent, bitter, mildly laxative, mildly sedative, mild pain killer. Used internally for treating coughs, throat irritations, mouth ulcers, nervousness, headache, gastrointestinal ailments, and internal bleeding. The foliage is said to have a mild narcotic effect when ingested. The plant contains digitalis-like substances and is thought to possess heart tonic properties. Applied externally or as a poultice for cuts, sores, abrasions, swollen joints, bruises, wounds, and tumors. Leaves and flowers used in the bath for aching muscles, rheumatism, and frayed nerves. The plants main constituents Aucubin, Cyanidin, Cyasterone, Delphinidin, Harpagide, and Tannin confirm these uses.


Folklore: In the seventeenth century it was thought to drive away many forms of disease. Once used for to cure hangovers.

Try this recipe

Infusion: 1 oz. dried herb steeped in 1 pt. boiling water for 10 minutes; dosage is 1/2 Cup doses 3 to 4 times daily.

Caution: This herb is a narcotic. Take at short intervals only and then under medical supervision.



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