Bugleweed benefits are best known for its use in treating Grave’s disease, an autoimmune hyperthyroid disease (1). But they also include treating, respiratory conditions, regulate sleep patterns, protect the heart, balance your hormonal levels, eliminate anxiety, speed healing, and increase overall health.
Botanically termed as Lycopus virginicus, bugleweed is a medicinal herb with a plethora of health benefits. The plant’s leaves are quite broad and grow about three inches off the ground. Both the flowers and leaves of bugleweed are often used for medicinal purposes. Bugleweed has been widely used since ancient times as a natural cure for cough, respiratory disorders, and even malfunctioning thyroid (2).
Bugleweed benefits can be obtained from the leaves and flowers, and they hold a potent blend of organic compounds and active components, including phytochemicals, tannins, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds. These constituents are found in many related species, such as mint and gypsywort.
Bugleweed benefits treat overactive thyroid glands (hyperthyroid), especially when accompanied by tightness of breath, palpitations and shaking. Its anti-inflammatory properties may relieve mild pain symptoms too (4).
While ingesting the bugleweed offers some health benefits, research shows that several of bugleweed’s benefits come from applying it to the skin, inhaling its aroma or taking it as a capsule.
Check out bugleweed benefits in the video below and continue reading for more.
1. Grave’s Diseases
Bugleweed is commonly used as a natural treatment for some symptoms of Grave’s disease, such as palpitations and convulsions. Grave’s disease is an immune disorder resulting in excessive thyroid hormones being produced. Components of the plant may lower the levels of the thyroid-stimulating hormone and thyroxine. The herbal activity is sufficient for mild cases of the disease and is considered safe for long-term administration (5).
2. Prevent Respiratory Disorders
There are various anti-inflammatory compounds found in the extract of bugleweed, which is why this herb is commonly used to relieve respiratory distress, such as excessive coughing, shortness of breath, and sore throats. 
Bugleweed helps in relieving nasal congestion. It is also very effective in clearing up congestion of the throat, bronchi, and lungs, which gives relief from respiratory disorders that often result from asthma and common colds.
As it cools and soothes the throat, nose and other respiratory channels, it also relieves the irritation which causes chronic coughing.
Like other plant-based foods (veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, beans, and 100% whole grains), bugleweed contains phytonutrients with antioxidant-like properties, which may reduce cellular damage caused by oxidative stress. What’s more, the primary anti-inflammatory compounds of bugleweed may limit the initiation of chronic inflammation (7).
4. Hormone Imbalances
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. The lithospermic acid in bugleweed is believed to decrease levels of certain hormones, especially the thyroid hormone thyroxine (8). It also helps to regulate estrogen levels in women, which protects women from cyclic breast pain.
5. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Bugleweed contains a compound called menthol, which is thought to help alleviate IBS symptoms through its relaxing effects on the muscles of the digestive tract (9). Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common digestive tract disorder. It is characterized by digestive symptoms like stomach pain, gas, bloating and changes in bowel habits.
6. Alleviates Allergies & Hay Fever
Seasonal allergies and hay fever (also known as rhinitis) affect millions of people around the world. Extracts of bugleweed have been shown to inhibit the release of certain chemicals, which aggravate severe nasal symptoms associated with hay fever and seasonal allergies (10).
7. Relieve Pain
Bugleweed is a naturally soothing substance, so it can alleviate the inflammation often associated with headaches and migraines. The nerve-calming and vasoconstrictor actions of bugleweed make it useful for pain relief in situations that involve irritability and tension. 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.
Balms with a mint base or basic bugleweed oil, when rubbed on the forehead and nose, give quick relief in case of a headache.
8. Protect the Heart
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. By normalizing the heart rate and reducing blood pressure, bugleweed can protect against atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes, which are some of the primary killers around the world today. 
9. Treat Nausea
Everyone experiences nausea at one point or another. Bugleweed can help you deal with digestive issues like nausea. Its calming and numbing effect relaxes your stomach muscles so that bile can break down fats, and food can move through the stomach quickly (13). Drinking a hot cup of bugleweed tea is one of the most effective ways to settle an upset stomach, especially if you’re feeling nauseous.
10. Skin Care
Bugleweed benefits antiseptic and antipruritic properties, the juice obtained from the leaves is an excellent skin cleanser. It soothes the skin and helps cure infections and itchiness. In addition to being a good way to reduce pimples, it can even relieve some of the symptoms of acne.
Its anti-pruritic properties can be used for treating bug and insect bites like those of mosquitoes, honeybees, hornets, wasps, and gnats. 
11. Promotes Healing
One of the other major health benefits possessed by bugleweed is that it helps promote the healing process. Applying bugleweed extract topically can promote rapid healing; due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of the compounds present in the herb which can promote cell growth, reduce pain and prevent infection (15).
12. Improves Sleep
Bugleweed does double duty as a stimulant or a relaxation aid, depending mostly on your intention. It interacts with the hormones in your body and helps balance your Circadian rhythms and promote healthy rest (16).
13. Reduce Depression & Fatigue
Bugleweed is naturally calming and can get your brain functioning at a higher level again. That is, the soothing and sedative properties possessed by the herb help improve the condition by calming the heart palpitations and thereby soothing the stress hormones (17).
Bugleweed Side Effects:
- Bugleweed is safe when used in moderation.
- People suffering from hypothyroid diseases should consult a healthcare 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.
- People taking iodine supplements should talk to their doctor before taking bugleweed. It may change the way your body processes iodine.
- Not for use in those who are pregnant or nursing.
- If you are undergoing chemotherapy, the constituents may react poorly with radioactive isotopes and induce illness.
- Bugleweed should never be replaced for prescription thyroid medications except on the recommendation of a doctor.
How to Use Bugleweed
- As a commercial supplement, the common dose is two capsules of bugleweed administered twice daily with water (during meal time) but the manufacturer’s instructions should always be followed.
- Alternatively, 1–2 grams of the whole herb can be administered thrice per day as a tonic, but the dosage must be limited to 1–2 ml.
- An infusion of bugleweed is made by steeping an ounce of dried herb to a pint of boiling water.
- If used as a tincture, use 10 to 30 drops.
Bugleweed’s ability to improve respiratory conditions, regulate sleep patterns and balance the hormonal levels has made it a prominent part of traditional medicine and has now moved forward into the sphere of modern medicine as well.