Scientific name: Lycopus europaeus, Lycopus virginicus

Common names: Water Horehound, Sweet Bugle, Water Bugle, Gipsywort

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names:

Bangladesh names: Bhuuta-bhairavi

Arabic names:    عشبة البوق (U’shbatu’lbooq)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Labiatae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Flower, leaf, root, whole herb


Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: 6 to 10 inches

Actions: Astringent, cardioactive diuretic, perihperal vasoconstrictor, thyrocine antagonist???, anti-tussive, minor narcotic, nervine, sedative, tonic

Known Constituents: Flavone glycosides, tannins

Constituents Explained:


It has creeping roots that grow 6-40 inches.  The leaves are opposite (picture) that grow on short stalks.  The leaves are lance shaped (picture???), it has a strong teeth shape on the outside.  The leaves have dots underneath. The calyx are triangular in shape (picture) The flowers grow from the axil of the leaf (picture.)  

Traditional Use:

Commonly used for over active thyroids.  A mild sedative and narcotic. It’s been used for fast heart best and heart disease.

Used for nervous symptoms that result from an overactive thyroid.  Used as a diuretic when water retention is coming from the heart. A remedy for coughs.1

Clinical Studies:

A study examined the effect of Lycopi europaei herba on thyroid function and on associated symptoms during a 3-month follow-up phase. The study population consisted of patients with a basal TSH<1.0 mU/l and hyperthyroidism-associated symptoms.

For the first time, the T3/T4 excretion in 24h urine was measured as a primary objective parameter. As secondary parameters, further hormones, the general condition and the symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism were registered. 

The urinary T4 excretion was significantly increased in Lycopus europaeus-treated patients. It is supposed that renal mechanisms cause the increased T4 excretion either by a modification within the glomeruli or by impaired reabsorption. 

Symptoms being specific to the thyroid gland were diminished, as e.g. the increased heart rate in the morning. The Lycopus europaeus preparation showed a good tolerance. These findings confirm positive effects of Lycopus europaeus in slight forms of hyperthyroidism.


Beer AM, Wiebelitz KR, Schmidt-Gayk H. “Lycopus Europaeus (Gypsywort): Effects On The Thyroidal Parameters And Symptoms Associated With Thyroid Function.” 2008 January