- A Modern Herbal, by Mrs. M. Grieve Home Page


Botanical: Lycopus Virginicus (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Labiatae

---Synonyms---Water Bugle. Sweet Bugle. Virginian Water Horehound. Gipsyweed.
---Part Used---Herb.
---Habitat---An American plant. It is a very common weed in North America, growing in low, damp, shady ground and flowering from July to September.

---Description---Though a Labiate, it does not actually belong to the same genus as the British Bugles, but has certain points in common. From the perennial, creeping root, the quadrangular, smooth stem rises to a height of from 6 to 24 inches, bearing pairs of opposite leaves on short stalks, those on the upper part being toothed and lance-shaped, the lower ones wedge-shaped and with entire margins. The leaves are destitute of hairs and gland-dotted beneath. The flowers are in clusters in the axils of the leaves; the calyx has four broad, blunt teeth and the corolla is four-lobed, purplish in colour, with only two fertile stamens.

---Part Used---The whole herb is used. It is slightly aromatic, with a mint-like odour and is used, fresh, when in flower, for the preparation of a tincture and a fluid extract, until recent years official in the United States Pharmacopoeia. It is also used dried for making an infusion.

---Constituents---It contains a peculiar bitter principle, insoluble in ether, another soluble in ether, the two forming more than 10 per cent of the whole solid extract, also tannin and a volatile oil.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---Sedative, astringent and mildly narcotic. Used in coughs, bleeding from the lungs and consumption. The infusion made from 1 OZ. of the dried herb to 1 pint of boiling water is taken in wineglassful doses, frequently, the fluid extract in doses of 10 to 30 drops, and the dry extract, Lycopin, in doses of 1 to 4 grains.


Common Name Index

Bear in mind "A Modern Herbal" was written with the conventional wisdom of the early 1900's. This should be taken into account as some of the information may now be considered inaccurate, or not in accordance with modern medicine.

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