Bugleweed- primary herb for hyperthyroidism

Bugleweed- primary herb for hyperthyroidism

Bugleweed (Lycopus virginicus or Lycopus europaeus-gypsywort)

It is a primary herb for Graves’ disease and a member of the mint family. It might help in mild forms of hyperthyroidism. Bugleweed has been approved by German Commission E for use in mild hyperthyroidism. It is used in Europe for a mildly overactive thyroid, usually in the early stages and often with combination of Melissa. The herb is considered safe for long term administration. It is traditionally used to stop iodine conversion in the thyroid gland.  Bugleweed also inhibits the conversion of T4 into T3 in peripheral tissues. It might also inhibit the action of thyroid-stimulating antibodies. Bugleweed is helpful for symptoms such as palpitations and convulsions; it can lower heart rate and help with insomnia. It helps with relaxation. There has been a human study of Bugleweed for use in hyperthyroidism. The study involved 62 patients and its findings confirmed positive effects of Bugleweed (Lycopus europaeus) in mild forms of hyperthyroidism (1) without adverse reactions. German Bugleweed europaeus preparation is called Thyreogutt mono tablets or drops. Scientific studies of this preparation showed statistically significant improvements for mild hyperthyroidism for over 300 patients without side effects. Best results were seen in people receiving more than a 4 week course of preparation (2). Other German preparation is Mutellon (Lycopus Europaeus, Motherwort and Valerian).

Aqueous extracts of Bugleweed are also commonly used as well as alcohol extracts (prescribed by naturopathic professionals). Tea can be prepared by infusing 2-3 teaspoons of air-dried herb in a cup of hot water drank three times daily.

Talk to your doctor before using Bugleweed. It is not indicated with iodine supplements or iodine I-125 (used for Iodine Uptake Test) and with certain medical conditions. Bugleweed should not be taken in condition of osteoporosis. It is not advisable in pregnancy or lactation.

This post is for educational purposes only.


  1. Beer AM, Wiebelitz KR, Schmidt-Gayk H. Lycopus europaeus (Gypsywort): effects on the thyroidal parameters and symptoms associated with thyroid function. Phytomedicine 2008 Jan; 15(1-2):16-22.
  2. Eiling R, Wieland V, Niestroj M. Improvement of symptoms in mild hyperthyroidism with an extract of Lycopus europaeus (Thyreogutt® mono). [Article in German]. Wien Med Wochenschr. 2013 Feb; 163(3-4):95-101.

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