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Lycopus europaeus - L.

Common Name Gypsywort
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards Known to cause the enlargement of the thyroid gland. Avoid in patients with thyroid disease or given concomitantly with thyroid therapy. Avoid during pregnancy [301].
Habitats By rivers, streams and ditches, also in marshes and fens[9, 17].
Range Europe, including Britain, to the Mediterranean, north and central Asia.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Water Plants Semi-shade Full sun
Lycopus europaeus Gypsywort


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Lycopus europaeus Gypsywort
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Lycopus europaeus is a PERENNIAL growing to 1 m (3ft 3in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from June to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, flies. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can grow in water.

Synonyms

Lycopus alboroseus. Lycopus albus. Lycopus aquaticus. Lycopus decrescens

Habitats

 Pond; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Root.
Edible Uses:

Root - raw or cooked. A famine food, it is only used when all else fails[179].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Astringent;  Miscellany;  Poultice;  Sedative.

The fresh or dried flowering herb is astringent and sedative[4]. It inhibits iodine conversion in the thyroid gland and is used in the treatment of hyperthyroidism and related disorders[9]. The whole plant is used as an astringent, hypoglycaemic, mild narcotic and mild sedative[4, 238]. It also slows and strengthens heart contractions[238]. The plant has been shown to be of value in the treatment of hyperthyroidism[9, 238], it is also used in the treatment of coughs, bleeding from the lungs and consumption, excessive menstruation etc[4, 238]. The leaves are applied as a poultice to cleanse foul wounds[240]. This remedy should not be prescribed for pregnant women or patients with hypothyroidism[238]. The plant is harvested as flowering begins and can be use fresh or dried, in an infusion or as a tincture[4, 238]. Current uses are predominantly for increased activity of the thyroid gland and for premenstrual syndrome symptoms such as breast pain [301]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Lycopus for nervousness and premenstrual syndrome (see [302] for critics of commission E).

Other Uses

Dye;  Miscellany.

A black dye is obtained from the plant[4, 100]. It is said to give a permanent colour and was also used by gypsies in order to darken the skin[4].

Cultivation details

Tolerates most soil types so long as they are wet. Grows well in shallow water. Succeeds in sun or shade.

Propagation

Seed - sow spring or autumn in a cold frame[238]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in spring or autumn[238]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Lycopus americanusWater Horehound, American water horehound13
Lycopus amplectensClasping water horehound10
Lycopus asperRough Bugleweed11
Lycopus lucidusBugleweed, Rough bugleweed12
Lycopus maackianus 10
Lycopus uniflorusBugleweed, Northern bugleweed31
Lycopus virginicusBugleweed, Virginia water horehound23

 

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Botanical References

17200

Links / References

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Readers comment

   Sat Jan 19 2008

science direct Extract of Lycopus europaeus L. reduces cardiac signs of hyperthyroidism in rats

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