Botanical and Common Names
- Family Labiatae
- Ajuga reptans (Bugle, Bugula, Middle Comfrey, Middle Confound, Sticklewort, Carpenter’s Herb)
- Ajuga chamaepitys (Ground Pine, Yellow Bugle)
- None listed
Native to Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia, this low-growing, creeping perennial can reach a foot in height. It has rooting runners, erect hairy stems, oblong to oval leaves, and purplish blue flowers. The herb prefers damp woods, grassy and mountainous areas. It is usually gathered when in flower during the summer.
In Europe, the herb has long been valued as a wound healer and Nicholas Culpeper praised it in 1652, stating that a "decoction of the leaves and flowers made in wine and taken, dissolveth the congealed blood in those that are bruised inwardly by a fall or otherwise, and is very effectual for any inward wounds, thrusts, or stabs into the body or bowels".
The herbalist, Mrs. Grieves, writing in 1931, reported that it lowers the pulse rate and "equalizes the circulation".
- wound healer
- mildly laxative
- mild liver cleanser
(b) Ground Pine
- emmenagogue (stimulates menstrual flow)
- iridoid glycosides (including harpagide)
- Aerial parts
Ground pine is used to treat gout and rheumatism; and it is also believed to have diuretic, menstruation-inducing, and stimulant properties.
A Chinese variety, A. decumbens, is used as an analgesic.
Although not much used in herbal medicine, it is still occasionally is made into a wash to be used for wound healing.
A gargle or mouthwash is an effective treatment for inflammations of the mouth and larynx.
Infusions were sometimes used for gallbladder and stomach disorders.