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Common bugloss (Anchusa officinalis)


Heart-strengthening, expectorant, emollient, expectorant-promoting, diuretic, coloring

Areas of application:

Mild laxative, gentle mood enhancer for depression and melancholy, coughs, colds, bronchitis, diseases of the upper respiratory tract, rheumatism, kidney problems

Plant parts used:

Flowers, leaves, roots

Collection time:

May to July

To find:

The plant is protected in some areas. On dry soils near train stations, on railway embankments, roadsides and in low mountain areas.


Flavonoids, mucilage, tannins, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, alantoin, lycopsamine, choline


☕ Tea: Add 1 teaspoon of flowers and/or leaves to 1/4 liter of cold water, heat to a boil, but do not let it boil. Drain after about 5 minutes of steeping time. 2 cups per day are sufficient.

Common bugloss is a biennial to perennial plant that can reach a height of 20 to 10 cm. It has a black taproot with wrinkled rings that can reach up to 1.20 meters into the ground. The shoot axis is fresh green to bluish green, densely seated on small nodules, a little rigid and covered with protruding hairs. The stem itself is simple and only has inflorescence branches in the upper leaf axils. The leaves are alternate and spirally arranged. The lower leaves are clearly stalked in contrast to the upper ones, which can be sessile or stem-encompassing. The lanceolate to almost linear stem leaves are between 5 and 10 cm long and the base leaves can be over 20 cm long. The leaves become shorter from bottom to top. Both sides of the leaf are hairy. The leaf edge is entire to slightly wavy and bulging to toothed. The panicle-like inflorescence consists of short, but clearly stalked, dense flowers. The five sepals are rough hairy, lanceolate to linear and the five petals are initially fire red and then change color to dark blue-violet, but they can also be white. The light brown herbaceous fruits break up into 4 parts and are crooked-ovoid, bulging, wrinkled and finely warty.

🛑 Because of the pyrrolizidine alkaloids it contains, which also other rough leaf plants such as. For example, to make comfrey suspicious, you should only collect very young Common bugloss plants at the beginning of the growing season, then the carcinogenic substances can only be detected in traces. Common bugloss should therefore not be used in high doses and not for too long.

In the kitchen, the leaves make a healthy and crunchy vegetable in batter and young leaves can be eaten in salads or as spinach.

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