Lamiaceae / Mint
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Medical Uses: Long considered a mild narcotic useful for lowering blood pressure, it is now considered a sedative. It has also been used as an astringent and to treat lung ailments, diabetes and thyroid disease. It has been used as a hemostatic because of its ability to lower blood pressure and its astringent properties. While its sedative properties are well documented I have found no scientific studies to confirm this. In Field Guide to Medicinal Plants, Eastern and Central North America it says that science has shown it may be useful in treating hyperthyroidism.
Northern Bugleweed (L. uniflorus) is very similar except the leaves are light green and the flowers have more
distinct lobes and.
American Water Horehound (L. americanus) has lower leaves which are deeply lobed and the flowers tend to be in a dense cluster.
One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.
This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.
Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves