The root of the bugloss plant contains a red coloring that is the oldest coloring substance known. Its name Anchusa, derives from the Greek language, means “to paint” or “to dye.” Aelius Galenus recommended it for women’s makeup since it gives it a healthy red color when applied to the face. This application is no longer used.
Bugloss Plant Scientific Facts
- Other names: Large blue alkanet
- French: Buglosse
- Spanish: Buglosa
- Environment: Unfarmed lands of southern Europe, mainly with calcareous soils. It can also be found in wheatfields, vineyards, and olive groves. It is known in Central and South America.
- Description: Biennial plant of the Boraginaceae family, growing from 30 to 80 cm high. The stem and leaves are covered by rigid hair. The leaves have a shape and texture, which has given this plant the name of “ox tongue” in some languages. It has bluish flowers.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The flowers and leaves.
Healing Properties and Indications
The whole plant contains tannin, mucilage, choline, small amounts of allantoin (an alkaloid), and alkaloids. The flowers are used as sudorific and diuretic. They also have expectorant properties due to their content in mucilage.
How to Use Bugloss
- Infusion of leaves and flowers, with 30g per liter of water.
- Compresses with the fresh juice of flowers and leaves, applied on the affected area.
Note: Common alkanet (Ancusa Officinalis L.) differs from the large blue alkanet by having purple flowers. Both species are used interchangeably since they have the same medicinal properties. Therefore, the common names are applied to either of these plants without distinction.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 696. Print. [Bugloss plant]