Family • Labiatae / Lamiaceae - Ajuga bracteosa Wall. ex Benth - BRACTED BUGLEWEED - Jiu wei yi zhi hao

Scientific names

Ajuga bracteosa Wall. ex Benth
Ajuga integrifolia Buch-Ham

Common names

Bracted bugleweed (Engl.)
Blue bugle (Engl.)
Bungle (Engl.)
Small-flowered bugleweed (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Jiu wei yi zhi hao.
KASHMIR: Jan-i-adam.


Additional info
• Ajuga is a genus of about 40-50 species of annual and perennial herbaceous flowering plants in the mint family Lamiaceae.
• Bugle is a creeping plant of the mint family held on upright stems.

Ajuga bracteosa is a low herb covered with soft hairs, with erect, ascending stems which arise from the rootstock, branching usually diffusely from the base and measuring 10 to 20 centimeters in length. Leaves are oblanceolate or subspatulate, 2.5 to 10 centimeters long, and 1 to 3.5 centimeters wide; the lower ones are stalked; the upper ones are stalkless and sinuate-toothed or nearly entire. Calyx is hairy, with ovate-lanceolate teeth. Corolla is pale blue or white and hairy; the tube is rarely twice as long as the calyx; the upper lip is erect and 2-fed; the side lobes or lower lobes are oblong, and the midlobe is dilated and variable in length. Stamens protrude from the upper lip. Nutlets are ellipsoid and very small.

– Found in Benguet, Bontoc, and Cavite Provinces in Luzon, and in Mindanao.
– Mainly in ravines, and sometimes in open cultivated areas, at an altitude of 600 to 1,700 meters.
– Also occurs in East Asia – Himalayas from Kashmir to Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and Malaysia.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Anti-inflammatory effect of Ajuga bracteosa Wall Ex Benth. mediated through cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibition / Gautam R, Jachak SM, Saklani A / J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 Nov 10.

(2) Antiplasmodial activity of Ajuga bracteosa against Plasmodium berghei infected BALB/c mice / Chandel S, Bagai U / Indian J Med Res. 2010 Mar;131:440-4.

(3) Isolation and enzyme-inhibition studies of the chemical constituents from Ajuga bracteosa / Riaz N, Nawaz SA, Mukhtar N et al / Chem Biodivers. 2007 Jan;4(1):72-83.

(4) A new phthalic acid ester from Ajuga bracteosa / Singh N, Mahmood U et al / Nat Prod Res. 2006 May 20;20(6):593-7.

(5) Positive inotropic action of an alkaloidal fraction from Ajuga bracteosa Well ex Benth / Patel DG, Gulati OD, Gokhale SD / Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1962 Oct;6:224-30.

(6) Clerodane diterpenoids from Ajuga bracteosa Wall / Verma VH, Mahmood U, Singh B. / Nat Prod Lett. 2002 Aug;16(4):255-9.

(7) Ajuga bracteosa / Plants For A Future


(8) Antiarthritic effects of Ajuga bracteosa Wall ex Benth. in acute and chronic models of arthritis in albino rats/ Gaurav Kaithwas,* Raju Gautam, Sanjay M Jachak, and Arvind Saklani / Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. Mar 2012; 2(3): 185–188. / doi: 10.1016/S2221-1691(12)60039-2

(9) Evaluation of in vivo and in vitro anti-inflammatory activity of Ajuga bracteosaWall ex Benthmore / Raghunath Singh, S. M. Patil, Gagandeep Pal, Mumtaz Ahmad / Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease (2012)S404-S407

(10) HERBAL RMIDIES USED FOR GASTROINTESTINAL DISORDERS IN KAGHAN VALLEY, NWFP, PAKISTAN / Samin Jan1, Mir Ajab Khan2, Siraj ud din, Waheed Murad, Manzoor Hussain and Aneela Ghani / Pak. J. Weed Sci. Res. 14(3-4): 169-200, 2008

– Plant yields phytoecdysteroids, iridoid glycosides, sterols, withanolids (bracteosin A, B, and C), neo-clerodane diterpenoids.
– Yields glycosides, tannin, ceryl alcohol, ß-sitosterol, y-sitosterol, cerotic acid, palmitic acid, oleic and linoleic acid, glucose, arabinose, phenolic bitter compounds.
– Study of the whole plant yielded five compounds including a new clerodane diterpenoid designated Bracteolin-A. The other compounds were a hydroxy ajugapitin, beta-sitosterol and stigmasterol.
– A dichlormethane extract yielded both clerodin- and dihydroclerodin-type diterpenes – ajubractins A-D, along with clerodin, 3-epi-car- yoptin, ajugapitin, 14,15-dihydroclerodin, 3-epi- 14,15-dihydrocaryoptin, ivain II , and 14,15-dihydroajugapitin.

– Leaves have a peculiar resinous color and bitter taste.
– Considered stimulant, diuretic, depurtative, and aperient.
– Plant considered aromatic, astringent, and tonic.

– Unknown

– Unknown medicinally in the Philippines.
– Elsewhere, given for rheumatism, gout, palsy and amenorrhea.
– Used to kill lice.
– Juice of leaves used as blood purifier.
– Powdered leaves used for burns and boils.
– Juice roots used for diarrhea and dysentery.
– A bitter astringent, substituted for Cinchona in the treatment of fevers.
– Considered depurative, and an aromatic tonic especially useful in ague.
– Leaves used for fevers as a substitute for quinine.
– In Ayurveda, used in treatment of rheumatism, gout, palsy, and amenorrhea.
– In Pakistan, plant decoction used for fever, kidney pain, and as cooling agent. Plant also used as stimulant, diuretic and aperient. Smoke from burning plant is considered an insect repellent.
– Extracts used for swollen wounds, insect bites, eye problems, bladder affetions, and also tumors.
– Perfumery: Plant is a new source of linalyl acetate, a valuable perfumery compound.

Study Findings
• Diuretic: Aqueous extract of leaves showed diuretic activity on rats. An alkaloidal fraction isolated from the leaves showed stimulant action on isolated perfused frog heart, rabbit auricle and rat ventricle.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study showed the 70% ethanol extract of Ajuga bracteosa possesses promising anti-inflammatory activity, probably mediated through inhibition of COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes. Results support its traditional used for inflammatory diseases.
• Antiplasmodial: Study to evaluate the antiplasmodial activity of an ethanolic extract of A bracteosa in Plasmodium berghei infected mice demonstrated a dose-dependent inhibition of parasitemia and survival time during early and in established infections.
• Chemical Constituents / Enzyme Inhibition: Phytochemical study yielded Bractin A and bractin B, new sphingolipids, bractic acid, and a long-chain polyhydroxyl acid from the whole plant along with four known diterpenoids 4-7. Various activities displayed were inhibition of enzyme lipoxygenase, concentration-dependent inhibition of cholinesterase enzymes.
• New Phthalic Acid Ester / Perfumery Source: Study yielded a new phthalic ester from the hexane extract of AB. Linalyl acetate was common in two oil fractions. The plant is a new source of linalyl acetate, a valuable perfumery compound.
• Anti-Feedant Activity / neo-Clerodane Diterpenoids: Study yielded different neo-clerodane diterpenoids from a dichlormethane extract. Antifeedant activity against Spodoptera littoralis larvae was evaluated for the compounds obtained.
• Antimicrobial Activity: Ethanolic extract of leaves showed a dose-dependent chemosuppression during early and in established infections, along with significant repository activity.
• Cardiotonic: Alkaloidal fraction showed cardiostimulant action on frog heart and rat ventricle. The activity was antagonized by dichlorisoprenaline, and may be due to liberation of catecholamine stores in the heart.
• Antiarthritic: Study evaluated a 70% ethanolic extract against turpentine oil- and formaldehyde-induced acute non immunological and complete freund’s adjuvant-induced chronic immunological arthritis in albino rats. Results showed significant and promising antiarthritic activity and supports traditional use for rheumatism and other inflammatory diseases.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study evaluated the in vivo and in vitro anti-inflammatory activity of a methanolic extract of whole plant in a carrageenan-induced rat paw edema, egg albumin induced inflammation in rats. Extract doses of 500 and 750 mg/kg showed potent action compared with standard drug diclofenac sodium.