Also known as western water-horehound, bugleweed is a common, often overlooked mint that grows in wet places and swamps in the western prairies and aspen parklands. It resembles wild mint, at a glance, but the clusters of tiny flowers produced in the leaf axils are white, not pink. The leaves are not quite as pointy as wild mint leaves and angle upward, with the upper leaves usually forming a tight cluster. The best way to distinguish this species is by its subtle, but characteristic, non-minty scent, which I can best describe as “dull lemony”.
For years, I paid little attention to this plant, passing it over in favour of the more potent wild mint. After reading that similar species are used as a mild sedative, I finally gave it a try. I chewed on the leaves and found that they contained a sticky resin-like property that had a pleasant flavour comparable to spruce or pine sap. When I made tea from the leaves, I was surprised at how closely it resembled Earl Grey tea! Bugleweed is now my go-to tea for company that is wary of trying non-traditional-tasting wild teas. Every time I serve it, people are surprised that this wonderful tea grows right in their “backyard”.
I have bugleweed available for $6.00/30 grams. Leaves are shipped whole to preserve their potency, unless otherwise requested. To order, email firstname.lastname@example.org. I will send you a price estimate, including shipping.