Bogbean, Menyanthes trifoliata, What is Bogbean, Buckbean, Herbs for Digestion, Herbs for Health

Menyanthes trifoliata Menyanthaceae Also called Buckbean.

As its name suggests, bogbean thrives in wet places - by ponds and lakes, and in ditches and marshes throughout Europe. It has short, soft, creeping stems and thick) scaly rhizomatous roots. Its leaves arc made up of three oval leaflets and its pink-and-white star-shaped flowers form funnel-shaped spikes. The fruit is a round capsule containing bright yellow oval seeds.

Parts used

  • Leaves
  • Bogbean leaves are collected at the beginning of the flowering season in May and June.
  • The leaves can be used fresh or are dried for use.


The plant contains numerous active components, including bitter phenolic acids, flavonoids and tannins.

Medicinal uses

Traditionally bog bean is used to stimulate the appetite and promote digestion as its bitter taste encourages gastric and salivary secretions. Research published in Planta Medica in 1986 confirmed that the phenolic acids in bog bean has confirmed this effect. Bogbean is also a laxative and diuretic.

The anti-inflammatory properties of the plant mean that it is indicated in the treatment of rheumatic conditions. Research has also confirmed its anti-inflammatory activity and explored the way it works on the body's metabolism.

The plant's capacity to regulate the menstrual cycle, for which it has been traditionally used, has been the subject of many studies. As yet researchers have not been able to produce any convincing results.


In large amounts bogbean could cause vomiting. Never take more than 6g - 15 (400mg) capsules - in the course of one day.

It is not recommended if you have diarrhoea, or an infection or inflammation of the intestine.
Bogbean is not suitable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


This aquatic plant prefers to be planted in shallow, acidic water or wet soil. A sunny location is best.


For internal use

TO TREAT loss of appetite, constipation, sluggish digestion INFUSION Put 1-2g of dried leaf into 500ml of boiling water and leave to infuse for 15 minutes. Drink 3 cups a day.

CAPSULES (350-400mg of powder) Take 3-6 at intervals throughout the day to a maximum of 15 a day.



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