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Horehound

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  • Botanical: Marrubium vulgare
  • Family: Lamiaceae or Labiatae
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Horehound

Botanical

Marrubium vulgare

Family

Lamiaceae or Labiatae

Known as

white horehound, common horehound, Gewöhnlicher Andorn, Weißer Andorn, Gemeiner Andorn, Helfkraut, Weißer Dorant

Old Use

medical, culinary, industry

Parts Used

herb

Aroma

sharp

Medicinal

bronchitis, bladder disease, bladder weakness, bile weakness, bronchitis, colds, coughs, digestion, difficulty breathing, worm

Heart & Circulation

palpitations, rapid pulse

Mind & Nerves

anorexia

Respiratory System

bronchitis, catarrh, cough, difficulty breathing, lung weakness, pharyngitis, respiratory

Stomach & Intestinal

digestion, worm

Properties

antiseptic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, hepatic, stimulant, tonic

Description

It is a grey-leaved herbaceous perennial plant, somewhat resembling mint in appearance, and grows to 25–45 centimetres (10–18 in) tall. The leaves are 2–5 cm (0.8–2.0 in) long with a densely crinkled surface, and are covered in downy hairs. The flowers are white, borne in clusters on the upper part of the main stem.

Properties & Uses

White horehound is a well-known and popular herbal medicine that is often used as a domestic remedy for coughs, colds, wheeziness etc. The herb apparently causes the secretion of a more fluid mucous, readily cleared by coughing. The leaves and young flowering stems are antiseptic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, strongly expectorant, hepatic, stimulant and tonic. Horehound is a very valuable pectoral, expectorant and tonic that can be safely used by children as well as adults. It is often made into a syrup or candy in order to disguise its very bitter flavour, though it can also be taken as a tea. As a bitter tonic, it increases the appetite and supports the function of the stomach. It can also act to normalize heart rhythm. The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and can be used fresh or dried. The root is a remedy for the bite of rattlesnakes, it is used in equal portions with Plantago lanceolata or P. major.

Other Uses

An essential oil is obtained from the plant and used as a flavouring in liqueurs. The plant has been used as a cure for cankerworm in trees. No more details are given but it is probably a strong infusion of the flowering shoots, or the essential oil, that is used. The growing plant repels flies.

The leaves are used as a seasoning. Bitter and pungent, they are sometimes used to flavour herb beer or liqueurs. Horehound ale is a fairly well-known drink made from the leaves. A mild pleasantly flavoured tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves, it is a favourite cough remedy.

 

Cautions

Heart rhythm, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels affected by large doses. Avoid during pregnancy and breast feeding. Diabetes mellitus patients on allopathic medication to lower blood sugar should avoid

Distribution

native to Europe, northern Africa, and southwestern and central Asia. It is also widely naturalized in many places, including most of North and South America.

Constituents

The chief constituent is a bitter principle known as Marrubium, with a little volatile oil, resin, tannin, wax, fat, sugar, etc.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.