Horehound Marrubium vulgare L.

Marrubium vulgare L.
Horehound in flower
  • Common Names
  • Horehound , White horehound, marrubio
  • Botanical Name
  • Marrubium vulgare L.
  • Family

Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Horehound

remedyHow to Use| Side Effects | Plant & Garden| Folklore

How to Use: Horehound

The uses of horehound have come down to us from the Greeks, Romans, and from our own North American herbal traditions. You can still find old fashioned horehound cough drops sold in pharmacies, but homemade ones are best in my opinion. Horehound was an accepted medicinal plant in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia until 1989 and is still endorsed in Europe as an effective cold medicine. Duke Horehound is a well regarded cough and cold remedy as well as a bitter tonic. As is common with all the mint family herbs, horehound stimulates digestion, easing bloating and gas. Horehound contains the bitter principal marrubiin (sometimes spelled marubin), a potent pain reliever, nervous system stimulant, and expectorant. Marrubiin and marrubinic acid also help stabilize heart rhythm. Duke

Preparation Methods & Dosage :Leaf teas, cough syrups and drops. Extracts. For treatment of gastrointestinal upset, take thirty minutes before eating. The bitter taste activates the healthful actions, don't overdo adding sweeteners.

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Horehound Remedies

In the Kitchen: Horehound is a favorite to use in oldfashioned cough drops recipes.

Horehound Side Effects: Horehound should not be used by pregnant women, nursing mothers, very young children or the elderly.

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Plant Description

  • Flowers:Small white or purple flowers at the nodes between leaf and stem
  • Plant Class:Perennial Mint, bushy
  • Leaves:Densely packed green leaves with white edges on a single stalk. The leaves are much wrinkled, opposite, petiolate, about 1 inch long, covered with white, felted hairs, which give them a woolly appearance.
  • Medicinal part: All arial
  • Preferred Habitat:Cultivated in gardens
  • Flowering Season:June to September
  • Distribution:Native to Morocco, naturalized in Europe and North America

How to Grow Horehound

Horehound is a perennial hardy to Zone 3 here in North America. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Once established, horehound required very little additional water. Bees love the blossoms. Harvest leaves and flowers during the growing season to use fresh, and dry to used during winter months for cold and cough season.

books citedWorks Cited
  1. Duke, James A., Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook(2000)
    Until 1900, horehound was an accepted medicinal in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia and was found in various over-the-counter nostrums, including cough drops. In 1989 FDA challenged its use for a supposed lack of efficacy. A year later, Germany's commission E endorsed horehound's folk reputation as an effective treatment for coughing, colds and indigestion. Decide for yourself.