White Horehound (Marrubium vulgare)
White horehound is a perennial herb native to Europe. It grows easily in waste land and along roads. This bushy herb has been used for centuries to treat a variety of symptoms. The Romans and Egyptians used this herb. It was also one of the bitter herbs taken to the Passover Feast. In England the leaves are used in the preparation of a delicious beer know as Horehound Ale that is non-alcoholic and nutritious. It is a natural attractant for bees so be prepared to see them in your garden if you plant horehound.
Key Medicinal Uses
Internally Horehound has long been used as an expectorant for lung conditions. This herb has been used for asthma and whooping cough, as well as bronchitis. It is also used for diabetes in some countries. Some people take horehound to relieve heartburn and to increase the appetite. It is also used for intestinal disorders as well as pan and spasms from menstruation. Studies are showing some promise as a treatment for high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Externally not used externally.
Other Uses Horehound is used to make candy.
Herbs to Combine/Supplement
Leaves The leaves of white horehound are used medicinally.
Some people may be allergic to white horehound if they are sensitive to members of the mint family. Side effects may include rash where the skin came into direct contact with the plant juice, low blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms and decreased blood sugar.
It may cause diarrhea and vomiting. Avoid this herb if you have heart disease or gastrointestinal problems. Use caution if you suffer from hypoglycemia or diabetes or if you take medications that affect blood sugar. Horehound is not recommended during pregnancy and lactation. It may interact with other expectorants or cold medications, increasing their effects.
It may reduce the effects of anti-emesis medications, migraine headache medications and antidepressants. It may interfere with the ability of the body to excrete penicillin. This herb may cause diarrhea when taken with stool softeners or laxatives. Excessive amounts of white horehound may increase your risk of abnormal heart rhythms and should be avoided by people at risk for this problem.
Preparation and Dosage
For cough or sore throat, add 10 to 40 drops of extract into water and take up to three times per day. Lozenges can be taken every 1 to 2 hours as needed for relief.
For heartburn, take 2 to 6 tablespoons of fresh plant juice or 1 to 2 grams of dried white horehound made into an infusion and taken three times per day.