Horehound Plant Health Benefits

The horehound plant has been used since ancient times to treat afflictions of the respiratory system. The great Greek physician, pharmacologist, botanist, and author, Pedanius Dioscorides, in the first century A. C., said about this plant that it “expels from the chest all thick humors.” Horehound has been highly appreciated because of its virtues from then onwards.

horehound plant uses
The horehound plant thins and reduces the infection of the bronchi mucous membrane secretions

Healing Properties and Indications

The plant contains a bitter component, marrubine, to which it owes its expectorant, bechic (easing cough and throat irritation), febrifuge, appetizer, and digestive properties. These properties are also related to its content in saponins, mucilage, and tannin. Horehound is used in the following cases:

horehound supplement
  1. Respiratory system afflictions: Its action on the respiratory system is notable; horehound liquefies and reduces the infection of the bronchial mucous membrane secretions, easing their elimination and alleviating cough. The use of this plant is recommended in all bronchial conditions: catarrh, laryngitis, tracheitis, bronchitis, asthma, etc.
  2. Appetizer: Horehound is an appetizer, and it also promotes digestion. It is helpful for weakened people, those who suffer from chronic bronchitis and even tuberculosis. Even though it does not directly act on tuberculosis, the plant cleans the bronchi and tones up the whole body.

Horehound is especially useful for ailments like coughing and bronchial issues. It can be taken as syrup or tea as an expectorant for bronchial catarrh. It is helpful for hoarseness, coughs, and acute or chronic bronchitis. Horehound can treat pulmonary problems and sore throats as well. Children should use the herb in syrup form. It is also used for typhoid fever.

Some say it can restore the normal secretion balance of various glands and organs. It is used to calm heart action and heart conditions. In addition, you can use it to boost the immune system and treat jaundice, fevers, bloating, hay fever, asthma, and dyspepsia. When taken warm, it is a diuretic, and when taken cold, it makes for a fantastic stomach tonic.

Temporary or persistent skin problems can be treated by the herb’s tea or crushed leaves when externally applied. The smelly, bitter leaves are used in cough syrups in Europe. The herb can stimulate digestion and, as an expectorant, break up phlegm, relieve bronchitis and coughs, soothes sore throats, and treat other upper-respiratory conditions.

Horehound is an excellent herbal treatment for stomach and gallbladder disorders, jaundice, hepatitis, and the fresh leaves as a poultice can treat cuts and wounds. It can also increase the flow of bile. In Germany, it is approved as a treatment for colds and coughs and as an appetite stimulant and digestive aid.

Horehound Plant Scientific Facts

black horehound benefits
  1. Other names: Hoarhound, marrubium, white horehound.
  2. French: Marrube.
  3. Spanish: Marrubio.
  4. Environment: Very common in sunny, dry, unfarmed lands all over Europe, the plant has been naturalized to America.
  5. Description: Vivacious plant of the Labiatae family, growing from 30 to 80 cm high, with an upright, somewhat woody stem and tiny white flowers growing in clusters along this stem.
  6. Parts of the plant used medicinally: The flower clusters and the leaves.

How to use Horehound

Infusion: Steep for twenty minutes and take six ounces at a time, frequently. Tincture: Take twenty to sixty drops three times daily. Fluid Extract: Take ½ to one teaspoon three times daily. Syrup: Take ½ to one teaspoon three times daily. Powder: Take five to ten #0 capsules (30 to 60 grains) three times daily.


  • George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 316. Print. [horehound plant]
  • Vance Ferrell Harold M. Cherne, M.D. The Natural Remedies Encyclopedia [Book]. – Altamont, TN: Harvestime Books, 2010. – Vol. Seventh Edition: 7: pp. 163.

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