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.
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:
- 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.
- 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 Plant Scientific Facts
- Other names: Hoarhound, marrubium, white horehound.
- French: Marrube.
- Spanish: Marrubio.
- Environment: Very common in sunny, dry, unfarmed lands all over Europe, the plant has been naturalized to America.
- 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.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The flower clusters and the leaves.
How to use Horehound
- Infusion, with 30-40 g of flower clusters and/or leaves per liter of water. Drink two or three cups daily, sweetened with honey.
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]