Hello, and thank you for joining this week’s Tuesday Plant Walk with LMH! I am honoured to have you on this journey with me. Today I am introducing you to Horehound (Marrubium vulgare). Horehound is a member of the mint family and originates from Asia, Europe, and Africa. Horehound, also known as white Horehound has a close relative, black Horehound (Ballota nigra). Although the two Horehounds are similar, black Horehound has a more bitter taste, and they have slightly different medicinal properties.
Horehound can be distinguished by its’ musky smell. It has green leaves covered in white fuzzy hairs. In the summertime little white (or purple depending on the strain) flowers bloom out of its’ leaves. Horehound grows all over, but it is a heat lover, making it easier to find in warmer climates. It can be viewed as an invasive plant, however Horehound can be a great addition to your garden as it keeps harmful insects & animals away. I suggest growing your Horehound in its’ own container to prevent invasiveness.
Horehound has been used medicinally for more than 2,000 years. Ancient Egyptian priests used Horehound for its’ potent respiratory effects and ability to treat malaria & fever. Swiss Physician and alchemist Paracelsus referred to it as the “medicine of the lungs”. In Traditional Chinese Medicine Horehound is used to clear heat, move Qi (energy and life force) throughout the body, resolve phlegm, and calm tremors. Although this may be the first time you are hearing of Horehound, there is a good chance this medicine has helped you ease a cough, as it is an ingredient in the famous Ricola cough drops.
Some of Horehound’s many beneficial qualities include:
Its’ bitter properties help to stimulate digestion & balance appetite.
It’s an expectorant meaning it promotes stimulation of the bronchioles - soothing coughs and runny noses.
Horehound strengthens the immune system & relieves fevers.
It’s antispasmodic, meaning it can ease spasms, making it a great menstrual cramp remedy.
Can be used externally to promote the healing of wounds.
My favourite way to incorporate Horehound in my medicine cabinet is by making an herbal syrup. Making a syrup helps to combat Horehound’s bitter flavour, and it is so delicious! Having a cough never tasted so good 😉.
-½ cup fresh Horehound or ¼ cup dried
-2 cups of water
-3 cups of honey
-Stainless steel pot
Place the Horehound & water in the pot, and then bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and steep for 10 minutes. Strain the plant material using a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer, and add the honey. Taste your medicine, and if it needs some extra sweetness add additional honey. Take one teaspoon as needed. You can store the medicine in a glass container in the fridge for up to two months.
Horehound can be a beneficial medicine for everyone as we all are burdened by common colds far too often. However, this medicine can be especially helpful for the elderly. Its’ ability to stimulate digestion, balance appetite, ward off coughs, and improve the immune system make it a powerful ally for those with weaker constitutions. Horehound is a relatively safe medicinal herb, but should be avoided if pregnant.
Thank you for following along with me, I am so grateful to have you here! I am unable to share all of the beneficial properties of Horehound in one post, but it is my intention to inspire you to learn more about Horehound on your own, and the benefits of incorporating herbal medicine in your life. This post is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. I hope that the next time you catch a cold you feel inspired to utilize your new friend, Horehound.
Sending Love and Light
Lisa Marie Holmes