Friday, 18 February 2011

(6) Seasonal Materia Medica Profile: White Horehound

White Horehound - Marrubium vulgare

A member of the Mint Family. The White Horehound flowers between June and August. It can usually be found around footpaths, wasteground and grassland. Found in South and Central Europe, north to South Sweden and South England (occasional) and Central Asia.

Active Components

The active consitutents are essential oil, resin, tannin, wax, fat, sugar, alkaloids, diterpene alcohols and a bitter principle known as Marrubium.


Stimulating expectorant, mild antispasmodic, sedative, amphoteric, vulnerary, diuretic, stomach and liver bitter tonic.


Infusion relaxes muscles. Used to treat coughs, bronchitis, croup and asthma, and as digestive tonic. Tea formerly used for eczema and shingles. Chronic bronchitis, whooping cough, hard cough with little phelgm, common cold, loss of voice, snake bite, dog bite. Chronic gall bladder disease, fevers, malaria, hepatitis, "Yellowness of the eyes".

A Suitable Winter Remedy

Infuse 2 teaspoonsful in boiling water. Drink 3-5 cups daily.
A suitable winter remedy would be to create a Horehound and Aniseed cough mixture - using Pleurisy root, Elecampane, Horehound, Skunk Cabbage and Lobelia in a syrup base. It is an expectorant and demulcent to soothe irritable coughs (Potter's, UK). Adults and elderly take two 5ml teaspoons thrice daily. Children over 5 to take one 5ml teaspoon thrice daily.

Potential "Admixtures"

White Horehound with Colts-foot and Hyssop as a tea (equal parts) for hard coughs. With Lobelia and Iceland Moss as a tea for chronic chest complaints. With Hyssop and Honey to make a traditional English syrup.
  1. "Herbs and Healing Plants of Britain & Europe", Dieter Podlech
  2. "Bartram's Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine", Thomas Bartram

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