HOREHOUND, Marrubium vulgare

Horehound Herb

Our grandparents and great grandparents used horehound as an expectorant to clear mucus and phlegm from the lungs and bronchioles. The saying goes, “if you have a breathing problem, Then you had better find some horehound.”

Aaldwin Jones, an herbal doctor from Europe, told how she used horehound. “I prescribed horehound frequently to my patients and found complete success with all ages, particularly with chest complaints. I had one little patient, a six-year-old girl who suffered with a wheezing chest and night cough almost from birth. I treated her with horehound and anise seed medicine and horehound infusion (tea). In just two weeks, there was a marked improvement. Three months later she was practically normal, sleeping peacefully and much stronger bodily, with a clear chest. I must add that I put her on a mucous free diet. That’s very important.”

She continued to tell how she used horehound to treat many older people who have breathing problems and chest complaints and the good effect the tea had on them. She went on about an old herbalist friend of hers who was more than one hundred years old and going strong. He said his secret for longevity and happiness is living the “middle of the path” without excesses in anything and keeping a plentiful supply of horehound which would give tone and nourishment to the chest.

Horehound is a member of the mint family. You can tell this by the square stems and the opposite leaves (leaves that grow o the opposite sides of the stem). Horehound is a perennial plant that grows from one to two feet high. It is found in waste places and along roadsides. The stems and stalks are downy and wooly. Especially in early spring. The light green leaf is round to heart shaped with very deep, small wrinkles, which makes it rough on the top and kind of wooly underneath. A small white two-lipped flower grows out of a spiny calyx in auxiliary whorls from June until September. The history of horehound goes back beyond the feast of the Passover. It was one of the bitter herbs used on that occasion as a reminder of the bitter past the children of Israel had in Egypt.

In the fourth century BC, it was used by Theophrastus, the physician, to relieve many disorders such as asthma, bronchitis, sore throat, chronic bronchial catarrh, dry cough, whooping cough and many ailments of the lungs. Horehound is known far and wide for its effectiveness in overcoming problems of the respiratory systems. However, it is also used to combat many other illnesses. If horehound is taken in small-to-moderate amounts, it acts as a tonic, but if it is taken in large doses, it acts as a laxative, and is said to be able to expel worms. Culpepper says that horehound should be used when you have delayed menstruation. Also, a hot infusion will produce perspiration and aid the flow of urine and will greatly benefit a jaundice condition. Horehound will promote healing of wounds, will stimulate bile secretions, is an aid against hoarseness, is a tonic to lungs and respiratory organs, will help herpes, eczema and shingles. Horehound is used in Grandma’s herbal Asthma formula.

Horehound, besides everything else, is quite nutritious. It contains vitamins A, E, C, F and B complex. It also contains the minerals iron, potassium and sulfur.

Herbs have helped people gain health and strength for the thousands of years. Learn all about herbs. First, learn all there is to know about ten different herbs. You will be surprised how helpful they can be. Then learn all about ten more herbs. Then ten more herbs. Then people will seek you out and then you will become a friend of man. Give freely, for you have received freely.

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