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Horehound

SCIENTIFIC NAME(S):Marrubium vulgare (Tourn.) L.
Family: Labiatae

COMMON NAME(S):Horehound, hoarhound, white horehound

Horehound is a perennial plant with small white flowers found growing in the wild throughout Europe and Asia. All parts of the plant are used medicinally. Horehound is a woolly herb with a faint scent of Wormwood, crinkled hairy leaves, and flowering stems with whorls of small white blossoms in summer.

History

The leaves and flower tops of the horehound have been used in home remedies as a bitter tonic for the common cold. They are now used primarily as flavorings in liqueurs, candies, and cough drops. In addition, extracts of the plant were used for the treatment of intestinal parasites and as a diaphoretic and diuretic. A different genus, the black horehound (Ballota nigra), is a fetid perennial native to the Mediterranean area that is sometimes used as an adulterant of white horehound.

Botany :- Horehound is native to Europe and Asia and has been naturalized to other areas, including the United States. It is a perennial aromatic herb of the mint family. The plant grows to a height of approximately 0.9 m and has oval leaves covered with white, woolly hairs. Horehound bears small, white flowers in dense whorls, which bloom from June to August.

Uses of Horehound

Horehound has been used as a flavoring, exectorant, vasodilator diaphoretic, diuretic, and treatment for intestinal parasites.

Side Effects of Horehound

Large doses may induce cardiac irregularities

Dosage

For adults, the German Commission E monograph recommends approximately 3/4 teaspoon (4.5 grams) of horehound per day or 2-6 tablespoons (30-90 ml) of the pressed juice. Alternatively, horehound tea can be prepared from approximately 1/4-1/2 teaspoon (1-2 grams) of root boiled in about 7 ounces (200 ml) of water for ten minutes. Three cups (750 ml) of this tea can be drunk per day. Horehound is sometimes found in herbal lozenges that are used for coughs.

Toxicology
While marrubiin has been reported to have antiarrhythmic properties, it may also induce cardiac irregularities in larger doses.

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