Pharmaceutical Name: Herba
common hoarhound, common
horehound, houndsbane, marrhue, Eye of the Star,
maruil, Soldier’s Tea,
Seed of Horus, Bull’s Blood, Haran Haran, Llwyd y cwn,
hound-bane, marrube, marrubium, marvel, white horehound,
hoarhound; marrube blanc, blanc rubi, bonhomme, bouenriblé,
grand bon-homme, grand-bonhomme, herbe aux crocs. Herbe
vierge, maltrasté, mapiochin, mariblé marinclin,
marrochemin, marrube, marrube commun, marrube des champs,
marrube officinal, marrube vulgaire, mont blanc (French);
mastranzo, marrubio, concha (Spanish); Skilokhorto (Greek);
Szanta, Krzecina Pospolita (Polish); Weisser Andorn (German)
rounded shrub with a height of 1 ½ feet.
The flowers are small,
whitish, in dense whorls
that circle around the stems, getting smaller near the top.
The leaves are pale green,
wrinkled, and very woolly, giving the appearance of being
white, somewhat oval-shaped, to 2 inches.
Hooklike appendates on the
seeds fasten them to animals, spreading the seeds
extensively, accounting for the plant’s weediness.
Blooms from June to
Cultivation: Horehound is
a perennial hardy to Zone 4.
It can grow in the
absolutely worst conditions with poor soil and extended
drought but it requires good drainage and full sun.
Propagate by seed,
cuttings and divisions.
Seed germinates in 10-15
days and is ready for transplanting in 12 weeks.
Cuttings root slowly and
at a low percentage. Divisions are done in early spring and
are somewhat easy.
Seedlings are transplanted
by hand or transplanter, spring through fall.
Cuttings are not
recommended unless you just want a couple of plants.
Divisions should be
planted immediate after they are done.
Plant at 12 inch spacing
in the rows with row spacing at 24-30 inches.
Horehound might benefit
from irrigation every 2-3 weeks in the west.
Drip irrigation would be
best as it reduces weeds and won’t splash dirt on the plant.
No problem with pests or disease.
Horehound is deer proof.
Harvest the above ground
herb when it starts to flower which doesn’t happen until the
Harvest with pruning
It should continue to
produce through years 4 or 5 before it should be tilled in
Yields of dry herb should
be about 2,000 pounds per acre.
Do not water before
Horehound has been used at
least since the early Egyptians brewed it into a cough
remedy and referred to it as the “Seed of Horus.”
It was also considered an
antidote for poison, being particularly effective against
the bites of made dogs and serpents.
Horehound was probably one
of the bitter Passoverherbs—the word
is thought to be derived from the Hebrew
for “bitter juice.”
(which later became horehound) is old English for “downy
The “hore” in horehound is
thought to derive from the Middle English
and Old English har,
meaning white or frosty and is simply a reference to the
white pubescence covering the plant.
“Hound” may refer to the
use by the ancient Greeks of the plant as an antidote to
bites from mad dogs.
The Greek physician
Dioscorides recommended a decoction of the herb for
tuberculosis, asthma, and coughs.
In 1597, the herbalist
John Gerard praised horehound as “a most singular remedy
against the cough and wheezing.”
oil includes pinene, limonene, and campene; diterpenes
(marrubiin, marrubenol, marrubiol); flavonoids (apigenin,
luteolin, quercetin); alkaloids (betonicine and
stachydrine); sterols; saponin; bitter lactone; waxes,
lipids, tannins, resins, vitamin C.
bitter and cool
lung, spleen, liver
bitterness stimulates the appetite and also promotes bile,
making large doses laxative. The whole herb and its
derivatives are used in thousands of lung medications around
the world, especially for treating bronchitis and coughs.
The essential oils and
marrubiin dilate the arteries and help to ease lung
congestion. The herb apparently causes the secretion of a
more fluid mucus, which is more readily cleared by coughing.
Marrubiin also normalizes
the heart beat and is a weak sedative. At one time,
horehound was suggested for relieving menstrual pain and
slowing a rapid heart beat.
Since it also induces
sweating, it has been used to reduce fevers, even those
associated with malaria. It is less commonly used as a
decoction for skin conditions.
Old recipes call for the
leaves to be boiled in lard and applied to wounds.
well with coltsfoot, lobelia and mullein
simple tea – ½ cup drunk 4 times a day; as a tonic, drink
cold, ¼ cup before each meal.
2 parts boneset flowers
and leaves, 2 parts white yarrow flowers, 1 part horehound
flowers and leaves, 1 part calendula flowers, 2 parts
Use as a tea or tincture.
For acute symptoms,
children can take 2-5 drops of tincture or 1/8-1/2 cu tea
every one to two hours; adults 25-50 drops of tincture or 1
cup of tea every one to two hours until acute phase
Continue using the same
amount of drops, three times a day for at least 7-10 days
after the acute symptoms have subsided.
1 tsp coltsfoot leaves
1 tsp horehound leaves
1 tsp elderflowers
1 tsp marshmallow root
1 tsp ground ivy
4 cups boiling water
Combine the above
herbs in a nonmetallic container and cover with the boiling
water; steep for 30 minutes; strain. Take warm, a tablespoon
at a time, up to one cup per day.
1 tsp elecampane root
2 tsp horehound herb
1 tsp blue vervain leaves
2 cups water
Combine the herbs
in a pan and cover with water.
Bring to a boil; reduce
heat and simmer for about 20 minutes; strain and cool
Drink up to two cups a
day, a mouthful at a time.
Toxicity: Large doses
can be laxative.
Prolonged use can
contribute to high blood pressure
Uses: Herbe of Mercury and
Gemini; Herb of Protection; Religious Herbe, Vesionary
Herbe; Gender: hot; Element: Earth.
Linked with both the
Magician card and the Wheel of Fortune card I the tarot,
horehound is sacred to the god Horus.
It was called the “Seed of
Horus” by ancient Egyptian priests. Horehound is an
excellent herbs to use in blessing one’s home.
A moderate amount may be
added to the ritual cup.
As a general herbe to use
when working ritual forms, horehound increases your
concentration and focus. It increases the mental skills
needed to keep distraction at bay and the ability to
integrate one’s mind and body into the realm of the
Horehound can give you the
freedom to weave your creativity into your magick.
Small bunches of the
flowering stems may be gathered when the bloom is ripe.
These should be bound with
a ribbon and hung in one’s home to keep it free from
As an oil, horehound may
be used in spiritual and psychic healing or any type of
healing or restorative work involving magick and energy.
Some believe that
horehound corresponds with Hod on the Tree of Life.
Uses: Horehound has been
used as a bitter condiment and as a candy, but is too bitter
for most tastes.
Europe, the plant has been used to flavor
salads, soup, fish and chicken.
It’s been recommended as a
seasoning for meat, stews, sauces, cakes, and cookies and
suggested that it would also be suitable for
Extracts are used to
flavor liqueurs, non-alcoholic beverages, ice cream, candy,
and baked goods.
A substitute for hops in
beer, it is still sold as Horehound Ale in Europe.
Old-Time Horehound Candy
Hominy and Beef
1 Tbsp bacon fat or margarine
1 medium-sized onion, thinly
½ cups celery, thinly sliced
1 lb ground beef
1 15-oz can hominy
1 4-oz can mushroom pieces and
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp dried horehound or 1 leaf
fresh horehound finely cut
Melt fat in
skillet; add onion and celery; stir and cook 2-3 minutes.
Add beef; stir until well
Cook, stirring constantly,
until meat is no longer red.
Add hominy, mushrooms, and
Cover and cook over low
heat, just barely boiling, for 10 minutes.
Stir frequently and add
water if needed to prevent sticking and burning.
(Minnie Muenscher’s Herb
2 cups fresh horehound, including
leaves, stems and flowers (or 1 cup dried)
2 ½ quarts water
3 cups brown sugar
½ cup corn syrup
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp butter
1 tsp lemon juice
In a large
saucepan, cover the horehound with the water.
Bring to a boil, then
simmer 10 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth and allow the
tea to settle.
Ladle 2 cups of the
horehound tea into a large kettle.
Add the brown sugar, corn
syrup, and cream of tartar.
Boil, stirring often,
until the mixture reaches 240F.
Add the butter.
Continue to boil until the
candy reaches 30F (hard crack).
Remove from the heat, and
add the lemon juice.
Pour at once into a
buttered, 8-inch square pan. As the candy cools, score it
Remove from the pan as
soon as candy is cool.
Store in aluminum foil or
ziplock plastic bags.
1 lb horehound
4 oz ginger
2 oz block juice
2 oz coriander seed
2 oz foam essence
35 grns saccharine 550
2 ½ lbs sugar
10 gallons water
Boil the horehound,
ginger, and coriander seeds in half the water for 15
minutes; add the block juice, and stir until dissolved;
strain and pour on to the sugar and saccharine. Stir well,
and then add the foam essence and ferment.
(Culinary Herbs and
2 lbs treacle
3 gallons water
2 Tbsp brewer’s yeast, spread on
both sides of a piece of toast.
Boil the first 3
ingredients for 1 hour, strain, and cool to lukewarm.
Float the brewer’s yeast
spread on toast on the surface and let stand for 24 hours
before bottling. (Mastering Herbalism)
A Compendium of Herbal Magick,
Publishing, 1998; ISBN: 0-919345-45-X
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal
Chevallier, Dorling Kindersley, 1997; ISBN: 0-7894-1067-2
Phyllis V. Shaudys, Storey, 1990;
The Illustrated Herb Encyclopedia,
Kathi Keville, Mallard Press, 1991; ISBN: 0-7924-5307-7
Michael Moore, Red Crane Books, 1990; ISBN: 1-878610-06-6
Paul Huson, Stein and Day, 1975; ISBN: 0-8128-1847-4
Medicinal Herbs in the Garden,
Field & Marketplace,
Lee Sturdivant and Tim Blakley, San Juan Naturals, 1999;
nie Muenscher’s Herb Cookbook,
Minnie Worthen Muenscher, Comstock Publishing, 1978; ISBN:
Secrets Native American Herbal Remedies,
Anthony J Cichoke, Avery Books, 2001; ISBN: 1-58333-100-X
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