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
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
Blooms from June to September.
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
12 inch spacing in the rows with row spacing at 24-30
Horehound might benefit from irrigation every 2-3 weeks in
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 second year.
Harvest with pruning shears.
It should continue to produce through years 4 or 5
before it should be tilled in and replaced.
Yields of dry herb should be about 2,000 pounds per
water before harvesting.
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
Horehound was probably one of the bitter Passoverherbs—the
word marubium is thought to be derived from the
for “bitter juice.”
Har hune (which later became horehound) is old
English for “downy plant.”
The “hore” in horehound is thought to derive from the
Middle English hor, and Old English
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.”
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
Meridians/Organs affected: lung,
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.
Combinations: Combines well with
coltsfoot, lobelia and mullein
Dosage: simple tea
– ½ cup drunk 4 times a day; as a tonic, drink cold, ¼ cup
before each meal.
1 tsp coltsfoot leaves
1 tsp horehound leaves
1 tsp elderflowers
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
1 tsp elecampane root
2 tsp horehound herb
1 tsp blue vervain leaves
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
Prolonged use can contribute to high blood pressure
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
called the “Seed of Horus” by ancient Egyptian priests.
Horehound is an excellent herbs to use in blessing one’s
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 spiritual
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 negative energies.
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.
been used as a bitter condiment and as a candy, but is too
bitter for most tastes.
In 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 stronger-tasting vegetables.
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.
Hominy and Beef
1 Tbsp bacon fat or margarine
1 medium-sized onion,
½ cups celery, thinly sliced
1 lb ground
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 mixed.
Cook, stirring constantly, until meat is no longer
hominy, mushrooms, and seasonings.
Cover and cook over low heat, just barely boiling,
for 10 minutes.
Stir frequently and add water if needed to prevent sticking
(Minnie Muenscher’s Herb Cookbook)
Old-Time Horehound Candy Cough Drops
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
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
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
from the heat, and add the lemon juice.
Pour at once into a buttered, 8-inch square pan. As
the candy cools, score it into squares.
Remove from the pan as soon as candy is cool.
Store in aluminum foil or ziplock plastic bags.
4 oz ginger
2 oz block juice
2 oz foam essence
35 grns saccharine
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
(Culinary Herbs and Condiments)
2 lbs treacle
3 gallons water
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.
A Compendium of Herbal Magick,
Publishing, 1998; ISBN: 0-919345-45-X
of Medicinal Plants, Andrew Chevallier, Dorling
Kindersley, 1997; ISBN: 0-7894-1067-2
Treasures, Phyllis V. Shaudys, Storey, 1990; ISBN:
The Illustrated Herb Encyclopedia,
Kathi Keville, Mallard Press, 1991; ISBN: 0-7924-5307-7
Los Remedios, Michael Moore, Red Crane Books, 1990;
Mastering Herbalism, 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; ISBN:
Minnie 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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URL: http://www.herbalpedia.com Editor: Maureen
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