White Horehound (Marrubium vulgare)

I had one White Horehound plant living under the front deck when I moved in. It made a baby the first summer. I dug that one up and planted it next to the front pathway I made that year.  White Horehound is something of an invading foreigner from Europe.  It does love its new home in the United States, my one is now covering 15 square feet.

Just as I was about to harvest some White Horehound for drying, it started to rain.  Game delayed.

Horehound (Marrubium vulgare)

White Horehound (Marrubium vulgare)

White Horehound is in the Lamiaceae (mint) family, and like so many Lamiaceaes, it is an awesome medicinal.

Horehound in situ

White Horehound in situ

This photo shows one of the White Horehound plants in front of an evergreen shrub in my front yard.  The stone at the left is one of several huge stones the prior owner used to terrace the slope.  It drops a couple feet and the shrub is on the lower level and the White Horehound is on the higher terrace.  It does my heart good to see 15 square feet of plants instead of bare ground!  My current pathway goes past this White Horehound, and turns left and down stairs to the bottom terrace… to connect to my first pathway.  White Horehound is a magnet to bees and hummingbirds.

I even found one perfume, made in America, that has White Horehound as an ingredient.  It is a woody-herbal blend.  Hmmmm.

I gotta tell you, Horehound is nasty tasting, a “bitter herb”.  My understanding is that it is one of the “bitter herbs” eaten at Passover.  Chinese medicine relies more on the health benefits of bitter herbs and even Westerners used to take bitter tonics for health.  Now its “a spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down.”  Bitters are out of style.

Years ago, mom gave my sister Horehound cough drops when she had Whooping Cough and I was surprised to find them still recommended.  Of the many folk uses of White Horehound, it is still used for respiratory system problems and it is in some Market Economy cold and flu remedies.  Don’t forget cough drops!

White Horehound has many more folk uses, antidiarrhea,  antiflatulent, digestive, parasite killing (worms), and other uses for the digestive system.

I read a new research report at http://www.ncbi.nlm.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4005279/ that astonished me with its possibilities for the circulatory system.  Granted, it was a test on rats… but the effect of one dose of extract of  White Horehound on myocardial infarction (heart attack) was huge.  The paper is over 80 pages long and he tells how he extracted it, etc.

Most medical interventions in heart attacks do not cure the underlying problem.  No matter how much money a heart attack costs in the Market Economy, what they do is closer to bandaid not cure.  What I read in this research paper is closer to cure than bandaid.  The researcher called it “cardioprotective”.

Darn!  Quit raining already.

Folk medicine acknowledged White Horehound as a heart regulator, perhaps it is just that.  I don’t think I have heart problems but… old.  This year I am extracting Horehound and eating bitter herbs.


ummer Soltice in the New Mexico mountains, a perfect time to eat Horehound as a bitter herb for memory of all the heartaches and losses in my life and for a healthy heart for future happiness.


About rebeccatreeseed

I am a naturalist raised by naturalists. Treeseed is my earned name, while Rebecca is my birth name. I am of Northern European descent, with a quarter Irish.quarter thrown in. I suspect I was a product of northern invaders into Ireland into Ireland. but hard to say since DNA disproved the family story about Apache blood! I have found some odd ancestors to replace them. Last year I bought 5 acres of pinyon-juniper forest on the side of a mountain in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. I am fulfilling a lifetime dream of a cabin in the mountains and a food forest that will feed me and local wildlife. I want to share this new phase of my life with others that might be interested.
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2 Responses to White Horehound (Marrubium vulgare)

  1. cobgoddess says:

    Thank you for posting this. I must get some for my garden. Being in the mint family I am sure the Bees will love it too.

  2. Cob goddess
    The bees do love it. Even hummingbirds. I saw a butterfly yesterday. I have a lot more than I need but I am going to start harvesting today to dry it. A lot more than I ever need (I hope).

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