Horehound plant for Herbal Naturopathy: properties, benefits, uses, side effects

Horehound is a medicinal plant with balsamic and expectorant properties that make it a valid remedy for respiratory diseases. Let’s find out better.

Property of the Horehound 

Horehound is a plant known since ancient times for its balsamic, toxic, expectorant, digestive and febrifugal properties. These properties make it a good remedy in respiratory diseases, especially characterized by catarrhal phenomena.

The officinal part of the plant is given by a bitter substance (marrubina), which is responsible for the digestive and choleretic virtues, suitable for activating the gastric function.

This seedling also has good febrifugal properties, especially useful in intestinal fevers.

For external use, Horehound has traditionally been used as a mild detergent and mild antiseptic on ulcers, sores, scabs. Constituents of the horehound plant are choline, saponin, tannins, mineral salts (mainly potassium, iron and calcium) and vitamin C.

How to use

For respiratory disorders, decoctions and fumigations with horehound can be prepared.

The decoction is also useful for fighting digestive system disorders such as gastritis and colitis. Horehound decoction is effective not only as a digestive but also for the treatment of disorders inherent in the menstrual cycle.

In case of persistent cough and phlegm, prepare an infusion: let soak 30 g of flowering tops in 1 liter of boiling water. After 15 minutes, filter and add a little honey. The infusion will be taken in the measure of two or three cups a day until the symptoms disappear completely.

In the presence of stomach problems, a decoction can be prepared by boiling 50 grams of flowering tops in 1 liter of water. Filtered and warmed, the decoction will be drunk every day for a week. Horehound is often used in candies or syrups. It is also used to flavor brandy. 

Contraindications of the horehound

horehound is contraindicated in case of pathologies affecting the digestive system and in hypersensitivity to its active ingredients. Do not use during pregnancy and lactation. Fresh plant juice can cause contact dermatitis.

Description of the plant

Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) is a perennial plant belonging to the Labiate family. Also known by the name of “robbio”, it has a slightly branched stem with whitish oval leaves, which can reach a meter in height.

The flowers are small and white in color. The plant has a rather unpleasant smell and a bitter taste. Its properties in the treatment of respiratory diseases have been known for centuries.

Habitat of the horehound

The horehound is particularly widespread in coastal locations and subalpine regions, up to an altitude of 1500 meters. It can also be found in the countryside, near ruins, arid and uncultivated pastures that enjoy good exposure to the sun.


The use of horehound for medicinal purposes has very ancient origins. In fact, the Egyptians already exalted its therapeutic virtues and used the plant as an effective remedy against respiratory diseases. The horehound has never ceased to be used and appreciated.

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