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Ballota nigra - L.                
                 
Common Name Black Horehound
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
Synonyms
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Waste ground, hedgerows, woods and shady places, preferring nitrogen-rich, moist, rather loose soil[13, 268].
Range Most of Europe, including Britain, south and east from Scandanavia to N. Africa and E. Mediterranean
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Ballota nigra is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.9 m (3ft) by 0.8 m (2ft 7in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.

USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Ballota nigra Black Horehound


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:98_Ballota_nigra.jpg
Ballota nigra Black Horehound
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Böhringer
   
Habitats       
Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge;
Edible Uses                                         
None known
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antianxiety;  Antiemetic;  Antispasmodic;  Stimulant;  Vermifuge.

Black horehound has a long history of herbal use, though is not widely employed in modern herbalism because of its unpleasant flavour[238, 268]. Nonetheless, it does have a range of medicinal virtues, being especially effective in its action as an antiemetic[254]. In the past it was often used for treating problems connected with the respiratory system, convulsions, low spirits and the menopause, but present-day authorities differ over whether it was effective in these applications[254]. The whole plant is antiemetic, antispasmodic, expectorant, stimulant and vermifuge[4, 165, 238]. It is taken internally in the treatment of nervous dyspepsia, travelling sickness, morning sickness in pregnancy, arthritis, gout, menstrual disorders and bronchial complaints[238, 254]. The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and is dried for later use[238]. It should not be stored for longer than a year[238]. The fresh herb is sometimes used to make a syrup[238].
Other Uses
None known
Cultivation details                                         
Prefers a well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade[134, 238]. Avoids acid soils in the wild but tolerates a pH down to 5 in cultivation[200]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[200]. This species is widely grown in herb gardens, but little employed because of its strong flavour[238]. Its essential oil is used to adulterate the oil of white horehound (Marrubium vulgare)[238]. The leaves emit a most unpleasant smell when bruised, somewhat like stale perspiration[245]. Plants can self-sow freely when well-sited[238]. There is at least one named variety selected for its ornamental value[238]. The whole plant has an offensive odour[4].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow spring or autumn in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 3 - 6 weeks at 15°c[134]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer or following autumn. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whilst smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
L.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
17200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

[4]Grieve. A Modern Herbal.
Not so modern (1930's?) but lots of information, mainly temperate plants.
[13]Triska. Dr. Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants.
Very interesting reading, giving some details of plant uses and quite a lot of folk-lore.
[134]Rice. G. (Editor) Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
[165]Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism.
An excellent small herbal.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[238]Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
[245]Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World.
An excellent, comprehensive book on scented plants giving a few other plant uses and brief cultivation details. There are no illustrations.
[254]Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
An excellent guide to over 500 of the more well known medicinal herbs from around the world.
[268]Stuart. M. (Editor) The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism
Excellent herbal with good concise information on over 400 herbs.

Readers comment                                         
 
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Subject : Ballota nigra  
             

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