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Marrubium vulgare - L.
Common Name White Horehound, Horehound
Family Lamiaceae or Labiatae
USDA hardiness 3-7
Known Hazards Heart rhythm, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels affected by large doses. Avoid during pregnancy and breast feeding. Diabetes mellitus patients on allopathic medication to lower blood sugar should avoid [301].
Habitats Downs, waste places and roadsides southwards from central Scotland, though perhaps only native near the south coast of England[17].
Range Europe, including Britain, south and east to N. Africa, the Azores, central and western Asia.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun


Marrubium vulgare White Horehound, Horehound

Marrubium vulgare White Horehound, Horehound
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Marrubium vulgare is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to November, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, self.The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
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 cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Marrubium apulum. Marrubium ballotoides. Marrubium germanicum. Marrubium uncinatum.

 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Condiment;  Tea.

The leaves are used as a seasoning[27]. Bitter and pungent, they are sometimes used to flavour herb beer or liqueurs[4, 183]. Horehound ale is a fairly well-known drink made from the leaves[4, 238]. A mild pleasantly flavoured tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves[183], it is a favourite cough remedy[4, 46].
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.

Antidiarrhoeal;  Antidote;  Antiflatulent;  Antiseptic;  Antispasmodic;  Appetizer;  Cholagogue;  Diaphoretic;  
Digestive;  Diuretic;  Emmenagogue;  Expectorant;  Hepatic;  Stimulant;  TB;  

White horehound is a well-known and popular herbal medicine that is often used as a domestic remedy for coughs, colds, wheeziness etc[4, 254]. The herb apparently causes the secretion of a more fluid mucous, readily cleared by coughing[254]. The leaves and young flowering stems are antiseptic, antispasmodic, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, strongly expectorant, hepatic, stimulant and tonic[4, 7, 9, 21, 165, 238]. Horehound is a very valuable pectoral, expectorant and tonic that can be safely used by children as well as adults[4]. It is often made into a syrup or candy in order to disguise its very bitter flavour, though it can also be taken as a tea[4]. As a bitter tonic, it increases the appetite and supports the function of the stomach[254]. It can also act to normalize heart rhythm[254]. The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and can be used fresh or dried[238]. The root is a remedy for the bite of rattlesnakes, it is used in equal portions with Plantago lanceolata or P. major[207]. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Marrubium vulgare for dyspepsia, loss of appetite (see [302] for critics of commission E).
Other Uses
Essential;  Repellent.

An essential oil is obtained from the plant and used as a flavouring in liqueurs[46]. The plant has been used as a cure for cankerworm in trees[238]. No more details are given but it is probably a strong infusion of the flowering shoots, or the essential oil, that is used[K]. The growing plant repels flies[201].
Cultivation details
White horehound is an easily grown plant that succeeds in most well-drained soils[200], though it flourishes best in a poor dry soil[1, 4]. Another report says that the plant flourishes best where there is plenty of nitrogen in the soil[274]. It prefers neutral to alkaline soil conditions[238] and requires a warm sunny position if it is to do well[14]. Often grown in the herb garden and sometimes cultivated commercially as a medicinal herb[4, 61]. If the plant is cut back after flowering it will normally produce a second crop of leaves[238]. The fresh leaves have a pronounced musky smell, though this is lost once the plant is dried[245]. A good bee plant[1]. White horehound is a good companion plant for growing near tomatoes[24]. The tomatoes crop for a longer period and also produce a heavier crop[201].
Seed - sow April/May or August/September in a cold frame. Germination can be slow and erratic[200]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in the following spring[K]. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer. Division in spring[1]. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants


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Subject : Marrubium vulgare  

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