Horehound, also known as white horehound, and botanically referred to as marrubium vulgare, is a flowering perennial plant that originated from the Mediterranean region. The plant spread to North America via the colonialists and later escaped to other parts of the world. This member of the mint family easily adapts to new environments because it is not a fussy plant and requires little attention. The plant thrives in warm temperatures and fertile soil.
[Note: The Right Flowers is not a medical site. Knowledge of and information about the therapeutic benefits and applications of flowers, while known through the ages, does not constitute medical advice. If you are having health issues, you should consult with a physician.]
White horehound’s aerial parts, especially the flowers, are used to make herbal formulas. The plant has a bitter taste and though it is not popular compared to other medicinal herbs, horehound has been used in German cough drops and syrups for years.
Basically, the use of white horehound as a medicinal plant has been practiced for more than 2,000 years. The plant was such a highly regarded respiratory treatment that physicians attending to pharaohs used it generously to treat conditions affecting their airways.
White horehound’s flowers and other aerial parts are known to contain several health-boosting properties including essential oils, bitter lactone, flavonoids, sterols, saponins, and alkaloids. In addition, they have diterpenes, monoterpenes, and vitamin C.
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Great for your respiratory system
Horehound is commonly found in lozenges and cough syrups for a good reason. Diterpenes found in this plant such as marrubiin give it expectorant qualities. In addition, studies show that white horehound has analgesic and antispasmodic properties. A combination of expectorant, antispasmodic and analgesic properties explain the reason why horehound is an ideal expectorant.
Apart from helping in the elimination of mucus and relieving pain, marrubiin is known to have bitter properties, making it an excellent choice for enhancing digestion. Basically, plants with a bitter taste tend to be great for the digestive tract including helping with conditions such as dyspepsia.
So, why are herbs with bitter qualities good for the digestive tract? A common explanation is that the bitter taste induces excretion of gastrointestinal juices. These fluids are critical for ensuring the thorough digestion of food.
Relieves motion sickness
Motion sickness is an old condition that occurs due to disturbances in the inner ear as a result of movement when traveling by train, plane or car. The condition is characterized by nausea, dizziness, abdominal discomfort and diaphoresis. Motion sickness normally goes away by itself when movement stops. However, the condition can seriously hamper the ability of a person to travel. As more people turn to natural methods of resolving most illnesses, horehound has emerged as an ideal remedy for this condition.
Horehound may not be a popular plant compared to herbs such as sage, roses, and yarrow. However, as the winter knocks, this is one plant you want in your corner when your respiratory system seizes up.