Horehound ( Marrubium vulgare )

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White horehound is a bitter herb from the mint family that grows like a weed in many areas of the world. Horehound is an aromatic green plant, which produces many branching,horehound supplier square stems that often outgrow other field vegetation to be nearly two feet tall. Pairs of one-inch long leaves grow out of the stems in opposite directions. Between June and August, clusters of densely packed, small, white flowers bloom around the stems where the pairs of leaves attach. The flowers become seed-containing burrs, which have tiny barbs, allowing the seeds attach to animals, clothing, and machinery.

The hoary or silvery-colored hairs on its stem and give it a fuzzy or cloudy appearance are likely the reason for its English name, horehound. In old English, “har” and “hoary” mean grey or grey-haired. Its Latin name is Marrubium vulgare, horehound supplierwhich may have been derived from the name of an ancient Roman town, “Mariaurbs,” or from the name of one of the bitter herbs, “marrob,” used by the Jews during Passover. (Water horehound, called bugleweed, and black horehound, which has a strong, unpleasant taste and odor, are related to white horehound but the information here applies only to white horehound.)

Some suggest that the Egyptian god Horus could be a reason for its name. Priests in ancient Egypt may have called horehound the seed of Horus and used it in an antidote formula for poison, as did Caesar in the Roman era. horehound supplier Legend indicates that horehound aided priests during rituals in Egypt. Ancient lore gives horehound a power to break magic spells.

Recorded mention of horehound began in the first century in ancient Rome. In his manual of medicine, Roman medical writer A. Cornelius Celsus, described antiseptic uses as well as treatments for respiratory ailments using horehound juice. In his book, “On Agriculture,” first century agriculturist Lucius Columella detailed how to use of horehound for various farm animal ailments such as ulcers, horehound supplier worms, and scabs. In the second century, the noted physician Galen also recommended using horehound to relieve coughing and to support respiratory health.

In his 1597 book on the history of plants and their uses, the respected British herbalist John Gerard recommended horehound as an antidote to poison and a syrup of horehound for those with respiratory problems. horehound supplier English physician Nicholas Culpeper echoed Gerard’s promotion of horehound in his 1652 book for physicians, stating, “There is a syrup made of this plant which I would recommend as an excellent help to evacuate tough phlegm and cold rheum from the lungs of aged persons, especially those who are asthmatic and short winded.”

Being a hardy perennial that grows well in dry soil, this highly recommended plant did not need help to spread beyond the Mediterranean region. Over the centuries, horehound flourished in all of Europe, South Africa, India, and other parts of Asia. It is now widely distributed in North and South America and Australia, although horehound is not native to these continents. horehound supplier Aiding the spread of horehound even more is the herb’s bitterness, which resists animal grazing. Horehound can be invasive, as in Australia where it is considered a bothersome weed.

Horehound’s reputation spread as well. Taking horehound for a cough or a cold was one of the natural remedies used by the early settlers of Australia. 18th century American physicians who recommended herbs touted its value for those with respiratory ailments horehound wholesale supplier and for menstrual problems. In the 1800's in North America, horehound was used for those with hysteria and lung problems.

Native American tribes have had many uses for horehound. Records show that ten tribes used it to treat various respiratory ailments, including two tribes which had a specific mixture for children’s colds. Some tribes used also horehound as a kidney flush, as a skin ointment, and as an antidiarrheal. These traditional Native American remedies were prepared from the leaves and flowers of the horehound and sometimes the root or the whole plant. Horehound was taken in the form of teas, extracts, and syrups for internal use and salves or poultices for external use. The Navajo tribe found additional value in horehound for stomach aches, influenza, infection, and as a gynecological aid before and after childbirth.