Horehound, also known as White Horehound, Seed of Horus, Houndsbane, eye of the star, Green Pompon Horehound, Marrubium, bull’s blood, and houndsbane, is a herb popularly known for its medicinal and edible purposes. This amazing herb is a member of the mint family and grows in abundance. It is covered in little hairs and its leaves have a cloudy or hoary look.
Horehound has minerals, vitamin C, marrubiin, flavonoids, alkaloids, choline, essential oil, resins, tannins, and mucilage. The plant also possesses both medicinal and culinary uses, making it very potent. In addition, the leaves and flowers of horehound are used to extract essential oils.
The herb has the ability to improve heart health, certain types of cancer, treat diabetes, boost the immune system, aid in digestion, relieve spasms, detoxify the body, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and treat gastrointestinal issues. Horehound possesses several elements, including volatile oil, tannins, choline, phenolic acids, and betonicine that make it effective for various uses. The herb also possesses certain properties that function in the body by ensuring a healthy heart and improve skin appearance.
The Health Benefits of Horehound
For so many years, horehound has been used for its ability to treat coughs and eliminate phlegm. Let’s take a closer look at the amazing health benefits of horehound.
Aids in Digestion
Horehound helps to lower inflammation in the colon and gastrointestinal system, aiding the body in digesting food better. It also reduces bloating, indigestion, and gas. The antiseptic abilities of the herb help protect the gastrointestinal tract against viruses and bacteria. According to some studies, the anti-inflammatory properties also help to lower the chances of developing hemorrhoids.
Contains Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Horehound has shown to contain anti-inflammatory properties. People who suffer from arthritis can relieve pain caused by inflamed joints. The anti-inflammatory properties also help to improve blood circulation by reducing the inflammation of the blood vessels.
As a matter of fact, this is beneficial to the entire body, making it easier for blood and oxygen to be transported to all organs and significantly lower the pressure on the heart. When there is less pressure on the heart, it can avert strokes, heart attacks, and other heart-related diseases. Horehound may also help reduce inflammation in the respiratory system and thus help relieve sore throats.
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
According to some research, horehound may help lower blood sugar levels. It helps the body regulate sugar level by boosting the body’s response, helping diabetics control their glucose levels.
Lowers Cholesterol Level
There are indications that horehound extract may help to lower LDL cholesterol level. LDL cholesterol is known as “bad cholesterol” as it clogs the arteries with plaque and usually result in the development of strokes, atherosclerosis, and heart attacks.
Eliminates Toxins from the Body
Horehound has the ability to eliminate toxins from the body, stimulate sweating, as well as alleviate excess water, fat, and sweat. Horehound also induces sweating and help break a fever and cool the body’s temperature.
Alleviates Menstrual Cramps
Horehound contains antispasmodic abilities that help to alleviate menstrual cramps. The herb may also help to improve mood and keep hormones under control.
Relieves Muscle Cramps
Horehound is an antispasmodic, which means it can help to alleviate spasms and cramps. By consuming tea made of horehound leaves, you can soothe the nervous system and significantly reducing spasms.
Boosts the Immune System
Horehound is a medicinal plant with certain healing compounds, including its antibiotic and antimicrobial properties. These properties help protect the body and help your immune system combat diseases. The antiseptic properties present in horehound makes it suitable in the making of mouthwashes and toothpaste.
Traditional Uses of Horehound
- Horehound is effective for treating whooping cough and chronic bronchitis.
- It can be used internally to treat asthma, jaundice, tuberculosis, diarrhea, pulmonary catarrh, respiratory infections, and painful menstruation.
- The herb is used to alleviate catarrh, bloating, loss of appetite, flatulence, and dyspepsia.
- It is used externally to heal wounds, ulcers, and skin damage.
- It is used to treat inflammation of respiratory tract.
- Horehound is used to treat skin problems.
- When taken in large doses, horehound functions as a purgative and helps to remove worms.
- The herb is used to boost appetite.
- When gargled, it is good for mouth and throat infections.
- It normalizes heart rate.
- It is effective as a treatment for headaches, toothaches, and sprains.
- The herb facilitates the secretion of stomach acids.
- It also alleviates the pain associated with menstrual cramps.
- It is effective for heartburn and regulates blood sugar levels.
How to Consume Horehound
The horehound flavor is commonly described as having a menthol and minty taste. Horehound is used to flavor cough drops and syrup. The herb is also available in tea, candy, liquid extract, capsules, and cut forms.
In fact, horehound can also be made into a syrup, extract, tincture, and infusion. It can make a powerful cough syrup when used in combination with other herbs such as licorice root, ginger root, and marshmallow root.
Side Effects and Precautions of Horehound
Before using horehound, it is advisable to consider the following:
- Since horehound contains compounds and chemicals, it may not be safe for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and children.
- Horehound may result in stomach upset in some people. It may also worsen the symptoms of ulcers and other chronic stomach problems.
- Consuming horehound in large doses may result in an abnormal heartbeat.
- Horehound is considered effective for lowering blood pressure. And so, it is advisable to consult a physician if you plan on using horehound while on medications for blood pressure.
- Due to horehound’s effect on blood sugar levels, check with a physician, especially if you are on diuretics and water pills.
- People who are undergoing hormone therapy should consult their doctors before taking horehound as it contains compounds that are similar to estrogens and glycosides.
- Note that using horehound may increase the effects of drugs and medications such as cholesterol-lowering drugs, laxatives, and cold medicines,.
- As with any herb or supplement, you should always talk to a medical practitioner before taking horehound.