5 Surprising Horehound Benefits - And How You Can Use It

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Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) is easily identifiable by its rounded, velvety leaves covered in fine white hairs - which is also why it's known as white horehound. Like sage and lemon balm, horehound is part of the mint familyHorehound benefits have been utilised for centuries, and herbalists still love it today. In this blog, we cover this herb's health benefits and list some of the ways you can harvest and use horehound for yourself. 


Horehound benefits are wide ranging

While horehound has many benefits, it is most known for its long history of supporting the respiratory system and lungs. The use of horehound dates back to the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians.

Like with most herbs, however, horehound doesn't just have one function. This plant is also celebrated in Mexico and Morrocco to help support those with diabetes, and some recent studies have shown its ability to help with healthy insulin levels.

Wild havesting horehound

At Wild Dispensary, we celebrate horehound for its ability to support our lungs and the respiratory system. Horehound is one of the wild herbs we harvest, as we're lucky to have it growing prolifically throughout Central Otago. We use horehound in our Chest Tonic and Vira Defence Elixir.

Horehound helps to support the laryngeal and bronchial mucous membranes. The benefits of taking white horehound come from its stimulant action, which works on mucus production in the body and helps the body to get rid of it. 

This plant works on both the upper and lower sections of the respiratory system. It has antimicrobial properties, which can be very helpful for those that are prone to chest infections in winter.

🌿 Related5 Herbs For Respiratory Health That You Need To Know About


5 horehound benefits

1. Horehound helps non-productive coughs 

If you have a lingering cough from an illness that doesn’t seem to go away and often gets worse at night, horehound might be able to help. Because one of horehounds benefits is its expectorant properties, it allows you to ‘cough’ up the mucus that can be sitting in your lungs. This is incredibly helpful for those that suffer from annoying coughs that just seem to linger. The ability to move the mucus out of your lungs helps with clearer, more efficient breathing.

2. It improves your ability to breathe

When you’re sick, often you’ll find it harder to breathe. One of the health benefits of horehound is that it works to relax muscles around your lungs and help support more relaxed and efficient breathing. This is important for obvious reasons - but very helpful for those suffering from breathing conditions or those with bronchitis or whooping cough.

3. Horehound can help with heartburn

Horehound benefits go beyond helping the respiratory system. Horehound’s aerial parts are very bitter. While the bitter compounds can help to support your digestive system, they can also help with reflux and heartburn. In Germany, horehound is recognised as an official plant to help with dyspepsia (indigestion/discomfort or burning sensation in the abdomen).

🌿 Related: 10 Clever Natural Ways To Improve Digestion

4. Horehound can help repair your skin

A lesser-known horehound benefit is its ability to help with tissue repair. Apparently, the “hound” in “horehound” was from an Ancient Greek use of the herb for rabid dog bite wounds (Tyler, 1993). Horehound could be topically used as an ointment or wash for bites, cuts, sores, ulcers, and scabs (Holmes, 1989).

5. Its actions change depending on how you prepare it

Horehound benefits can change depending on how you prepare the herb, making it multifunctional. If you prepare a hot infusion (tea), it can help promote sweating and help with mucus removal. If you prepare it as a cold infusion (steeped in cold water overnight), it can help support digestion and removal of fluid (diuretic) and reduce sweating. 

🌿 RelatedYour Ultimate Guide To Herbal Tea - How To Make Your Own Blend

How to use horehound at home

 If you are interested in using horehound here are a few ways you could use it:

1. Make and infusion - Start with a hot (tea) or cold infusion (steep in cold water overnight), depending on the actions you need. 

2. Horehound syrup - Another way to use horehound it to infuse horehound (either dried or fresh) in a simple sugar syrup. You can use this syrup to make a hot drink as you need.

3. Horehound oil - You could also infuse horehound in oil for topical use to help support your skin or tissues.

If you want to try horehound and don’t have time to make anything - we have done the hard work for you. We use horehound in our Chest Tonic and Vira Defence Elixir.

Both of these products help support your respiratory and immune system. If you struggle in the winter months, using our Chest Tonic daily to help support your lungs preventatively is a great idea. 



Holmes, P. (1989). The energetics of western herbs (Vol. 1). Boulder, CO: Snow Lotus Press.

Moore, M. (2003). Medicinal plants of the mountain west. Santa Fe, NM: Museum of New Mexico Press.

Tyler, V. (1993). The honest herbal: A sensible guide to the use of herbs and related remedies (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Pharmaceutical Products Press.

Wood, M. (2008). The earthwise herbal: A complete guide to old world medicinal plants. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books

1 comment

  • Posted on by Janice
    Ty 4 sharing

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