White Common Horehound - Effective Herb for High Blood Pressure

White Common Horehound

Marrubium vulgare Lamiaceae Also called Common horehound

A native if the Mediterranean, white horehound is seen throughout Europe, priferring warm, sunny locations, cften by roadsides. Its erect, hairy stems reach 30-60cm in height and bear wrinkly leaves with scallop-shaped indentations. In summer, small white flowers appear where the leaves join the stem. The plant has an apple-like smell.

Parts used

  • Flowering tops
  • Harvesting begins in May and June, when the plant is in bloom.
  • After drying and fragmentation, the plant is used in infusions, decoctions, tinctures and extracts.


The flowers contain bitter diterpenes, including marrubiin, premarrubiin and marrubic acid. Other constituents include flavonoids, alkaloids and a small amount of essential oil.

Medicinal uses

The plant is traditionally used to treat coughs and it is one of the most effective herbal expectorants known. It works by breaking up and releasing phlegm, exerting an antispasmodic action and relieving inflammation in the respiratory tract. The expectorant activity of white horehound has been verified by experiments performed in 1976.

Due to its bitter constituents (in particular marrubiin), white horehound stimulates the appetite and aids digestion.

When used externally, white horehound is a treatment for ulcers and wounds that exude pus or that are slow to heal.

An animal study in 2001 highlighted the potential of white horehound for treating high blood pressure.


For internal use

TO TREAT minor digestive problems, stubborn coughs
TINAURE (1:4 in 25% alcohol) Put 10-20 drops into a glass of water. Take two or three times a day before meals.
TO TREAT poor appetite INFUSION Put 1-2g of dried plant into a cup of boiling water. Infuse for 10 minutes. Drink 3 cups a day.

For external use

TO TREAT ulcers, wounds discharging pus
COMPRESS Put 30-60g of dried plant into 1 litre of boiling water. Boil for 3 minutes and infuse for 10 minutes. Soak a cloth in this decoction and apply to the affected area once or twice a day.



Plant in well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil in a sunny location. Choose a wild part of the garden as the plant can be invasive.


High doses of marrubiin can adversely affect the heart.

Pregnant women should avoid this herb, while those who are breastfeeding should limit consumption to small amounts.


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