Expectorant, tonic, stomachic, diaphoretic, bitter, slightly diuretic, emmenagogue, pectoral, aromatic, hepatic, resolvent, stimulant, cathartic (large doses), anthelmintic (vermifuge), and culinary.
Horehounds is probably the most popular of the herbal remedies to the respiratory system. It is taken most frequently in the lozenge or cough drop form. It is quite effective for all pulmonary complaints as an expectorant, tonic and diaphoretic. As a mild diaphoretic, horehounds will promote profuse perspiration and will relieve the hyperemic conditions of the lungs and other congestions by promoting a gentle outward flow of the blood. It has been highly valued as a soothing expectorant for at least 350 years. Culpeper wrote that "it helpeth to expectorate tough phlegm from the chest".
A perennial, with a fibrous, spindle-shaped rootstock that sends up numerous bushy, square, downy stems. The leaves are opposite, petioled, usually wrinkled, roundish-ovate, rough on top, wooly underneath. Small, white, two-lipped flowers have a spiny calyx and grow in axillary whorls. Found in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe in waste places, fields, pastures. It is a diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, and tonic. It is known as a soothing syrup and tonic candy, which at one time could be found in most grocer shops and was a favorite with children. Use 1 teaspoon herb in 1/2 cup water. Take 1-1 1/2 cups a day, mouthful at a time.
Origin(s): Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, United States.
Latin Name(s): Marrubium vulgare.
Also known as: White Horehound, hoarhound, marrubium, seed of hours, bull’s blood, eye of the star.
Plant Part(s) Used: Herb.
Taste: Bitter, astringent.
GMO Status: Non-GMO.
Additives: Free of any additives or preservatives.
Applications / Preparations: Can be put into capsules, teas, syrups, throat lozenges, candy, confection or infused as an herbal extract. For cosmetic use can be put in poultices or infused in oil or alcohol for topical use. For industrial use as a non-toxic grasshopper repellent.
Storage: Store in a sealed container in a cool, dry place.
Shelf Life: It is very difficult to pin down an exact expiration date for most single herbs as they do not really expire, they lose potency or strength over time but will still have value. Unlike synthetic material or drugs, herbs can contain many constituents that contribute to their medicinal effects. Even if when we know what the active constituents are, there are often many of them in a single herb, each with different rates of degradation. Some herbs lose their effect more easily. Other herbs that possess more stable compounds such as alkaloids or steroids will last much longer.
A huge part of the degradation rate of herbs depends also on the storage conditions of the herb, & even on the quality of the herb before storage – how it was grown, harvested, dried & processed. If the product is left in hot places or open to sunlight then it will degrade much quicker than if it was stored in cool, dry place & sealed tightly.
A good rule of thumb is that herbs should be stored no longer than 2-3 years but many herbs will have great strength much longer than that. To determine if a an herb is still good you can check the appearance & aroma. Herbs that are no longer acceptable will have lost much of its vibrant color & will instead appear dull & faded. The bigger key though is to smell the raw materials to see if the potent aroma is still present.
Warning: Not for use in pregnancy except under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner.