Nature’s Double-barreled Assault on Colds and Coughs
Most mints have a pleasant aroma and inviting taste. Not this one. Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) tastes bitter and boasts very little aroma, although the leaves do offer a tangy smell when rubbed together. The plant is indigenous to Mediterranean Europe and central Asia, but has now become established throughout central Europe, Australia, and North America. All for good reason.
Horehound is harvested during the flowering season from June to August. Either the fresh aerial parts or the dried leaves and flowering tops can be used medicinally. The name comes from the two words “hoary” and “hound.” Hoary describes the white hairs covering the leaves, while hound refers to the fact that the herb was used in ancient times to treat bites from rabid dogs.
Traditional Cough Medicine
Horehound has traditionally been used as a cough suppressant and expectorant. Before the era of antibiotics, it saw action for treating coughs associated with bronchitis and tuberculosis. In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, horehound is used to treat bronchitis and whooping cough. Indians used it as a cough medicine, to treat colds and other respiratory ailments, and for relief of sore throat.
Today, horehound treats catarrh of the upper respiratory tract and is a common expectorant component of Ricola