There are two kinds of Horehound, white and black; the latter is also called Hen-bit; but the white is the one here recommended. Common Horehound has square hairy stalks, half a yard or two feet high, set at the joints with two round crumpled rough leaves, of a sullen hoary green colour, of a moderate scent, but a very bitter taste. The flowers are small, white and gaping, set in a rough, hard prickly husk round the joints, with the leaves in the middle of the stalk upwards, after which fol­low small round black seed. The plant is well known.

Herbal Remedies and Medicinal Uses of Horehound:

A decoction of the dried herb, with the seed, or the juice of the green herb taken with honey, is a remedy for difficult breathing, cough, and consumption, through thin distillations of rheum upon the lungs. It promotes expectoration of tough phlegm, taken with the roots of Iris or Orris.

As a decoction, it is useful in female weakness, removing obstructions, etcetera. The dose is an ounce or two of the expressed juice, or the infusion of half a handful of the fresh leaves in a sufficient quantity of boiling water. Sweetened with sugar or honey, and a little ginger, it becomes more efficacious. The best part of the plant for medicinal use is the tops of the young shoots. It is an excellent drink in winter for hoarseness, coughs, etcetera. A handful of the leaves of White Horehound, one of Black and one of Betony in 5 or 6 pints of boiling water is a serviceable drink for gouty and rheumatic subjects. Syrup of Horehound is made by boiling a pound of Lump Sugar with the same quantity of a strong decoction of the leaves, until it assumes the proper consistency. Candied Horehound is made by evaporating the Syrup until it becomes thick enough, on cooling, to eat as a lozenge. Galen says, it opens obstructions of the liver and spleen. The powder, or the decoction, destroys worms. The green leaves bruised, and boiled in lard, and made into an ointment, is good for wounds. There is a syrup made of Horehound to be had at the apothecaries, very good for old coughs.

Important Disclaimer:   The information contained on this web site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. Any information presented is not a substitute for professional medical advice and should not take the place of any prescribed medication. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consultation with your physician.

This page and the rest of the encyclopedia of medicinal herbs was reproduced from old herbals written in the 1700 and 1800s. They are of historical interest to show the traditional uses of various herbs based on folk medicine and ancient wisdom. However the traditional uses for these herbs have not been confirmed by medical science and in some cases may actually be dangerous. Do not use the these herbs for any use, medicinal or otherwise, without first consulting a qualified doctor.

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