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Black Horehound

Black Horehound

Botanical Description & Habitat

Ballota nigra

Marrubii herba / Marrubium vulgare

Family
Labiatae (mint family)

Lamiaceae

Common Names
Black stinking
Horehound

Habitat
A native British herb

Description
Horehound is a common perennial, bearing egg-shaped, wrinkled, downy, and unpleasant-smelling leaves. Its flowers are dull purple and grow in whorls.

White Horehound (Marrubii herba) is another perennial aromatic mint.

Medicinal Parts
The dried aerial parts, gathered during the flowering period.

Historical Properties & Uses

Black horehound is a native British medicinal plant with mild properties that has not been introduced to the rest of world extensively. It possesses an unpleasant odor which discourages widespread cultivation. It is used to prevent vomiting and nausea, but its use is being rapidly replaced by powdered encapsulated ginger root.

Horehound (Marrubii herba/Marrubium vulgare) has approval status by the German Commission E.

This herbal bitter has approval status by the German Commission E for loss of appetite (see appetite disorders), dyspepsia and flatulence.

References:

Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.


Method of Action

The Pharmacology of Black Horehound Flavonoids
Black horehound contains various flavonoids whose exact nature has not yet been determined. These flavonoids appear to be antiemetic, sedative and mildly astringent; however, the astringency may be do to tannic acid.

The British Pharmacopoeia recommends black horehound for the treatment of nausea, vomiting and nervous dyspepsia, in combination with filipendula and/or roman chamomile for the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. Combined with motherwort in false labor pains.

Drug Interactions & Precautions

No data available.

Safety Factors & Toxicity

Black horehound is a mild herb with no side effects.

Horehound has approval status by the German Commission E.

References:

Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Preparation & Administration

Use three times daily

Infusion
2-4g dried herb

Liquid Extract
use 1-3ml of 1:1 in 25% alcohol

Tincture
use 1-2ml of 1:10 in 45% alcohol


Recommended daily dosages in Germany are as follows:

4.5 g herb.

2 - 6 tablespoons of pressed juice.

References:

Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Note: This Herbal Preparation information is a summary of data from books and articles by various authors. It is not intended to replace the advice or attention of health care professionals.

References

Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, British Herbal Medicine Association, 1983.

Calis, I et al., Phenylpropanoid glycosides from Marrubium alysson. Phytochem. 1992, 31(10):3,624.

Facts and Comparisons. The Lawrence Review of Natural Products. Sep, 1996.

Mowrey, Daniel B., Ph.D. Exper. Psych., Brigham Young University. Director of Nebo Institute of Herbal Sciences. Director of Behavior Change Agent Training Institute. Director of Research, Nova Corp.

Scientific Committee, British Herbal Pharmocopaeia, British Herbal Med Assoc, Lane House, Cowling, NA Keighley, West Yorks, BD BD220LX, l983.

 


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