White horehound, also called common horehound, hoarhound, or simply horehound, is a perennial herb that grows in areas like France, Germany, Great Britain, and coastal areas of the U.S. and Canada. The herb is most commonly found in open pastures or along the sides of railroads and roads. It features tough, wrinkled leaves and whitish flowers that flower between June and September. The dry and fresh leaves, which feature a musky smell, are used for medicinal purposes and can be made into a tea or infusion. White horehound should not be confused with a similar plant called black horehound, as they feature different therapeutic uses.1,2,3
White Horehound Uses and Health Benefits
White horehound benefits a variety of medical conditions. It has long been used to clear mucus from the respiratory tract and to reduce headaches associated with sinus infections. White horehound uses also include soothing sore throat and reducing lung inflammation due to smoking, the cold, or the flu. The leaves can also be made into an ointment used on wounds, and the roots contain medicinal properties that make it an effective home remedy for venomous bites.1, 2 The herb can even be used to treat heart palpitations brought on by anxiety.4 Other white horehound uses include for the following conditions:
- Asthma - With its benefits on the respiratory system, white horehound may help in treating symptoms of asthma.
- Bronchitis - Another respiratory problem white horehound benefits is chronic bronchitis.
- Cough - White horehound has long been used to treat coughs, including chronic hacking cough and whooping cough. A syrup can be made from the herb that’s especially soothing to cough patients and children.Indigestion - White horehound may help in treating symptoms of indigestion.
- Menstrual Problems - The herb is said to be effective in treating a variety of menstrual problems.
White Horehound Side Effects and Precautions
White horehound should be safe to use in normal amounts and when prepared properly. However, it’s best to use herbs like this with caution. Avoid the herb if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have a serious illness like diabetes or a heart condition. Do not take white horehound in large doses. Talk to your doctor before starting on a white horehound home remedy to ensure it won’t interact with other herbs or medications you’re currently taking.