Medicinal Plant Lexicon: Uses, medicinal product, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

Medicinal Plant Lexicon: Uses, medicinal product, Synonyms, Effects, and Side Effects

Medicinal plants are used for medical purposes because of their active ingredients. Even ancient cultures such as the Chinese, Indians, or Egyptians knew about certain plants’ healing or soothing effects. Selected herbs, roots, seeds, leaves and bark have always been processed into phytopharmaceuticals or administered as teas, bath additives or cosmetics.

In the case of complaints, chemical medicines do not always have to be used; Ginseng increases performance, St. John’s wort can relieve depression, and anise has a calming effect on the stomach and intestines. Read here about which herbs have healing powers.


Horehound is probably native to the Mediterranean region, but the plant was naturalized in northern and central Europe long ago. The drug material comes from imports from south-eastern Europe and Morocco. The Horehound’s fresh or dried above-ground parts (Marrubii herba) are used medicinally.

Horehound: characteristics of plant and medicinal product

Horehound is a 0.3-0.6 m high perennial with square stems. The ovate leaves with a serrated edge are densely hairy and show a striking vein pattern. The leaf axils have numerous small, white flowers in false whorls. The Horehound is one of the oldest medicinal plants known through tradition. The German name “Andorn” is derived from “without thorns”.

The medically used material consists of wrinkled and often sticking pieces of leaf, which are hairy on the underside. There are also four-edged, softly hairy stem pieces and parts of the white flowers.


How does a horehound smell and taste?

There is no particular smell from the horehound herb. The taste of the herb can best be described as bitter and slightly spicy.

Horehound – application

Horehound: when to use?

Horehound herb can be taken for digestive problems such as a feeling of fullness and flatulence and loss of appetite. As a typical bitter substance drug, the herb stimulates the appetite and digestion.

Another primary application of the horehound herb is respiratory diseases. The plant is mainly used for inflamed mucous membranes (catarrh), coughs and sore throats. Since the drug clears mucus in the respiratory tract, coughing up is more accessible.


Horehound in Folk Medicine

Horehound herb was already used in ancient times to treat coughs and asthma and to improve mucus dissolution. Today, the herb is also used in folk medicine for indigestion and respiratory diseases. In addition, the drug is also used in folk medicine for external use in skin damage, wounds and ulcers.

Horehound herb as a homeopathic remedy

Horehound herb is used homeopathically to treat inflammation of the respiratory tract.


Constituents of Horehound

Horehound herb contains various bitter substances as essential ingredients that determine its effectiveness, whereby marrubiin is considered the main component and should be represented with a share of at least 0.7%. The herb also contains phenylethanoid derivatives such as octreotide, flavone and flavonol glycosides and up to 7% Lamiaceae tannins. Essential oil is only found in trace amounts in horehound herbs.

Andorn: For what indication?

Horehound, as a medicinal plant, should help in the following cases:

  • loss of appetite
  • indigestion
  • gas
  • bloating
  • respiratory diseases
  • catarrh
  • mucus solution in the respiratory tract

Horehound dosage


Horehound: dosage and dosage form

Horehound herb can be taken as homemade teas; ready-made tea preparations with a defined composition are currently unavailable. In addition, horehound herb and extracts from it are available in a few herbal preparations in the form of drops, a cough elixir and a pressed juice.


What is the average daily dose?

Unless otherwise prescribed, the average daily dose is 4.5 g of the herb or 2-6 tablespoons of the pressed juice.

Horehound: Preparation as a tea

To prepare a tea from horehound herb, 1.5 g of the finely chopped drug (1 teaspoon corresponds to about 1 g) is poured over with boiling water and strained after 5-10 minutes.

One cup of tea should be drunk several times a day to loosen mucus in the respiratory tract, and one cup before meals to promote digestion.


Instructions for use and storage

Horehound is a valued remedy for digestive problems, especially in empirical medicine, for which no recent clinical studies exist. However, the herb can be safely used in herbal medicine since there are no side effects.

Horehound herbs should be stored dry and protected from light.

Andron – Synonyme


German plant name: Andorn

German synonyms of the plant: Common Horehound, common Horehound, wall horehound, white Horehound, white dormant, white glowworm, Gotteshilfe, forgetting God, milk nettle, mountain hops

Latin plant name: Marrubium vulgare L.

Latin synonyms of the plant: White Marrubium, German Marrubium, Woolly Marrubium, Prasium marrubium

German drug name: Andornkraut

Latin drug name: strawberry herb

English name: White Horehound, Common Horehound, Horehound, Wild Horehound, Woolly Horehound, Marrubium vulgare

Plant family Latin: Lamiaceae

Plant family German: Lamiaceae/labialaceae


effect of Horehound

Bitter drugs such as Horehound excite the bitter receptors on the tongue. This leads to an increase in the secretion of saliva and gastric juices, which stimulates appetite and aids in digestion. In addition, the contained marrubiin stimulates bile secretion (choleretic effect), which is also beneficial for digestion.

In animal experiments, painkilling (analgesic) and decongestant effects could be demonstrated in addition to the bitter effect, which can also be attributed to the marrubiin. The essential oil it contains has expectorant and antispasmodic effects.


Side Effects and Interactions

Side effects are not expected when taking preparations made from the horehound herb. However, overdose should be avoided as it may stimulate the heart and uterus.

Interactions with other means and contraindications do not currently exist.


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