Marrubium vulgare


Image I


Image II

Botanical Name: Marrubium vulgare
Common name: White Horehound (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
Family: Lamiaceae (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
Parts used: Dried leaf, flowering top (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)


  • Diterpene lactones: marrubiin, premarrubiin
  • Ditepene alcohols: marruciol. Marrubenol, sclareole, peregrinin, dihydroperegrinin
  • Volatile oil: containing a-pinene, sabinene, limonene, camphene, r-cymol, a-terpinolene
  • Flavonoids: apigenin, luteolin, quercetin
  • Alkaloids
  • Miscellaneous choline, alkanes, phytosterols and tannins

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)



  • Antispasmodic
  • Bitter
  • Emmenagogue
  • Expectorant
  • Vulnerary

(Hoffmann, 2003, p. 565)



Marrubium vulgare has being used as an expectorant since Ancient Eqypt. According to sources, Egyptian priests referred to the plant as “Seed of Horus”, “Bull’s Blood” or “Eye of the Bull”. In Ancient Greece the herb was used to treat dog bites which may be from where the common name “Horehound” is derived (Natural Standard, 2013).



  • Bronchitis: Relaxes smooth muscle of the bronchus & stimulates mucus production (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 565)
  • Whooping cough (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
  • Asthma (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
  • Stimulates flow and secretion of bile from gallbladder via bitter principal (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
  • Jaundice (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
  • Promotes wound healing (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)
  • Amenorrhoea (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 564)

Preparation & Dosage

  • Syrup
  • Tincture: (1:5 in 40%) 1-2mL/tds
  • Infusion: 0.5-1 tsp/1 cup water/tds

Cautions & Contradiction

  • No side effects reported (Hoffmann, 2003, p. 546)
  • Contraindicated in pregnancy due to emmenagogue action (Natural Standard, 2013)



Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester Vermont: Healing Arts Press.

Natural Standard. (2013). White horehound (Marrubium vulgare Labiatae). Natural Standard Professional Monograph. Retrieved from:

Image I: Köhler, F. (1897). Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen. Retrieved from:

Image II: Intersemillas. (n.d.). Intersemillas. Retrieved from:

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