In ancient times, herbalists prescribed horehound as a remedy for a variety of ailments, including fevers, malaria, rabid dog bites and even snake bites. A native plant of Europe, it was introduced into North and South America and has thrived as a hardy perennial of the mint family.
It can become an invasive species if not controlled. One of the more commonly known uses of horehound is its use in helping to relieve coughs and sore throats, as it is a natural combatant of phlegm and mucus in the bronchial lungs.
Horehound is also an effective immune booster and quite nutritious containing vitamins A, B, C and E, essential fatty acids, iron and potassium. In Battle Creek, Michigan I have grown it in my herb garden, and used it for the occasional sore throat.
You can make a cough syrup with it, and bottle it. The way to do that is to take ½ cup of fresh horehound leaves, 2 cups of water and 3 cups of honey. Place the horehound in the water and bring it to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Let it steep for about 10 to 15 minutes, and then strain it removing the leaves from the water. Then add the honey to the water and mix well and then bottle it. You can add more or less honey to adjust for taste.
There are also recipes to make horehound cough drops and candies, but I have never tried these. I did find this one brand made by Claeys Candies that uses 100% horehound brewed in copper kettles. If you are looking for a natural remedy for soothing sore throats and coughs, horehound works pretty nicely.
For an immediate sore throat resolution, you can take fresh leaves and dice them up and mix them with a teaspoon of honey and swallow it. It has worked for me.
Horehound is not the prettiest looking herb in the garden, so it won't win a beauty contest, but it is a very useful one, and worth growing even if in pots. It is not the easiest to find at local green houses, but usually you can find one or two plants in the herb section. As a local Realtor, I am always looking for easy remedies for common ailments during the winter time, and horehound has been a great natural remedy, and the candies taste pretty good too!
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