Traditional Indications

White horehound is an antiseptic, antispasmodic, bitter, cholagogue, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, hepatic, stimulant and tonic. Horehound is a very valuable pectoral, expectorant and tonic that can be safely used by children as well as adults. It is known as the trophorestorative of the lungs, meaning it is the primary remedy for the lungs. The herb apparently causes the secretion of a more fluid mucous, readily cleared by coughing. It is indicated for colds, whooping cough, asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and generalised catarrhal conditions. As a bitter tonic, it increases the appetite and supports the function of the stomach. (1)


Phytochemical investigations on Marrubium vulgare have indicated the presence of flavonoids, steroids, terpenoids, tannins, saponins, and volatile oils. The aerial parts contain marrubiin, together with ursolic acid and choline. Pharmacological activities such as antinociceptive, antispasmodic, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, gastroprotective, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, antioxidant, and antihepatotoxic activity have been reported Marrubium vulgare has therapeutic potential in the treatment of inflammatory conditions, liver disorders, pain, cardiovascular, gastric and diabetic conditions. (2)
Marrubium vulgare is rich in flavonoids. (3)

Marrubium vulgare displays hepatoprotective activity. The protective effect is mainly attributed to its antioxidant properties and the existence of phenolic acids and flavonoids. (4)

Marrubium vulgare extract inhibits inflammatory response and prevents cardiomyocyte fibrosis in isoproterenol-induced acute myocardial infarction in rats. Marrubium vulgare extract has strong protective effects and it seems possible that this protection is due to its anti-inflammatory effects. (4)

1. PFAF. Marrubium vulgare 2019.
2. Lodhi S, Prakash Vadnere G, Kant Sharma V, Mohammed Usman MR. Marrubium vulgare L.: A review on phytochemical and pharmacological aspects2017. 429 p.
3. Bouterfas K, Mehdadi Z, Elaoufi MM, Latreche A, Benchiha W. Antioxidant activity and total phenolic and flavonoids content variations of leaves extracts of white Horehound (Marrubium vulgare Linné) from three geographical origins. Annales Pharmaceutiques Françaises. 2016;74(6):453-62.
4. Ettaya A, Dhibi S, Samout N, Elfeki A, Hfaiedh N. Hepatoprotective activity of white horehound (Marrubium vulgare) extract against cyclophosphamide toxicity in male rats. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. 2015;94(4):441-7.