Health Guide

White horehound

What is it?

White Horehound is an herbal medicine used to treat tightness in the chest and bronchitis (cough without phlegm) and whooping cough. It may also be used to stimulate your appetite (make you feel hungry). White Horehound has been used to treat intestinal worms. When put on the skin, it has been used to treat shingles and eczema (skin problems).

Other names for White Horehound include: Marrubium vulgare, Common Hoarhound, Hoarhound, Horehound, and Marrubium.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease


Talk with your caregiver about how much White Horehound you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking White Horehound. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.


  • Before taking White Horehound, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Should not be used in patients with heart disease or arrhythmias (heart does not beat normally) (4)
  • Marrubiin, found in Horehound, may steady the heart beat in low doses. It may cause your heart not to beat normally in higher doses (4)

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Call your doctor if you feel your heart is not beating normally (4)
  • You may have diarrhea (loose stools) if you take White Horehound in large amounts (4,6)
  • Touching the herb may cause a rash (7)


1. Bradley PR (ed.): British Herbal Compendium vol. 1. British Herbal Medicine Association, Bournemouth, UK; 1992.

2. Anon: British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. British Herbal Medicine Association, Keighley, UK; 1983.

3. Chevallier, A: The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. DK Publishing Company, New York, NY; 1996.

4. Tyler VE: The Honest Herbal, 3rd edition, George Strickley, Philadelphia, PA; 1993.

5. McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R et al (eds): American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook: guidelines for the safe use and labeling for herbs in commerce. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL; 1997.

6. Anon: British Pharmaceutical Codex 1934. Pharmaceutical Press, London, UK; 1934.

7. Michell J & Rook A: Botanical Dermatology. Greengrass, Vancouver, BC; 1979.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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