Home Herbs Horehound: A Versatile Herb with Medicinal and Culinary Uses

Horehound: A Versatile Herb with Medicinal and Culinary Uses

by Gregory
3 minutes read

The Horehound Herb: A Versatile Plant with Medicinal and Culinary Uses


Horehound, a member of the mint family, is a hardy perennial herb with a long history of medicinal and culinary uses. Its crinkled, slightly hairy leaves and woody stems make it easy to identify.


Horehound typically grows 2 to 2 1/2 feet tall and produces small, clustered white, purple, or pink flowers in the summer. Its leaves are arranged alternately on the stem and have a slightly serrated edge.

Nutritional Value

Horehound is packed with nutritional benefits, including high amounts of vitamins A, B, C, and E. It is also a good source of iron, calcium, and potassium.

Medicinal Uses

Horehound has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, including coughs, colds, and digestive problems. Its leaves contain compounds that have expectorant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. Horehound tea is a popular home remedy for sore throats and coughs.

Culinary Uses

Horehound’s strong flavor is used in a variety of culinary applications, including:

  • Flavoring for old fashioned horehound candy
  • Cough drops
  • Liqueurs
  • Tea
  • Potpourri

Planting and Growing

Horehound is relatively easy to grow and can be planted from seed, cuttings, or division. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil, but it can also tolerate partial shade and poor soil conditions.

From Seed

  • Plant the seeds three weeks before your last expected frost date.
  • Sow the seeds on the surface of the soil and cover them with a dusting of soil.
  • Keep the soil evenly moist to encourage germination.
  • Thin the seedlings to 10 inches apart once they have emerged.


You can harvest the leaves of horehound after the plant flowers. Cut the leaves off the stem and dry them for later use. The leaves can be stored in a jar for up to a year.

Tips for Growing

  • Horehound is an invasive plant, so it’s important to plant it in an area where it can spread freely or to confine it to a pot.
  • Cut off the flowers to minimize the spread of the plant.
  • The home gardener needs only two or three plants for personal use.


Horehound is generally safe to use, but it can interact with certain medications. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before using horehound if you are taking any medications.

Other Uses

In addition to its medicinal and culinary uses, horehound is also used in a variety of other applications, including:

  • Insect repellent
  • Dye
  • Soap
  • Perfume


Horehound is a versatile plant with a wide range of uses. Its medicinal properties, culinary flavor, and ease of cultivation make it a valuable addition to any garden.

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