White Horehound Seed Pack


Marrubium vulgare. 

White Horehound is a gentle presence in the garden and a powerful presence in the apothecary. With soft green leaves and delicate white flower heads that cluster up the stem as Summer climbs to a peak it is rich in aromatics that help respiratory health. 

Horehound gets its name from ‘hoar’ meaning white as in ‘hoarfrost’. Like the frosts it comes back every year, and like a seasonal cough out comes the horehound. It is considered a renowned expectorant helping to clear congestion, notably when the cough is unproductive. Downy or hairy plants are often used for helping the lungs with the doctrine of signatures relating the cilia in the respiratory system to the delicate hairs on the leaves. 

A member of the mint family, white horehound is a hardy perennial that can withstand heavy frosts as well as periods of drought. It grows to around 60cm tall, prefers full sunshine and thrives in poor, low-nutrient soil. Harvest the leaves before the prickly flower stems start to grow. 

Sowing and Growing 

Sow seeds in trays or pots indoors in the Spring. Germination can be slow and erratic (2-4 weeks is normal) so we recommend sowing in plug trays to minimise disturbance when potting up. Plant out once the risk of frost has passed, but don’t wait too long as the larger plants don’t take well to being moved. Once established, these tough plants require very little assistance from the gardener. 

Uses and Benefits 

White Horehound has a resinous aroma with a bitter and acrid taste that remains on the tongue for some time. This bitter spiciness, comprised of soapy saponins, aromatic essential oils, bitter lactones as well as alkaloids make it a staple herbal solution for coughs and colds. 

Its special quality of getting a stuck and dry cough moving works by relaxing the smooth muscles in the respiratory passages as well as by as stimulating some mucus production. When taken as a hot tea its diaphoretic qualities are brought out, helping to warm a chill and support our natural immune responses to seasonal ills. For a dry cough its best taken as a syrup with other soothing demulcents and relaxing expectorant herbs. 

Its bitter and warming nature also help to support sluggish digestion. 

Harvesting and Preparation 

Harvest the aerial parts before the inflorescence shoots up. 
Tie up in small bunches or cut to the desired size and dry at around 30C in a well ventilated space for around 24 hours or until dry. Store in an airtight container out of direct sunlight. 

As its pretty bitter, use white horehound as tea with some sweeter herbs that support respiratory health, such as licorice, licorice mint or fennel. Infuse 2g of dried herb in 250ml of freshly boiled water and infuse in a covered cup for 15 minutes. 

Also very popular in syrups. 

A tincture at 1:5@40% can be stored for the winter months. 

Minimum 50 seeds per pack.