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white horehound (generic name)

treats High cholesterol, Cough, Pain, Heartburn/poor appetite, Diabetes, and Intestinal disorders/antispasmodic
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WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.


Adults (18 years and older)

Safety and effectiveness of doses has not been proven. Doses that have been used for cough/throat ailments include 10 to 40 drops of extract in water up to three times a day or lozenges dissolved in the mouth as needed. Ricola® drops are recommended by the manufacturer at a maximum of 2 lozenges every 1 to 2 hours as needed.

Doses recommended by the expert German panel, the Commission E, for treating heartburn or stimulating appetite include 4.5 grams daily of cut herb or 2 to 6 tablespoons of fresh plant juice. Other traditional dosing suggestions are 1 to 2 grams of dried herb or infusion three times daily.

Children (younger than 18 years)

There is not enough information to recommend the safe use of white horehound in children.


DISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.


In theory, white horehound may cause an allergic reaction in persons with known allergy or hypersensitivity to members of the Lamiaceae family (mint family) or any white horehound components.

Side Effects and Warnings

White horehound is generally considered to be safe when used as a flavoring agent in foods. However, there is limited scientific study of safety, and most available information is from animal (not human) research. Reported side effects include rash at areas of direct contact with white horehound plant juice, abnormal heart rhythms, low blood pressure, and decreased blood sugar (seen in animals with high blood sugar). White horehound may cause vomiting and diarrhea. Caution is warranted in people with heart disease or gastrointestinal disorders. Caution may also advisable in persons with diabetes or hypoglycemia and in those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that affect blood sugar. Serum glucose levels may need to be monitored by a healthcare professional, and medication adjustments may be necessary.

Theoretically, white horehound may interfere with the body's response to the hormone aldosterone, which affects the ability of the kidneys to control the body's levels of water and electrolytes. These theoretical effects may cause high blood pressure, high blood sodium, low potassium, leg swelling, and muscle weakness. Individuals who have high or unstable blood pressure, high sodium, or low potassium or who are taking medications that reduce the amount of water in the body (diuretics, or "water pills") should use caution. White horehound may contain estrogen-like chemicals that either have stimulatory or inhibitory effects on estrogen-sensitive parts of the body. It is unclear what effects may occur in hormone-sensitive conditions such as some cancers (breast, ovarian, uterine) and endometriosis or in people using hormone replacement therapy/birth control pills.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

White horehound is not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Animal studies suggest that white horehound may cause miscarriage.

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