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White Horehound is distinguished by its petite green and silver tinged leaves. Also known as the Common Horehound, White Horehound produces leaves that have an oceanic aroma with notes of salinity. The flavor is woodsy, tannic and slightly bitter. The bitterness acts as a natural defense mechanism, thwarting off many animals because of its sharp flavor. It is, however, a principal staple in roaming livestock diets, especially sheep. Intensive grazing actually opens the ground for the further growth of White Horehound plants, enhancing its ability to thrive in the wild.
White Horehound can be found growing year-round.
White Horehound, AKA Common Horehound and botanical name, Marrubium vulgare, is a member of the Lamiaceae (mint) family. White Horehound is a cool season herbaceous perennial that shouldn't be confused with Black Horehound or Water Horehound. Its root name, hore is a reference to its physical characteristic, as it is covered in hairy silk fuzz. Though it is foraged primarily for its foliage, it also produces flowers in the spring and fruits in late fall. The fruits, which contain the plant's seeds fall to the ground and disperse the seeds, which are solely responsible for the plant's reproduction. White Horehound seeds can remain in the soil for up to ten years and still germinate new plants.
Since ancient Egypt, White Horehound has been used as an expectorant. White Horehound has been used to treat respiratory conditions in Ayurvedic, Native American, and Australian Aboriginal medicines. There is promising early evidence favoring the use of White Horehound as a hypoglycemic agent for diabetes and as a non-opioid pain reliever.
White Horehound is considered a cool tasting plant, meaning it can cut the richness of fat and stand up to spicy and hot ingredients. It can be used fresh or dried for both savory and sweet applications. It can be muddled and used as a complimentary ingredient in cocktails, teas and dressings. It can also be used in sauces or rubs for seafood and game preparations. Torn leaves add depth and coolness to fruit and green salads. Pair with other aromatic herbs in herb based sauces such as pesto or salsa verde (a combination of bright herbs such as mint, parsley, thyme along with garlic, and olive oil). Other complimentary ingredients include apples, apricots, bacon, lamb, scallops, white flaky fish, arugula, butter lettuce, chickpeas, tomatoes, crumbly cheeses such as feta and earthy spices such as cumin and cardamon. Cooking White Horehound will dilute its aromatic compounds.
White Horehound has historically been used to make cough drops and was also sold as candy sticks called 'long-life candy'.
White Horehound is native to Eurasia and has naturalized throughout the world in every hemisphere. White Horehound is an aggressive grower and expands range during drought conditions. It is often labeled as a noxious weed. Once established, it outcompetes native vegetation and forms densely in annual grasslands. White Horehound thrives in the absence of other vegetation competing for nutrients and resources.
Recipes that include White Horehound. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Savoy Stomp||Rock and Rye Cocktail with Homeade Horehound Bitters|
|Frugally Sustainable||Horehound Lozenges|