White Horehound – ESCOP Herbal Monograph 2013

Marrubii herba
Published 2013
Price:   €20
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The herbal monograph selects and summarises scientific studies and textbooks regarding  efficacy, dosage and safety to support the therapeutic uses of white horehound. The botanical definition of the herbal substance is the dried, entire or fragmented, flowering aerial parts of Marrubium vulgare L. Studies with its main characteristic constituents the labdane-type diterpene marrubiin and various phenylethanoid esters are included. The therapeutic indications are dyspeptic complaints such as bloating and flatulence, lack of appetite and catarrh of the upper respiratory tract. Administration of white horehound addresses posology; its duration of use; contra-indications; special warnings; special precautions for use; interactions with other medicinal products; other forms of interaction; in pregnancy and lactation; its effects on ability to drive; undesirable effects; overdose. In vitro experiments with white horehound demonstrate antioxidant, vasorelaxant, antiproliferative and antimicrobial activities. In vivo experiments demonstrate analgesic, gastroprotective, hypoglycaemic, anti-oedematous, anti-hypertensive and hepatoprotective properties. Preclinical safety data for white horehound were assessed in toxicity studies. The selection of literature cited in the monograph is aimed at compiling relevant information about the possible physiological roles of white horehound and its major constituents. Examples are given below.


  • Marrubium vulgare L.
  • Marrubii herba
  • White horehound
  • Dys­peptic complaints; Bloating; Flatulence; Respiratory tract catarrh


– Boudjelal A, Henchiri C, Siracusa L, Sari M, Ruberto G. Compositional analysis and in vivo anti-diabetic activity of wild Algerian Marrubuim vulgare L. infusion. Fitoterapia 2012;83:286-90. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fitote.2011.11.005
– De Jesus RAP, Cechinel-Filho V, Oliveira AE, Schlemper V. Analysis of the antinociceptive properties of marrubiin isolated from Marrubium vulgare. Phytomedicine 1999;7:111-5. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0944-7113(00)80082-3
– Elberry AA, Harraz FM, Ghareib SA, Gabr SA, Nagy AA, Abdel-Sattar E. Methanolic extract of Marrubium vulgare ameliorates hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Int J Diab Mellitus 2011; doi:10.1016/j. ijdm.2011.01.004
– Paula de Oliveira AP, Santin JR, Lemos M. Gastroprotective activity of methanol extract and marrubiin obtained from leaves of Marrubium vulgare L. (Lamiaceae). J Pharm Pharmacol 2011;63:1230-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ j.2042-7158.2011.01321.x
– Yamaguchi K, Liggett JL, Kim NC, Baek SJ. Anti-proliferative effect of horehound leaf and wild cherry bark extracts on human colorectal cancer cells. Oncol Rep 2006;15:275-81.
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