Parts Used & Where Grown
This European mint family (Lamiaceae) plant now grows in North America and on other continents as well. The leaf and flower are used medicinally. This plant should not be confused with white horehound , which acts differently.
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3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
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1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:
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Black horehound has been used traditionally for heavy periods.
Cinnamon has been used historically for the treatment of various menstrual disorders, including heavy menstruation.2 This is also the case with shepherd?s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris). 3 Other herbs known as astringents (tannin-containing plants that tend to decrease discharges), such as cranesbill , periwinkle , witch hazel , and oak , were traditionally used for heavy menstruation. Human trials are lacking, so the usefulness of these herbs is unknown. Black horehound was sometimes used traditionally for heavy periods, though this approach has not been investigated by modern research.
Refer to label instructions
Black horehound is sometimes used by herbalists to treat nausea associated with motion sickness.
Black horehound (Ballotta nigra, Marrubium nigrum) is sometimes used by herbalists to treat nausea associated with motion sickness.4 However, there are no clinical trials to confirm its effectiveness for treating this condition.
Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)
Black horehound has primarily been used in European traditional herbalism to relieve nausea, anxiety , or the combination of these conditions.1 It was also used as a mild expectorant and to help normalize menstruation.
How It Works
How It Works
Phenylpropanoids?flavonoids and compounds found in the volatile oil of black horehound?are believed to be the plant?s major active constituents.5 , 6 A recent test tube study found black horehound phenylpropanoids to have both antioxidant properties and a sedating effect on overactive nerve cells.7 Although no human studies have been conducted with black horehound, the herb is believed to be useful for treating nausea associated motion sickness due to a possible effect on the central nervous system.8
How to Use It
Black horehound is traditionally used as a tea or tincture. Approximately 2 teaspoons of the leaves are added to 1 cup hot water and allowed to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.9 One cup is drunk three times per day. If a tincture is preferred, 1 to 2 ml may be taken three times per day. Black horehound is rarely used alone, and is frequently combined with meadowsweet , chamomile , or ginger for relief of nausea.
Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds
Interactions with Medicines
There are no reports of adverse effects from use of black horehound when taken in the recommended amounts. Black horehound was traditionally used to treat nausea during pregnancy , though no scientific evaluation of the safety or efficacy of this practice has been conducted. Some sources report that black horehound could induce miscarriage when taken in large amounts.10 Consult with a doctor who is trained in botanical medicine before using horehound during pregnancy.
1. Hoffmann D. The New Holistic Herbal, 3rd ed. Shaftesbury, Dorset, UK: Element, 1990:181.
2. Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Foods,Drugs, and Cosmetics, 2d ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1996, 168?70.
3. Ellingwood F. American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy. Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Publications, 1919, 1998, 354.
4. Hoffmann D. The Herbal Handbook: A User?s Guide to Medical Herbalism. Rochester, New York: Healing Arts Press, 1998, 29.
5. Hoffmann D. The New Holistic Herbal, 3rd ed. Shaftesbury, Dorset, UK: Element, 1990:181.
6. Daels-Rakotoarison DA, Seidel V, Gressier B, et al. Neurosedative and antioxidant activities of phenylpropanoids from Ballota nigra. Arzneim Forsch 2000;50:16?23.
7. Daels-Rakotoarison DA, Seidel V, Gressier B, et al. Neurosedative and antioxidant activities of phenylpropanoids from Ballota nigra. Arzneim Forsch 2000;50:16?23.
8. Hoffmann D. The Herbal Handbook: A User?s Guide to Medical Herbalism. Rochester, New York: Healing Arts Press, 1998, 29.
9. Hoffmann D. The New Holistic Herbal, 3rd ed. Shaftesbury, Dorset, UK: Element, 1990:181.
10. Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. Sandy, OR: Eclectic Medical Pulbications, 1998, 175.
Last Review: 05-01-2013
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2014.
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