Herb: Black Horehound


Latin name: Ballota nigra


Family: Labiatae



Medicinal use of Black Horehound:

Black horehound has a long history of herbal use, though is not widely employed in modern herbalism because of its unpleasant flavour. Nonetheless, it does have a range of medicinal virtues, being especially effective in its action as an antiemetic. In the past it was often used for treating problems connected with the respiratory system, convulsions, low spirits and the menopause, but present-day authorities differ over whether it was effective in these applications. The whole plant is antiemetic, antispasmodic, expectorant, stimulant and vermifuge. It is taken internally in the treatment of nervous dyspepsia, travelling sickness, morning sickness in pregnancy, arthritis, gout, menstrual disorders and bronchial complaints. The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and is dried for later use. It should not be stored for longer than a year. The fresh herb is sometimes used to make a syrup.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
90 cm
(2 feet)

Flovering:
June to
October


Scent:
Scented
Perennial

Habitat of the herb:

Waste ground, hedgerows, woods and shady places, preferring nitrogen-rich, moist, rather loose soil.

Propagation of Black Horehound:

Seed - sow spring or autumn in a greenhouse. The seed usually germinates in 3 - 6 weeks at 15C. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer or following autumn. Division in spring. Larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whilst smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well.

Cultivation of the herb:

Waste ground, hedgerows, woods and shady places, preferring nitrogen-rich, moist, rather loose soil.

Known hazards of Ballota nigra:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.