Horehound is a plant in which leaves can be used to make tea and then used as a major ingredient in horehound candy. Horehound candy was popular in the 19th century but it is not the main focus of this article.
What does horehound taste like? Horehound has a strong bitter taste that can be hard to shake. It is a taste that feels right at home when used in bitters, liqueurs, or herbal teas. The taste of horehound is an acquired taste. It is not a taste people rush to experience.
Horehound has a strong mint flavor. When it is freshly picked, there is a trace of thyme and verbena in the flavor. When horehound is dried, the flavor inches towards earthy and bitter.
Nutritional Benefits of Horehound
Horehound has had a history of dealing with minor respiratory issues. It has been used as an expectorant; a substance that aids the removal of mucus from the lungs and upper respiratory tract. It has also been used as a cough suppressant and an antispasmodic agent for digestive issues in infants.
Scientific studies carried out on the medicinal properties of horehound have shown that it may be able to help with asthma symptoms like coughing and wheezing. It also helps with upper respiratory infections like bronchitis and whooping cough.
Horehound works as a good remedy for wounds, it has antimicrobial properties that can help keep bacteria away from the wound. Inflammation is the body’s way of protecting itself in the event that injuries occur. But when inflammation occurs for too long, it could cause some serious health issues. Horehound possess anti-inflammatory properties that help to keep inflammation in the body in check.
There is speculation that horehounds might be able to help people with type-2 diabetes. Taking horehound tea before meals can prove to be beneficial to blood sugar levels. It can reduce the blood sugar levels before meals and improve appetite too.
There is not much scientific claim to support this, but horehound might be able to treat liver and gallbladder problems. It might also be able to treat bloating, constipation, indigestion, abdominal pain and spasms, fluid retention, gas, ulcers, skin damage, and a whole lot of health problems.
However, the ability of horehound to relieve digestive and blood sugar irregularities could help take care of some of those symptoms.
Culinary Uses of Horehound
The part of the horehound plant that grows above ground can be used for consumption. When the leaves from horehound are harvested, there is a lot that you can do with it. When the leaves are harvested, they need to be dried and this can be done indoors or outdoors.
When the leaves are dry, they are then chopped and placed in an airtight container where they can be stored for up to a year. The leaves from horehound can be boiled to make horehound tea, or they can be incorporated into food by adding them to salads or soups. Horehound flowers are not left out, you can use them in the same manner you use the leaves.
Horehound is also used in the production of horehound candy which is a type of hard candy that was very popular in the 19th century. The candy is made with an extract that is derived from the horehound plant. Horehound has a bitter taste that is sweetened with honey, molasses, or sugar to give it that bittersweet taste that some people love. The sweet and sugary taste of horehound candy comes with a hint of licorice and the color of the candy is quite similar to that of root beer.
What is the Origin of Horehound? How to Procure It?
There are two types of horehound; black and white horehound. It comes from the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is native to Europe, Northwestern Africa, Southwestern, and Central Asia. In some places like North and South America, horehound is being domesticated.
Horehound is a perennial plant that can grow to 10 or 18 inches in height. The flowers that horehound bears are white, and they are borne in clusters on the upper part of the main stem.
The name horehound is derived from an old English word “hoar” which means white or light-colored, and “hune” which is a word of unknown origin that refers to a class of plants. Horehound has been around since the 1st century where it was identified as a remedy for respiratory ailments.
Horehound can be planted in your garden if you wish, it grows well in poor or sandy soil and is considered to be a weed or invasive species by many. It can spread easily and shines in dry, hot conditions. The horehound plant can even survive a drought. Horehound can be found in local pharmacies or ordered online.
What is the Difference Between Black Horehound and White Horehound?
Black horehound is a little bit different from white horehound because it has some medicinal properties that white horehound doesn’t have. It can be used in the treatment of heavy periods, motion sickness, and nausea. White horehound has its own uses too.
Facts You Don’t Know About Horehound
- Pregnant women should not take horehound because of its ability to cause menstruation. It could cause serious complications and even lead to miscarriages.
- Applying horehound directly to the skin could be quite discomforting. It may cause some level of skin sensitivity or allergic reaction.