Horehound, the White, or Marrubium, L. a genus of plants comprising 12 species, one of which only is indigenous, viz. the vulgare, or Common WhiteHorehound, which grows on road sides, and among rubbish ; it flowers from July to September.
This very bitter plant possesses an odour sufficiently grateful; when given in large doses, it operates- as a purgative. It is reputed to be both attenuant and resolvent; an infusion of the leaves in water, sweetened with honey, is recommended in asthmatic and phthisical complaints, as well as in most other diseases of the breast and lungs.— We believe, however, it may with equal, or greater advantage, be employed in currying or tanning soft leather.
Horehound, the Black, Fetid Horehound, or Hen-bit, Ballota nigra, L. an indigenous perennial plant, growing on rub-bish and in hedges ; flowering in the months of July and August.— No species of cattle will touch this vegetable, which is, nevertheless, highly prized by the Swedes, who consider it as an almost universal remedy in the diseases of cattle.
A strong decoction of the Fetid Horehound has been much reco mended in hysterical and hypochondriacal cases. An infusion, or tea, made of equal parts of this plant, of betony leaves, and white hore-hound, is asserted by Ray, both to prevent the gout, and mitigate the attacks of that painful disorder, if three or four tea-cupfuls of it be regularly drunk every day.
The French manufacturers are chiefly indebted to this plant for the deep black colour of their cloth ; its juice imparts a permanent dye to wool, silk and linen, and is much used by travelling gypsies, for the purpose of staining their faces.