Can I Smoke Horehound?

Can I Smoke Horehound? - SPLIFF

Can I smoke Horehound?

Horehound, also known as marrubium Vulgare, belongs to the mint family and grows wild in many areas of the world. This perennial herb has been used to treat coughs and sore throats and was also used by some ancient cultures as an aphrodisiac. This herb can be smoked either alone or mixed with other herbs to make herbal cigarettes or mixed with tobacco in hand-rolled cigarettes and cigars. But what are the effects of horehound when smoked? Are there any dangers to smoking this herb?

A common question surrounding the use of Horehound is whether or not you can smoke the herb. The simple answer to this question is yes, but not in any way that you might think. It's important to understand the different ways people will use Horehound, so let's go over several of them now.

History of horehound

Horehound is one of the earliest medicinal herbs recorded in the Bible and is one of the oldest herbs used by man, having been used since the mid-1400s. It is believed to have originated in Turkey and was used by the Arabs, Romans, and Greeks. It was used by the early Greeks as an antidote for snakebite, and later by the Romans as a cure for colic, coughs, diarrhea, and other ailments. It also has a link with the Mediterranean region. The herb was introduced into England in the 1500s and became widely used to treat a wide variety of ailments, including cancer. It was used by herbalists and was frequently grown as a garden plant, but the use of the herb has been largely replaced by synthetic drugs. 

Photo from Spiceography 

What is the difference between black horehound and white horehound?

Black horehound is the common name of Ballota nigra and white horehound is the common name of (Ballota diffusa) are two closely related species in the mint family. Both are common horehound and both plants have been used traditionally to treat a variety of ailments, including coughs, colds, and indigestion. Black horehound is native to Europe and Asia, while white horehound is native to southern Europe. Both plants can be found in North America, where they are often used as ornamental plants. 

Black Horehound is an herb that belongs to the family of yellow flowering plants. It's quite common in growing areas because of which its leaves are used in making herbal teas, tonics, and medicinal remedies. White Horehound has been used as a medicine for centuries. This herb helps people with respiratory problems and some types of sore throats.

However, it is important to specify that any claims of potential health benefits still need to be proven by scientific studies, so be careful of what you read on the internet.

What do you do with horehound herbs? 

Horehound has a long history of use as herbal medicine. It was used to treat respiratory problems such as coughs, colds, and bronchitis. The ancient Egyptians used it to make bitter tea to cleanse the body and purify the blood. In traditional Chinese medicine, the horehound is used to treat indigestion and other stomach problems. Today, horehound is still used by some people to treat respiratory problems and stomach issues. 

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

The ancient Egyptians used it as a remedy for eye problems, while the Greeks and Romans used it to treat digestive issues. More recently, horehound has been used as a cough suppressant and an expectorant. Some people also smoke horehound for its purported benefits, including relaxation and stress relief.

It is said to have antioxidant and antispasmodic properties which makes it a medicinal herb to treat a variety of conditions like ulcers, controlling cholesterol, maintaining blood sugar, and used in cough drops. Horehound tea has a variety of essential oils that contribute to its healing properties and medicinal uses.

However, we still need to reiterate that smoking anything is harmful to your health. None of the potential benefits have been proven by scientific studies. Always be wary of charlatans who try to sell you smoking products for your health. 

Can you smoke horehound?

You might be surprised to learn that horehound is not actually a type of tobacco. Horehound is an herb in the mint family that has been used for centuries in natural medicine. Some people believe that smoking horehound can help relieve anxiety and stress, but there is no scientific evidence to support these claims. If you're considering smoking horehound, it's important to talk to your doctor first to make sure it's safe for you.

Is it toxic?

Although horehound is not toxic, it can be dangerous if consumed in large quantities. The plant contains alkaloids that can be harmful to the liver and kidneys. It also contains a moderate amount of tannins. Ingesting large amounts of horehound can also lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. If you experience any of these symptoms after consuming horehound, get medical advice from a healthcare professional immediately.

What is the recommended dosage?  

When it comes to smoking horehound, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The recommended dosage depends on factors such as your weight, health, and tolerance for the herb. A good rule of thumb is to start with a small amount and increase gradually as needed. If you're new to smoking horehound, it's best to err on the side of caution and go for a lower dose, as well as consulting your doctor beforehand of course.

Can you smoke horehound with other herbs?

While horehound on its own is not traditionally smoked, there are some people who like to mix it with other herbs like Vitro and phenylpropanoids. This is perfectly fine, but it's important to know that horehound can be quite strong and may not be suitable for everyone. If you're new to smoking herbs, it's best to start with something milder and work your way up to horehound. You can also mix it with other dried herbs like hyssop, uva ursi, tea, or even in herbal smoking blends. 

Is it a tobacco replacement? 

Horehound is not a tobacco replacement, and in fact, it can be quite dangerous to smoke. The plant contains a toxic compound called marrubium, which can cause serious health problems if inhaled. Marrubium is also a known carcinogen, so smoking horehound could increase your risk of cancer. If you're looking for a tobacco alternative, there are much safer options out there.

Are there any potential health benefits of smoking horehound? 

While there are some potential benefits to smoking horehound, it's important to weigh the risks and consult with your doctor before using this herb. Smoking horehound can provide cough relief, act as a digestive aid, and help with motion sickness. Additionally, it may also help stimulate appetite and relieve bronchitis symptoms.

The Horehound plant is also considered beneficial for treating flatulence, bloating, and constipation and as a diuretic to treat various conditions.

However, smoking horehound can also be harmful to your health and may cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. It can also be harmful to breastfeeding women as there are no clinical trials that prove its efficiency.

But, no scientific evidence can prove any of those claims yet.

Is horehound an anti-inflammatory?

Yes, horehound is an anti-inflammatory. This means that it can help to reduce swelling and inflammation in the body. This can be helpful for conditions like arthritis or Crohn's disease. It also has some antimicrobial that helps to kill harmful microorganisms present in your body. However, and again, more scientific studies need to be conducted to prove this potential health benefit.

Is horehound a stimulant?

Horehound is an herb that has been used for centuries as a medicinal plant. The leaves and flowers of the plant are dried and then made into teas, tinctures, or capsules. Some people also smoke horehound for its stimulant effects. While there is some evidence that horehound can have mild stimulant effects, there is no definitive research on this topic.

What are the side effects of smoking horehound?


Smoking horehound is not recommended for beginners, because there are many negative side effects of smoking it. Smoking horehound can cause several health issues and it can affect your liver. There are a number of things that can happen to your body if you smoke horehound regularly, the most common being headaches, upset stomach, dizziness, and nervousness. It is also not recommended for patients with high blood pressure.

What is the main chemical in horehound?

The main chemical present in horehound is marrubium vulgare, which is a type of mint. This chemical gives the horehound its characteristic taste and smell. Marrubium vulgare is also responsible for the properties of medicinal plants.

Conclusion - Can I Smoke Horehound?

Though horehound may be smoked, it's generally not considered safe. The plant contains a number of toxic compounds, including marrubiin and thujone. These substances can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures. If you're looking to smoke something for its medicinal properties, there are other herbs that are better suited for this purpose.

As part of your switch from smoking pure Green or smoking tobacco to including herbal smoking blends in your next spliff, you may find that smoking Damiana or smoking Raspberry Leaf may also suit you as base smokable herbs. 

*This article is not to be interpreted as a statement of any form by Spliff but merely a compendium of information compiled from other sources. These statements have not been evaluated by Health Canada, FDA or any other regulatory body. Consult your doctor before ingesting or smoking any herbal product.*

If you have any valuable information to add or a correction to address, please reach out to a member of our team at


Aćimović, M., Jeremić, K., Salaj, N., Gavarić, N., Kiprovski, B., Sikora, V., & Zeremski, T. (2020). Marrubium vulgare L.: A Phytochemical and Pharmacological Overview. Molecules, 25(12), 2898.

‌Katroscik, J. T. (2022). Horehound: Ever heard of it? Pharmacy Today, 28(5), 20.

Akbar, S. (2020). Marrubium vulgare L. (Lamiaceae). Handbook of 200 Medicinal Plants, 1137–1145.


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