We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Horehound Tea?

By Greer Hed
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Horehound tea is an herbal tea made with the leaves of the white horehound plant. Tea brewed with horehound leaves can be used to treat a wide variety of minor ailments. It is particularly effective in alleviating the symptoms of upper respiratory disorders, such as cough or asthma. Horehound tea is also used medicinally to relieve night-time acid reflux, abdominal pain and indigestion, lessen the pain of headaches caused by sinus infections, and reduce symptoms related to the common cold. The herb also soothes the pain and itching caused by a sore throat.

White horehound is a perennial herb and a member of the mint family. It is indigenous to Europe, but it may also be found growing in North and South America. The name "horehound" is apparently derived from the name of the Egyptian hawk-headed god of light, Horus, as an alternative name for the plant is "seed of Horus." Horehound leaves contain marrubiinic acid, tannins, resins, and flavinoids.

It is the marrubiinic acid, or marrubiin, in horehound tea that gives the tea most of its beneficial medicinal properties. Marrubiin is an expectorant that stimulates the salivary glands and the bronchioles, which helps remove phlegm and mucus from the lungs, chest and throat. It also stimulates the production of more gastric juice and speeds up the process of digestion, which in turn minimizes the occurrence of night-time acid reflux. Marrubiin is also an analgesic compound, which is why horehound tea is effective in reducing the pain caused by sore throat, sinus infection or indigestion.

Another active component of horehound tea is tannin. Tannins have anti-inflammatory and astringent properties that shrink down organic compounds like proteins, amino acids, and alkaloids. For this reason, horehound was used historically to treat victims of poisoning. In modern times, the medicinal uses of tannin include the treatment of diarrhea, hemorrhoids, gastritis, and enteritis. The ingestion of too many tannins can be dangerous, however, as tannins interfere with the body's ability to absorb vital nutrients like calcium and iron.

A single cup of horehound tea may be made by pouring one cup of boiling water over one teaspoon of dried horehound leaves. This infusion must then be allowed to sit, covered, for about 10 to 15 minutes. The horehound leaves may then be strained out, and the tea may be sweetened with honey or molasses to combat the bitter flavor of the herb. Horehound tea should not be sweetened with sugar, as this is believed to nullify some of its beneficial effects.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Animandel — On Feb 14, 2015

It's interesting that sweetening the horehound tea with sugar is not recommended since this can take away some of the benefits of the tea. Though I haven't tried horehound tea, I do use sugar in the herbal teas I do drink. I bet sugar has the same effect on many of the other herbal teas, and we just are not aware of this. At least, I wasn't aware of this. I think I'll start using more honey in place of sugar and artificial sweeteners.

By Sporkasia — On Feb 13, 2015

@Feryll - Various types of tea and herbs of many kinds can be great sources for curing whatever ails us, but they can also be dangerous when used for certain conditions. I had a friend who was drinking echinacea tea to help deal with her chronic sinus infections. When she went to the doctor and told him she was taking the echinacea he advised her to not consume echinacea in any form because the herb might has a negative impact on her high blood sugar.

I tell this story only to make the point that you should let your friend know about the possible medicinal effects of horehound tea before he drinks it. In fact, he should probably consult his doctor before drinking horehound tea. You would not want to be responsible for making his condition worse than it already is.

By Feryll — On Feb 12, 2015

My old roommate from college has been dealing with acid reflux lately and he hasn't had much luck getting the condition under control. His doctor has suggested several medications, but they have not stopped the condition. I suggested that he try some of the herbs with medicinal benefits, but I don't think he takes my suggestions very seriously.

After reading this article, I think I will send him some horehound tea. I'll just tell him it is a really good tasting tea, and see whether he will try it. If I tell him I am sending the tea to help with his acid reflux he will never try it.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.