The Latin name, marrubium vulgare, is derived from two Hebrew terms: mar, meaning “bitter”, and rob, meaning “much”. The taste of horehound also contributes to the name, with vulgare meaning “simple” or “common”.

Marrubium  vulgare
Marrubium vulgare


Plant family Lamiaceae (labiate)
Flowering season September
Harvest Upper shoots when blooming
Signature properties Square stems covered in downy hairs, rhythmic leaf formation
Vegetation Grassland, uncultivated land, landfill sites


In Germanic mythology, the horehound symbolizes a plant struck by lightning. The thunder god Thor is said to have sent the lightning bolt down to Earth. The Germanic people believed that the horehound prevented lightning from striking a person with no faith in god and has carried its power inside it ever since, as evidenced by the herb’s white floral crown.