GROW: The Book
I have HUGE White Horehound shrubs growing on the east side of our yard. Has anybody made candy or medicine from it? Does it actually work to soothe sore throats or relieve coughs?
I planted white horehound this year in honor of my late mother who loved the stuff made into throat drops. We used it for sore throats during my childhood.
Most of the commercial drops are made with too little herb and too much sugar.
I would suggest harvesting some and trying it for yourself. It is a bitter tasting herb yet I was able to get used to the taste even as a child.
My plants need to get bigger before I can get a decent harvest.
The taste does need a bit of getting used to for most people. My grandmother always had them on hand and gave them to us for colds and sore throats. Maybe that is where I get my love of bitters from. Yes. It does help relieve sore throats. Next time I have enough to harvest, I am going to tincture it and add to throat sprays.
Well, if your soil is anything like mine (dry and sandy), you wont have to wait too long! Mine are three years old and MONSTERS. Now they're seeding all over, too, so I can stay busy picking out all the little seedlings (ugh). Do you have a recipe for properly strong throat drops? My throat and lungs are my constitutional weak spots, so I want to make use of all the "great generosity" of my plants to help chase aaway the inevitable winter throat issues. I've also made three pints of fermented elderberry honey, so I'm hopeful that between the elderberry and the horehound (if I get to make any this year), I might be significantly better able to beat off the winter crud better than usual this year.
That sounds like a great alternative or compliment to the traditional candy. I'd love to try both and Heaven knows I've got enough horehound with which to do that! Do you have a good horehound tincture recipe?
@Suburban Pioneer I am growing the plants in pots at the moment. So far, I have only dried some. I will probably make a tincture or maybe add it to honey to make a syrup.
Good - keep them in pots and clip off all the flowers after they finish feeding the insects, or you'll wind up knee-deep in the stuff! If you find a specific recipe that works, please let me know! In the meantime, I should follow your lead and clip some off to dry, That way I can work on understand how best to use them during the winter, when I have less to do. Thanks!
These are the instructions from Michael Moore:
Tincture of the fresh, flowering aerial parts: 1:2 – 50% alcohol.
Tincture of the freshly dried, flowering aerial parts: 1:5 – 50% alcohol.
I LOVE horehound - have sine I was a small child. Started with old fashioned stick candy, then moved into teas and such. Yeah, it is a strong favor, but so is sage. I'm working on a bitters that can utilize it and still be palatable to "normal" folks. Well, maybe not so normal as those who eat "chicken nuggets." You have to draw the line on standards somewhere. I mean, I'm going to play jazz and sing country, because that is quality music, even if everyone goes teen pop, rap garbage. I'd like to offer someone something they can swallow, but I'm not going to substitute "s**t for sugar", to quote an old phrase.
My mother has a serious cough that the doctor says is due to allergies. I don't know how she handles it as well as she does. I am looking for a way to help her. Sounds like I found a starting place. Thank you all.
Thanks - I clipped some off and hung it to dry. Sounds like I need to go to the liquor store, now, LOL! Thanks for the ratios and booze strength. THose things are easy to get wrong. How long should I let it steep?
Judson, love your little rat about "having standards". Agreed! :-)
@Suburban Pioneer The usual length of time for steeping a tincture is a full moon cycle or 4 weeks. If it is needed sooner it could be used and if it sits for longer that is OK, too.
I need a plant. It’s one of my favorite candies. I order the dried herb so I need to get my tinctures on!!
Thanks for the info! I still have to get the vodka, but the plants are actually still throwing off fresh leaves despite the several nights of below freezing temps we had during our recent cold snap. Those plants are true survivors! Is there a recommendation re: starting during any particular moon or other time of the month? Or is four weeks just four weeks, regardless of moon cycle or other considerations?
Try Strictly Medicinals (www.strictlymedicinals.com). I'm sure white horehound is sold at various places, but for medicinals, I think Strictly Medicinals is one of the best and most trustworthy places to purchase plants or seed.
@Suburban Pioneer I'm sure there are optimal moon phases for harvesting medicinal herbs for the best effect. However, some plants won't wait for the right moon phase. Flowers, for example, sometimes have a very short window of opportunity for harvest. So just 4 weeks from the time you start your tincture. That gets it through all the phases despite start time.
@Suburban Pioneer Thank you for the website to purchase plants or seeds. When I paste the link into the browser they want to install an extension for a more secure search. Is that normal and should I be concerned?
I'm no expert in things 'computereze'. LOL! My thought is that it's probably OK. I've been connecting to Strictly Medicinals for years and never had any issues. If you want, install the Duck Duck Go web browser and just type in Strictly Medicinals. DDG is a much more private browser than Google and if you don't want to cut and paste the link, you can just enter the company nams manually and then open the page when it pops up. You may be a little overwjelmed at first with all the choices SM offers, but you'll get addicted pretty quickly. If you're a glutton for punishment like I am, though, you might also try nosing around at Richter's Herbs in Canada. They ship to both Canada and the U.S. Oi! Enough variety to make you swoon. Between the two places, you'll be lucky if you don't pass out from all the choices - ask me how I know - and both have great product (though Richter's ships very small plants. Postage is expensive!!). Have fun!!!
@Suburban Pioneer Thank you, I will give that a try.