Hawthorn is medicinal plant of the year 2018
In wet and cold weather, colds are in high season. A herb has grown in nature that strengthens the body's defenses and helps against stuck cough - the horehound. Hardly anyone knows the old medicinal plant that has been part of our European medical history for over 2,000 years. That is why the "Study Group on the History of Medicinal Plant Science" at the University of Würzburg chose the horehound as medicinal plant of the year 2018.
The hawthorn (Marrubium vulgare), also called white horehound, originally comes from the Mediterranean region. The plant from the labiate family likes to grow on the side of the path and can reach a height of up to 80 cm. The small white flowers are arranged in spherical false whorls. The heart-shaped leaves have a nerve network on the top and a felt hair on the bottom. Horehound contains strong bitter and tannins, but also flavonoids, nitrogenous compounds and essential oil.
Even the well-known doctor Paracelsus saw the plant as a medicine for the lungs. Traditionally, horehound is used for bronchial catarrhs, i.e. inflammation of the mucous membranes in the bronchi. Studies show the effect of the herb on mucus solution for coughs in the context of colds. The bitter substances probably play a special role here. Scientists have found receptors for bitter substances on the smooth muscle cells of the bronchial system. When activated, the narrowed bronchi expand. This way more oxygen gets into the lungs and the mucus is easier to cough up. The immune system should also be strengthened when the bitter substances dock. The herb also helps with indigestion and loss of appetite.
Bile flow is promoted, which boosts fat digestion. It is best to drink a tea that is prepared from the dried leaves of the horehound. However, doctors recommend that the medicinal properties of the plant should only be used in adults and children over 12 years of age and not during pregnancy. Heike Kreutz, respectively