Blog 6th of June 2020

The healing power of black horehound.

stinkende ballote

The nameIn Latin

Black horehound is called Ballota nigra. Ballo in Greek means to reject or cast aside – which is what herbivorous animals do when they come across it. The plant has an objectionable odour. Nigra means black. It is also called Ballota foetida; foetida means stinky. Horehound comes from the Old English har and hune – a downy plant. In Dutch, this plant is also referred to as black mallow, black stinking nettle or cat mint. The name stinking nettle comes from the fact that this plant really doesn’t smell good and is related to the common nettle and dead-nettle. The leaves are similar in form and its flowers are almost identical to that of the dead nettle.

The best psychologically-soothing plants owe their sedative effect to a sweet, musty scent. These include valerian, hop, passion flower, St. John's wort and lavender.

Fragrances are particularly suitable for stimulating or calming the brain and nervous system.

Active components

Black horehound contains several healthy substances but is not eaten as it has an unpleasant taste and smell. The plant contains large amounts of phenylpropane glycosides as well as bitter diterpenoids, flavonoids, saponins and the essential oils alpha-humulene, alphapinene, betapinene, caryophyllene, deltacadinene, germacrene and sabinene.

🌱Black horehound: good for the psyche

Ballota strengthens the nerves and restores psychological balance. It has a calming and relaxing effect thanks to the phenylpropane glycosides that bind to benzodiazepine receptors. Furthermore, black horehound is a mild antidepressant and can help you fall asleep.

🌱The medicinal properties of black horehound are used to alleviate the following psychological disorders:   

  • Hysteria (melancholy) and hypochondria (chronic anxiety about one’s health)   
  • Certain menopausal symptoms such as tension and depression  
  •  Dysregulated autonomic nervous system  
  •  Fear   
  •   Anxiety-related heart palpitations
  •   Insomnia and sleep disorders.  
  •   Psychic lability or volatility   
  •  Weak nerves, low resistance to stress
  •   Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

🌱Better digestion with black horehound

The black nettle has various medicinal uses within the digestive system due to its antispasmodic and antiemetic effect. The bitter diterpenoids improve the digestion.Marrubine content is bile-forming and encourages bile-flow; bile secretion can be tripled when this plant is taken as a medicine. 

Black horehound helps with the following digestive tract symptoms:

  •   Gastrointestinal cramps and colic   
  • Nausea and vomiting due to motion sickness or pregnancy   
  • Slow digestion and upset stomach caused by anxiety or stress
  •   Low bile secretion that leads to the poor digestion of fats

🌱Black horehound and the respiratory tract

Ballota nigra is antispasmodic and alleviates muscle and airway contraction. This means it can be used to calm a cough. Its substances also dilute mucus and have an antibacterial action.Its expectorant qualities come from the saponins and marrubine; antibacterial properties are due to the presence of angoraside, lavandulifolioside and alyssonoside.

The healing power of the black horehound is therefore used to treat coughs (including whooping cough) and other respiratory diseases.

Source: mens-en-gezondheid info

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