Očajnica (Marrubium vulgare L.)

Očajnica (Marrubium vulgare L.)

Assessment report on Marrubium vulgare L., herba



European Pharmacopoeia 5th ed. 2005 (5.1) and the current European Pharmacopoeia 7th edition 2011 (7.0) (01/2008:1835 corrected 6.0)
White Horehound – Marrubii herba. The definition of Marrubii herba is “Whole or fragmented dried flowering aerial plants of Marrubium vulgare L. Content: minimum 0.7% marrubiin (C20H20O4; M: 332.4) (dried drug).”
The HMPC monograph concerns only Marrubium vulgare L.
Principal constituents of the herbal substance
According to Blaschek et al. (2006) the principal constituents of the herbal substance are:
−traces of essential oil (0.05-0.06%) with monoterpenes such as camphene, p-cymol, fenchene, lomonene, α-pinene, sabinene, and α-terpinolene
−diterpenes of labdane-type with marrubiin (0.12-1%) and its precursor pre-marrubiin (0.13%), marrubenol, a labdane-hemiacetale, marrubiol, peregrinol and vulgarol
−tannins (up to 7%) and hydroxylcynamic acid-derivates, e. g. acteoside, chorogenic acid, caffeic acid, 1-caffeoylquinic acid and cryptochlorogenic acid, but no rosmarinic acid. Acteoside is used as qualitative marker.
−flavonoids: flavone and flavonol glycosides and their respective aglycones (e.g. apigenin, luteolin, quercetin, chrysoeriol, vicenin II, vitexin) lactoylflavones, luteolin-7-lactate, apigenin- 7-lactate
−nitrogen-containing compounds: 0.2% choline and 0.3% betonicine
−minerals, in particular potassium salts
For the bitter taste the furanic labdane dipertene marrubiin is responsible. Up to 4 mg of furanic labdane deterpenes per g fresh weight were found, most in young leaves and buds. Depending on the vegetation period or the extracting conditions, the extracts contain marrubiin, pre-marrubenol or marrubenolacetat (Knöss & Zapp, 1998; Knöss, 2006). According to the European Pharmacopoeia 7th edition 2011, the marrubiin content of the crude drug should be at least 0.7%.
Herbal preparation(s)
Information about products on the market in the Member States
According to the information provided by the National Competent Authorities in the overview of the marketed products, the following herbal substances have been on the European market:
Herbal preparations which have been reported to be marketed under well-established use:
−expressed juice from fresh Marrubii herba (1:0.70-0.90)
Herbal preparations which have been reported to be marketed under traditional use:
−liquid extract from Marrubii herba (DER 1:0.9-1.1), extraction solvent: ethanol 30% V/V
−powdered herbal substance
posology: 3 times daily 1-2 capsules

In the German-speaking areas, Marrubii herba is traditionally used especially in context of a bitter remedy and, in the Anglo-American and in the Mediterranean language areas, in context of respiratory disorders (Knöss, 2006). According to the PDR for herbal medicines (1998), folk uses of Marrubium vulgare are internally for acute and chronic bronchitis, whooping cough, asthma, tuberculosis, pulmonary catarrh, respiratory infections, diarrhoea, jaundice, debility, painful menstruation, and as a laxative in higher doses; externally for skin damage, ulcers and wounds.

Literature reports suggest that Marrubium vulgare, herba is traditionally used also in a number of countries outside of Europe. Haq et al. (2010) describe the use for cough, catarrh, emetic, hysteria, rheumatism in Pakistan. De Souza et al. (1998), de Oliveira et al. (2011) and Meyre-Silva et al. (2005) report on the traditional use to treat inflammation, gastrointestinal disorders and respiratory diseases in Brazil. In Tunisian folk medicine, Horehound was used as hypotensive, hypoglycaemic and cardiotonic (Kadri et al., 2011). Pages et Comte (1927) describe the traditional use of Horehound as antiarrythmic in France. Kanyonga et al. (2011) report a frequent use in folk medicine in the Mediterranean North Africa (Morocco).

The following list shows examples of pharmacopoeias and standard text books with monographs of White Horehound.

British Herbal Compendium (Bradley 1992)

Martindale, The Extra Pharmacopoeia 1967

British Herbal Pharmacopoeia (BHP) 1976, 1983, 1990, 1996

British Pharmaceutical Codex 1934

Österreichisches Arzneibuch (ÖAB) – Pharmacopoeia Austriaca 1960, 1981, 1990

EMA/HMPC/604271/2012, Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC): Community herbal monograph on Marrubium vulgare L., herba od 9 July 2013.,

EMA/HMPC/604273/2012, Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products (HMPC): Assessment report on Marrubium vulgare L., herba od 9. jula 2013.,

Based on Directive 2001/83/EC as amended, traditional use.



White horehound (Marrubium vulgare)


Synonyms / Common Names / Related Terms

Acylated flavonoid, alkaloids, almindelig kransburre (Danish), andorn (German, Swedish), Andornkraut (German), antioxidants, bitter lactone, blanc rubi (French), bonhomme (French), borremynte (Norwegian), bouenriblé (French), bull’s blood, common hoarhound, diterpene alcohols, diterpene marrubiin, diterpenoid, eye of the star, flavonoids, Gemeiner Andorn (German), Gewöhnlicher Andorn (German), glycosides, Gotteshilfe (German), grand bon-homme (French), grand-bonhomme (French), haran haran, herbe aux crocs (French), herbe vierge (French), hoarhound, horehound, Horus frø (Danish), hound-bane, houndsbane, Hvit andorn (Norwegian), Hvit marrau (Norwegian), jablecník obecný (Czech), kransborre (Swedish), kransburre (Dutch), labdane, Labiatae (family), Lamiaceae (family), lectins, Llwyd y cwn (Welsh), maltrasté (Spanish), mapiochin (French), mapoichin mont blancmariblé (French), mariblé, Mariennessel (German), marinclin, marrochemin (French), marroio (Brazilian Portuguese), marroio-branco (Brazilian Portuguese), marromba, marrube (Danish), marrube blanc (French), marrube commun (French), marrube des champs (French), marrube officinal, marrube vulgaire (French), marrubenol, marrubii herba, marrubiin, marrubinic acid, marrubio (Spanish), marrubio commune (Italian), marrubium, Marrubium vulgare, marruboside, maruil, marvel, mastranzo (Spanish), monoterpenes, mont blanc (French), okseblod (Danish), orvosi pemetefu (Hungarian), phenylethanoid glycosides, phenylpropanoid esters, premarrubiin, Ricola®, saponin, seed of Horus, sesquiterpene, soldier’s tea, sterol, stjernens øye (Danish), szanta zwyczajna (Polish), tannins, ürt-penimünt (Estonian), vitamin C, Weisser Andorn (German), Weisser Dorant (German), wild horehound, witte malrove (Dutch), woolly horehound.

Note: White horehound is not to be confused with blackhorehound (Ballota nigra) or water horehound (Lycopus americanus, also known as bugleweed).


Mechanism of Action


  • Constituents: The medicinally used parts of white horehound (Marrubium vulgare L.) are the dried leaves and flowering tops. Processed white horehound contains 0.3-1% of the bitter principle marrubiin, diterpene alcohols, alkaloids, bitter lactone, flavonoids, saponin, sterols, tannins, and vitamin C, and 0.06% of a volatile oil.9,10,11,12 The volatile oil of Marrubium vulgare also contains monoterpenes.13 Marrubiin does not exist in the fresh plant but is formed from premarrubiin during processing.14,7. White horehound also contains glycosides8,15,16 Phenylpropanoid glycosides such as acteoside 1, forsythoside B 2, arenarioside 3, and ballotetroside 4 have been isolated from the aerial parts of Marrubium vulgare L.17 White horehound may also contain phytoestrogenic chemicals. Although the chemical aspects of various compounds of white horehound have been documented, the pharmacologically active constituents remain to be determined.
  • Analgesic/antispasmodic effectsIn vivo models of pain in mice report significant analgesic activity of the hydroalcoholic extract of Marrubium vulgare, and antinociceptive effects as well as an anti-inflammatory effects of marrubiin.6 A hydroalcoholic extract of Marrubium vulgare has also been shown to exhibit antispasmodic and antinociceptive effects in animals.7 The exact mechanisms remain to be determined but appear not to involve the inhibition of cyclooxygenase or opioid receptors. Based on animal study, nociceptive action is not reversed by naloxone.7 An in vitro study of white horehound demonstrated noncompetitive antagonism and a concentration-dependent manner of muscle contractions induced by several agonists of smooth muscle tissue.18
  • Biliary effects: Animal research from 1959 suggests that marrubinic acid may stimulate bile secretion.5
  • Cardiovascular effects: Hypotensive activity has been ascribed to the herb based on animal data.3 Pharmacologically, white horehound (Marrubium vulgare) may exert hypotensive action through vascular relaxation3 or vasodilation13. Theoretically, white horehound may have aldosterone-enhancing properties. Phenylpropanoid glycosides such as acteoside 1, forsythoside B 2, arenarioside 3, and ballotetroside 4 (which can be isolated from the aerial parts of Marrubium vulgare L.) have been implicated as the active constituents involved in inhibition of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation.17
  • Central nervous system effectsIn vitro research demonstrates that the aqueous extract of white horehound exhibits an antagonistic effect on serotonin1
  • Expectorant effects: Monoterpenes from the volatile oil of Marrubium vulgare have exhibited expectorant activity13, which may result from direct stimulation of bronchial mucosal secretions.
  • Endocrine effects: White horehound significantly decreased hyperglycemia in rabbits compared to control (water ingestion).2 In a human trial, white horehound decreased blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes.4 In anecdotal reports, white horehound has been noted to possess aldosterone-enhancing properties.
  • Hematological effects: In patients with type 2 diabetes treated with Marrubium vulgare, cholesterol and triglyceride levels were lowered by 4.16% and 5.78%, respectively.4 The exact mechanism of action is unclear.



  • White horehound administered to mice had a maximum duration of action for analgesia of four hours.6
  • The LD50 of oral marrubiin has been reported as 370mg/kg in an animal model.5



  1. Cahen, R. [Pharmacologic spectrum of Marrubium vulgare L]. C R Seances Soc Biol Fil  1970;164(7):1467-1472. 4251922
  2. Roman, Ramos R., Alarcon-Aguilar, F., Lara-Lemus, A., and Flores-Saenz, J. L. Hypoglycemic effect of plants used in Mexico as antidiabetics. Arch Med Res  1992;23(1):59-64. 1308793
  3. El Bardai, S., Lyoussi, B., Wibo, M., and Morel, N. Pharmacological evidence of hypotensive activity of Marrubium vulgare and Foeniculum vulgare in spontaneously hypertensive rat. Clin Exp Hypertens  2001;23(4):329-343. 11349824
  4. Herrera-Arellano, A., Aguilar-Santamaria, L., Garcia-Hernandez, B., Nicasio-Torres, P., and Tortoriello, J. Clinical trial of Cecropia obtusifolia and Marrubium vulgare leaf extracts on blood glucose and serum lipids in type 2 diabetics. Phytomedicine  2004;11(7-8):561-566. 15636168
  5. Krejci I and Zadina R. Die Gallentreibende Wirkung von Marrubiin und Marrabinsäure. Planta Med 1959;7:1-7.
  6. de Souza MM, De Jesus RA, Cechinel-Filho V, and et al. Analgesic profile of hydroalcoholic extract obtained from Marrubium vulgarePhytomedicine 1998;5(2):103-107.
  7. De Jesus, R. A., Cechinel-Filho, V., Oliveira, A. E., and Schlemper, V. Analysis of the antinociceptive properties of marrubiin isolated from Marrubium vulgare. Phytomedicine 2000;7(2):111-115. 10839213
  8. El Bardai, S., Lyoussi, B., Wibo, M., and Morel, N. Comparative study of the antihypertensive activity of Marrubium vulgare and of the dihydropyridine calcium antagonist amlodipine in spontaneously hypertensive rat. Clin Exp Hypertens  2004;26(6):465-474. 15554450
  10. Karriyvev MO, Bairiyev CB, and Atayeva AS. [On the curative properties and phytochemistry of Marribum vulgare]. Izvestiia Akademii Nauk Turkmenskoi SSR, Seriia Biol Nauk 1976;3:86-88.
  11. Knoss, W., Reuter, B., and Zapp, J. Biosynthesis of the labdane diterpene marrubiin in Marrubium vulgare via a non-mevalonate pathway. Biochem J 9-1-1997;326 ( Pt 2):449-454. 9291117
  12. Takeda, Y., Yanagihara, K., Masuda, T., Otsuka, H., Honda, G., Takaishi, Y., Sezik, E., and Yesilada, E. Labdane diterpenoids from Marrubium globosum ssp. globosum. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo) 2000;48(8):1234-1235. 10959597
  13. Karryvev MO, Bairyev CB, and Ataeva AS. Some therapeutic properties of common horehound. Chem Abstr 1977;86:2355.
  14. Henderson MS and McCrindle R. Premarrubiin. A diterpernoid from marrubium vulgare L. J Chem Soc 1969;C:2014-2015.
  15. Sahpaz, S., Garbacki, N., Tits, M., and Bailleul, F. Isolation and pharmacological activity of phenylpropanoid esters from Marrubium vulgare. J Ethnopharmacol  2002;79(3):389-392. 11849848
  16. Sahpaz, S., Hennebelle, T., and Bailleul, F. Marruboside, a new phenylethanoid glycoside from Marrubium vulgare L. Nat Prod Lett  2002;16(3):195-199. 12049220
  17. Martin-Nizard, F., Sahpaz, S., Kandoussi, A., Carpentier, M., Fruchart, J. C., Duriez, P., and Bailleul, F. Natural phenylpropanoids inhibit lipoprotein-induced endothelin-1 secretion by endothelial cells. J Pharm Pharmacol  2004;56(12):1607-1611. 15563769
  18. Schlemper V, Ribas A, Nicolau M, and et al. Antispasmodic effects of hydroalcoholic extract of Marrubium vulgareon isolated tissues. Phytomedicine 1996;3(2):211-216.


Izvor: www.sigmaaldrich.com


Upotreba Očajnice Marrubium vulgare (Lamiaceae).

E Marrubium vulgare (Lamiaceae) Common names: Hoarhound; Horehound; Itsinegiotu; Marrubio; Hashishat Al Kalib; Niga-Hakka; Qutainah
Total Uses: 62 Use
Alterative, Antiseptic, Asthma, Astringent, Bilious, Bronchitis,Carminative, Catarrh, Cholagogue, Cholera, Cold, Cough, Debility, Diarrhea, Diuretic, Diuretic, Dysmenorrhea, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Extrasystole, Fever, Heart, Hepatitis, Hypertension, Kidney, Larvicide, Laxative, Liqueur, Lung, Medicine, Obesity, Palpitation, Pertussis, Sore(Throat), Spasm, Stimulant, Stomachic, Sudorific, Tea, Tonic, Tumor Vermifuge, Witchcraft

Data by National Agricultural Library


Marrubium vulgare (Lamiaceae)

Activities: 474 Chemicals w/Activities: 65 All Chemicals: 121

Activity (spisak po broju bioaktivnih jedinjenja)

Pesticide, Antibacterial, Cancer-Preventive, Antiinflammatory, Antiviral, Antioxidant, Antimutagenic, Aldose-Reductase-Inhibitor, Antitumor, Antiseptic, Hepatoprotective, Apoptotic, AntiHIV, Antispasmodic, Antiulcer, Antifeedant, Antihistaminic, Choleretic, Antiherpetic, Insectifuge, Hypocholesterolemic, Antitumor (Lung), Ornithine-Decarboxylase-Inhibitor, Antitumor-Promoter, Analgesic, Antihepatotoxic, Anticancer, Antiradicular, Cytotoxic, Allergenic,

Diuretic, Antitumor (Colon), Hypoglycemic, FLavor, Hypotensive, Candidicide, Antiflu, Fungicide, Antiproliferant, Antidiabetic, Hypoglycemic, Antitumor (Colon), FLavor, Chemopreventive, Sedative, Antitumor (Skin), Immunomodulator, Antinitrosaminic, Antiperoxidant, Hemostat, Antinociceptive, Antipolio, Antitumor (Breast), Antiangiogenic, Cyclooxygenase-Inhibitor, Anticomplementary, Immunostimulant, Antiedemic, Antiaging, Herbicide, Antiescherichic, Topoisomerase-I-Inhibitor, Antiedemic, Antiaging, Antiobesity, Antiestrogenic, Antithyroid, Antiallergic, Anticarcinomic, Herbicide, Irritant,

Calcium-Antagonist, COX-2-Inhibitor, Allelochemic, Vasodilator, Beta-Glucuronidase-Inhibitor, ACE-Inhibitor, Antiophidic, Antiarrhythmic, Expectorant, Anticarcinomic, Perfumery, Allelochemic, Calcium-Antagonist, ACE-Inhibitor, Antiophidic, Antiarrhythmic, Myorelaxant, Beta-Glucuronidase-Inhibitor, Topoisomerase-II-Inhibitor, Aromatase-Inhibitor, Antimelanomic, Cardioprotective, Antileishmanic, Antihypertensive, Antielastase, Transdermal, Anticarcinogenic, Sunscreen, Antitumor (Stomach), PTK-Inhibitor, Antiarthritic, Anticataract. Differentiator, Deiodinase-Inhibitor, Antidiarrheic, Antilithic, Antidepressant, Vulnerary, NF-kB-Inhibitor, Protein-Kinase-C-Inhibitor, MMP-9-Inhibitor, Antiencephalitic, Detoxicant, Antigonadotropic, Antidermatitic, NO-Inhibitor, Antileukotriene, Antiatherosclerotic,

Data by National Agricultural Library


Chemical (po procentualnom sastavu)


Data by National Agricultural Library