Black horehound (Ballota nigra)

Traditional Indications

Black horehound is an antiemetic, nervine, astringent, emmenagogue and expectorant. It may be used with safety in motion sickness for example, where the nausea is triggered through the inner ear and the central nervous system. This herb will also be of value in helping the vomiting of pregnancy or nausea, vomiting due to nervousness and chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting. This herb is specific for hyperemesis gravidum. (1)


Two lactoylate flavonoids, luteolin-7-lactate and luteolin-7-glucosyl-lactate were isolated from Ballota nigra. (2) Ballota nigra phenylpropanoids have displayed neurosedative and antioxidant activities comparable to those of known antioxidant drugs (mesna or N-acetyl cysteine). (3)

Extracts of Ballota nigra have hypoglycemic, insulin-releasing and cholesterol lowering effects in rats (4) and exhibit a hypoglycemic effect. (5)

1. PFAF. Black horehound 2019.
2. Bertrand M, Tillequin F, Bailleul F. Two major flavonoids from Ballota nigra. Biochemical systematics and ecology. 2000;28(10):1031-3.
3. Daels-Rakotoarison DA, Seidel V, Gressier B, Brunet C, Tillequin F, Bailleul F, et al. Neurosedative and antioxidant activities of phenylpropanoids from ballota nigra. Arzneimittel-Forschung. 2000;50(1):16-23.
4. Nusier MK, Bataineh HN, Bataineh ZM, Daradka HM. Effects of Ballota nigra on blood biochemical parameters and insulin in albino rats. Neuro endocrinology letters. 2007;28(4):473-6.
5. Nusier MK, Bataineh HN, Bataineh ZM, Daradka HM. Effects of Ballota nigra on glucose and insulin in alloxan-diabetic albino rats. Neuro endocrinology letters. 2007;28(4):470-2.