What Is Horehound Candy?

By Kathryn Hatter; Updated April 24, 2017
Uses of Horehound

Horehound is a European herb or wildflower that is in the mint family of herbs. It grows abundantly in California and has also spread throughout the United States. Horehound candy is an old-fashioned hard candy that is made by mixing a horehound herb infusion with other ingredients.


Horehound candy is sugar coated and has a bittersweet taste. The candies are lozenge-sized and are typically placed in the mouth and sucked on to extract the taste. Horehound candies have traditionally been used as an appetite stimulant, to soothe dry, scratchy and sore throats and to relieve intestinal gas. Horehound candy has medicinal properties that have long been recognized and utilized by Europeans. The distinctive flavor of horehound candy is a popular treat for many people.


The FDA has not confirmed their acceptance or belief in the medicinal qualities of horehound as it exists in horehound candy for use with sore throats. Research is being conducted in U.S., German and French laboratories to discover the medicinal uses and properties of the horehound herb, however. Preliminary results of some research indicates that the historic use of horehound to treat ailments has merit. The FDA has approved horehound as a food additive that is considered safe.

What It Does

White horehound acts as a digestive tonic and may stimulate the gall bladder. It is also a diuretic, may stimulate the appetite and may relieve gas. White horehound helps to loosen bronchial mucus and encourages the expulsion of phlegm. It can be an effective treatment for bronchitis, croup and whooping cough. Historically, white horehound was used to treat tuberculosis.


Horehound candy can be purchased in candy shops, historic museum gift shops, on the Internet and in specialty markets and shops. Horehound candy is considered a nostalgic candy by many due to its old-fashioned popularity. Horehound candy is also popular as a unique wedding reception favor. Horehound candy sticks are also available for purchase. These candy sticks vary in size, but are generally 5 inches long and are wrapped in clear, individual packages.


Pregnant and lactating women should not eat horehound candy. Infants and young children also should not eat horehound. Horehound should not be ingested by people with chronic illnesses such as ulcers, reflux or colitis. If horehound is ingested in large amounts it may cause stomach upset and heart rate irregularities. Ingesting horehound may interfere with iron absorption.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.