Valued by the Romans for its medicinal properties, Horehound's very Latin name, Marrubium vulgare, is said to be derived from the ancient town of Italy, Maria Urbs. Others debate this however, citing that it comes from Marrob, the Hebrew word for "bitter juice." This argument is supported by the belief that Horehound is one of the bitter herbs that the Jews partake of during the feast of Passover. Also known among Egyptian Priests, Horehound can be found referred to by them as Seeds of Horus, Bull's Blood, and the Eye of the Star. Among these cultures it was often attributed with anti venom properties, and was thought to be a powerful aid against poisons, serpent stings, and even the "Mad dogge's biting" which one can only assume to be Rabies. It was also considered to be a powerful herb that nullifies magic, and, conversely, is sometimes used to maintain mental clarity in lengthy and taxing rituals.
Today, Horehound is more commonly known for its long attributed ability to treat lung ailments and coughs. Also, in large doses it is said to be useful as a gentle laxative or even as a vermifuge (an agent that can aid in expelling worms and other animal parasites). Some herbalists also lay claim to the idea that Horehound can be useful in treating the common cold. This is probably in part due to its ability to aid in the treatment of coughs and other such symptoms.