Ballota nigra. N.O. Labiateae.
Synonym ► Crantz, Marrubium nigrum. Habitat ► Hedgerows, waste ground.
Features ► Stem stiff, erect, freely branched, up to four feet high. Leaves greyish-
green, upper ovate, lower cordate, in pairs, each pair pointing in opposite direction to next pair, crenate, hairy, stalked. Flowers (July and August) purplish, labiate, in rings just above leaves. Disagreeable odour.
Part used ► Herb.
Action ► Stimulant, expectorant, diaphoretic, antispasmodic.
Coughs, colds and bronchial complaints generally. Hool prefers this herb to the white Horehound (Marrubium vulgare), and makes wide claims on its behalf. He recommends it in the treatment of consumption, various menstrual troubles, and parturition—in the last-named instance combined with Motherwort. “In chronic coughs, accompanied by spitting of blood,” he tells us, “it will be found most excellent, either of itself or combined with other reliable remedies such as Lobelia, Marshmallow, Hyssop, etc.”