Hyssop: helps relieve coughs and colds. Also relaxant for anxiety and hysteria ...
Common Names: Hyssop
Botanical Name: Hyssopus officinalis
Plant Type: Semi-evergreen dwarf shrub
Parts Used: Shoots, leaves, and flowers
Flowering: June - August
Hyssop is a hardy evergreen, bushy herb that is native to the Mediterranean and eastern Asia. It has been naturalized throughout most of Europe and North America.
Description: They are aromatic, with erect branched stems up to 60 cm long covered with fine hairs at the tips. The leaves are narrow oblong, 2–5 cm long. The small blue flowers are borne on the upper part of the branches during summer.
Cultivation: Perennial, hardy to zone 4. It prefers light, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.7 in full sun to part shade. Grow from seeds in spring or from cuttings taken from spring through to autumn.
Harvesting: Harvest leaves any time and flowering tops as flowering begins. Dry, or infuse in oil.
Culinary Uses: Hyssop is a favorite of the makers of bitters, digestives and liqueurs (Absinthe, Benedictine and Chartreuse), but many people find it too pungent to use much in cooking. Use this herb sparingly; it can easily overpower the other flavors in a dish. Only two or three leaves or flowers suffice for an individual serving of green salad. But a little hyssop can be a pleasant surprise in simple fruit dishes such as compotes or stewed prunes. It will add a great deal of interest to a peach cobbler, which might otherwise be sweet and mellow but not much more. Just sprinkle a scant teaspoon of ground dried hyssop, or twice as much of the finely chopped fresh leaves, under the crust. A pinch of the herb is good in pea soup and in lentil and mushroom dishes.
Add a pinch of dried hyssop to your bathwater as part of a ritual healing and purification.
Use a small bunch of hyssop leaves to sprinkle water over objects or around rooms to bless them.
Burn hyssop as an incense to raise the spiritual vibrations of your home and release the energy of protection.
To remove negativity, tie a bunch of hyssop branches together to create a symbolic broom. use it to sweep your home, removing any negative energy or spirits.
Herbal Healing with Hyssop
Cosmetic Uses: Use hyssop bath sachets for a soothing bath, or use it in a steaming herbal facial to cleanse the skin.
Medicinal Actions: Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, aperient, astringent, balsamic, cardiac, carminative, cephalic, cicatrizant, depurative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, emollient, expectorant, febrifuge, healing (skin), hypertensor, laxative (mild), nervine, parasiticide, pectoral, regulator (blood pressure), resolvent, stimulant (adrenal glands), stomachic, sudorific, tonic, vermifuge, vulnerary
Medicinal Uses: Use a poultice of hyssop to help heal wounds and bruises, including black eyes. It has mild germ-killing attributes. It is an anti-spasmodic and mild expectorant, and can be used to treat colds, coughs and congestion.
Body Care with Hyssop
- To reduce swelling and the colour of bruises, gently stroke infused hyssop leaf oil on affected areas twice daily.
- To loosen catarrh, take 1 cup hyssop leaf infusion three times daily. To enhance the effects, sweeten with 1 teaspoon hyssop honey (available at health stores)
Infusion: 1 teaspoon dried or 3 teaspoons fresh hyssop leaves in 1 cup just-boiled water.
Infused oil: Fill a clean glass jar with fresh leaves or flowers, then pour in olive oil to cover the herbs. Leave the jar on a sunny windowsill for two to three weeks, stirring occasionally. Pour the mix into a suspended muslin bag to filter through to a bowl below. Squeeze out the remaining oil. Repeat the process using the same oil but fresh herbs for a stronger infused oil. Store in dark-glass bottles for six to 12 months.
Source: The Essential Herbs Handbook by Lesley Bremness
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