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Hyssop as an Herb

Hyssop as an herb

Hyssopus officinalis

Hyssop is often mentioned in the Bible as an aromatic herb and essential oil. It comes in third after only Myrrh and Frankincense. Its history as a healing secret goes back even further.

According to Dr. David Stewart in his book Healing Oils of the Bible, Hyssop was used by the ancients for "purification from sin, addictions and destructive habits" as well as "respiratory relief, decongestant, expectorant, repeller of evil spirits". During the tenth plague, hyssop was used to repel the "Evil spirit" of the "angel of death".

Hyssop is a name of Greek origin. The Hyssopos of Dioscorides was named from azob (a holy herb), because it was used for cleaning sacred places. It is alluded to in the Scriptures: 'Purge me with Hyssop, and I shall be clean.'

Traditionally a "strewing plant", the hyssop stems and leaves carry an essential oil which is useful for treating respiratory complaints and may support the immune system. Hyssop is also helpful in stimulating alertness and to relieve anxiety, arthritis, asthma, respiratory infections, parasites, sore throats, and more.

Hyssop is cultivated for the use of its flower-tops, which are steeped in water to make an infusion. This infusion is sometimes employed as an expectorant.

Hyssop plant

The healing virtues of the Hyssop plant are due to a particular volatile oil, which is stimulative, carminative and sudorific. Hyssop is often used in treating lung ailments.

The Great King David used Hyssop when he prayed the prayer in Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart oh God and renew a right spirit within me..."

Hyssop as an Herb for Medicinal Uses

The medicinal parts are the leaves, the flower tips and the essential oil. The plant has a weak sweetish smell. The taste is bitter. The healing virtues of the hyssop plant are due to a particular volatile oil.

Hyssop is usually given as a warm infusion, taken frequently and mixed with Horehound. Hyssop tea is also a helpful beverage, well adapted to improve the tone of a feeble stomach, being brewed with the green tops of the herb, which are sometimes boiled in soup to be given for asthma.

In America, an infusion of the leaves is used externally for the relief of muscular rheumatism, and also for bruises and discolored contusions, and the green herb, bruised and applied, will heal cuts promptly. The infusion has an agreeable flavor. A tea made with the fresh green tops, and drunk several times daily, is one of the old fashioned country remedies for rheumatism that is still used today. Hyssop baths have also been recommended as part of the cure, but the quantity used would need to be considerable.

The tea is used to soothe sore throats, both by drinking the tea and by gargling with it. An infusion made with 2 ounces hyssop to 1 pint water is used for the gargle. It has also been used to inhibit the growth of the herpes simplex virus.

Hyssop essential oil, diluted and applied to the scalp, kills lice and cures itchy scalp caused by eczema and dandruff.

Hyssop Cough Syrup

Soothes an irritated throat and has a pleasant licorice taste.

1 cup honey
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons dried flowering hyssop tops or 1/3 cup chopped, fresh hyssop flowers
1 teaspoon aniseed

Place the honey in a small heavy saucepan and add the water 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until the mixture has the consistency of pancake syrup. Over medium heat, gradually bring the mixture to a boil, skimming off any scum that surfaces. Use 1 or 2 tablespoons water to moisten the dried hyssop, then crush the aniseed with a spoon. Add both ingredients to the honey and stir. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

Uncover and let cool; while the mixture is still slightly warm, strain it into a jar with a screw-on lid. Let cool to room temperature and cover tightly. Will keep for one week.

Household Use

Hyssop is also said to repel moths, fleas, cabbage moths and white flies when used in moth repellent and flea repellent sachets.

Culinary Uses of Hyssop

Leaves and flowers are used for teas, salads, soups, lamb stew and poultry stuffing. Also used in soups. Fresh leaves are used in soft butters and cheeses.

The plant is easily grown and has been long been cultivated in the corners of country gardens for the making of tea and candy for use in coughs and colds.

The leaves are used in the manufacture of horehound teas and wines.

Hyssop Tea

Go Organic With Organic Hyssop Tea

Hyssop tea is a pleasant beverage with an agreeable flavor. It can aid an ailing stomach, being brewed with the green tops of the herb. Sometimes the green tops of hyssop are boiled in soup and given to those who suffer with asthma.

In America, an infusion of the leaves is used externally for the relief of muscular rheumatism, and also for bruises and discolored contusions. The green herb, bruised and applied, will heal cuts promptly.

An old country remedy using hyssop is a tea beverage that is made with the fresh green tops and drunk several times throughout the day. This is said to help rheumatism. In addition, hyssop baths are recommended as part of the cure but one would have to use a considerable quantity for adequate results.

Hyssop Tea Recipe

Infuse a quarter of an ounce of dried hyssop flowers in a pint of boiling water for ten minutes; sweeten with honey, and take a wineglassful three times a day. Said to treat debility of the chest. It is also considered a powerful vermifuge. (Ref: Old Cookery Book.)

Uses for Hyssop

  • Hyssop oil is used as ingredient in some French liqueurs.
  • Hyssop can also be used in the kitchen.
  • The hyssop flowers and leaves can be used to flavor dishes, including soups, salads, sauces, meat dishes, vegetable dishes and fruit salads.
  • Fresh and dried hyssop flowers are also used as decoration

Folklore

Hyssop is a widely used purification herb. Sprinkle an infusion of hyssop around your home or over your person to cleanse it of negative influences.

Cautions

Isolated cases of tonic-clonic spasms have been observed among adults after intake of 10 to 30 drops of the volatile oil over a number of days (2 to 3 drops for children).

Do not use if pregnant or suffering from epilepsy.

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