PART 2. THE HERBS
Hyssop gets its star power in the herbal medicine world from its properties as an antiseptic, cough reliever, expectorant, and for its aromatic qualities. It’s revered by gourmet chefs for the flavor-enhancing kick it gives to soups, stews, salads, and sauces.
Did You Know?
This herb was another favorite of the Greeks, namely Hippocrates, Galen, and Dioscorides. In their times, the herb was readily recommended for a variety of issues—most popularly as a decongestant, disinfectant, and sedative. Today, its antiviral benefits are sought by those who have muscle tension, neck pain, stress, or throat complications due to overworking their voices. Actors, public speakers, singers, politicians, teachers, and others might find hyssop’s performance quite useful. Add its essential oils to a carrier oil and it makes a fantastic massage or bath oil, or combine with almost any oil for a nourishing, antibacterial facial treatment.
MEDICINAL: Treats liver and gallbladder problems, intestinal cramps, colic, gas, asthma, sore throat, colds, flu, respiratory issues, urinary tract infections, HIV/AIDS, menstrual cramps, burns, bruises, frostbite, skin irritations; triggers appetite.
COSMETIC: Adds a camphor scent to fragrances and cleaners.
•Eat in foods
•Use in soaps, cleaners, cosmetics, aromatherapy, oils, baths, mouthwash
Hyssop is known to be safe in low doses with a few exceptions. Because it’s packed with ketones, avoid if pregnant because the herb may cause uterine cramps or trigger the onset of menstruation. If you’re prone to seizures, avoid taking this herb because it may spur their onset and/or heighten them.
Herbe de Joseph
Locating & Growing
A perennial shrub in the mint family, hyssop likes it hot, hot, hot. Look for the herb in dry, rocky conditions in full sunlight. If you want this herb in your own garden, start by propagating seeds indoors about eight weeks prior to your first frost. It’s just as easy, however, to find them already grown in your local nursery or farmers’ market or online.