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Herbs > Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)

Historically, lepers were required cleanse themselves with hyssop before they were allowed to receive visits from healthier relatives. Even then, it was known that hyssop was an excellent cleansing herb. More recently, it has been discovered that hyssop leaves can sometimes grow the type of mould which produces penicillin, making it an effective antibiotic.

Healing uses:
Hyssop is used in the treatment of lung inflammation, sore throats and laryngitis. It can be particularly beneficial to individuals who are required to use their voice, such as lecturers, public speakers or singers, as it also soothes tired vocal cords. For this purpose, it should be taken as a tea. Add 2 tablespoons of hyssop leaves to 500ml of boiling water, and allow to stand for 30 minutes. Reheat, if necessary, so that the liquid is very warm.
This tea can also be used to alleviate bruising. Apply the liquid with a cotton ball until the swelling and discolouration have subsided.
For a black eye, place a small bunch of hyssop into a muslin bag and soak the bag in boiling water for a minute. When it has cooled to a temperature which is just bearable to the touch, apply to the eye. Reheat the bag as it cools, and continue to apply until the bruising diminishes.
Hyssop boiled with vinegar makes a rinse which relieves the pain of toothache. Gently simmer 2 teaspoons of hyssop leaves in 1/2 cup of vinegar for about 5 minutes. Strain and swill about the mouth, then spit out the mixture.

Cautions:
Diabetics should not take hyssop internally.

Other Uses:
The small white butterflies which eat cabbages in the garden can be lured away by a few hyssop plants growing nearby. The butterflies will always choose the hyssop over the cabbages, particularly if the hyssop is in flower. In addition, hyssop flowers will coax bees into the garden, and its roots cleanse the soil and discourage soil pests. It should not be planted near radishes, however, as the two are incompatible and the hyssop will cause the radishes to have little flavour.

Growing Hyssop:
Hyssop grows from seed, which should be planted in spring. It grows very quickly, and requires very few special conditions. Its only real requirement is plenty of sunshine, without which it will not flower.




Index
Quick Reference
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Ginger
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Ginko Biloba
Ginseng
Gotu Kola
Guarana
Henna
Holy Basil
Hoodia Gordonii
Horny Goat Weed
Hyssop
Isapghula
Kalonji
Kava
Lavender
Liquorice
Mullien
Sage
Sandalwood
Sarsaparilla
St Johns Wort
Tee Tree
Thyme
Tribulus
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