Hyssopus officinalis Lamiaceae.
Used as a cleansing herb Jrom Biblical times, the aromatic hyssop, a bushy evergreen shrub up to 60cm in height, grows widely in the Mediterranean region. It is a constituent oj scented liqueurs such as Chartreuse and imparts a fine flavour to honey when bees have access to its flowers.
PREPARATION AND DOSAGE
For internal use
TO TREAT asthma, bronchitis, sore throat
For external use
TO TREAT bruises PREPARATIONS OF ESSENTIAL OIL IN A CREAM OR LOTION Apply to the bruise twice or three times a day as directed.
IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST CONSULT A DOCTOR
Hyssop flowers contain a strongly aromatic essential oil composed of many compounds including camphor and terpenes. The plant also contains tannins and flavonoids, as well as caffeic and rosmarinic acids.
Hyssop's antispasmodic action makes it useful for treating coughs, asthma and bronchitis. It can also soothe stomach cramps. This effect was demonstrated by Italian researchers in 2002, who found that the essential oil inhibited contraction of animal intestines.
The herb is antiseptic, antifungal and antiviral. A paper published in Antivira/ Research in 1990 reports that leaf extracts demonstrate strong activity against HIV, the virus responsible for AIDS. Scientists think that caffeic acid may contribute to hyssop's antiviral effect.
Externally, an infusion of the leaves may be used to treat bruises and aching muscles. The oil is also used in various rubs for bruises.
Sow seeds in spring in well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil. Hyssop does best in a sunny border.
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