Hyssop is a beautiful unpretentious plant often used for decorative purposes. It can be seen in the picturesque corners of personal plots, as well as a hedge in gardens or on alpine slides. Some connoisseurs plant such a plant in flower pots at home. And no wonder! After all, not only does this plant have rare beauty, its exquisite aroma mesmerizes. Thanks to him, he is highly regarded in cooking as a spicy spice for dressing various dishes. In addition, medicinal hyssop has valuable and useful qualities, due to which it is widely distributed in traditional medicine.
The history and appearance of the medicinal herb
Hyssop is still mentioned in the writings of Avicenna, the great medieval philosopher and healer. In the Middle Ages, it was generally an integral ingredient in all herbal preparations, potions and elixirs. Jews considered it a sacred plant, and already in antiquity hyssop began to be appreciated precisely for its healing properties.
Closer to the fourteenth century in Europe, this herb began to be widely used not only for medical, but also for cosmetic purposes. "Breast cleanses the grass from phlegm, which is called hyssop. Hyssop is useful if it is boiled together with honey, and they say that it delivers excellent color to the face," wrote the famous Spanish doctor Arnold from Villanova in his Salerno Code of Health.
Today, this wonderful plant is also called blue hypericum and has more than fifty species. Hyssop looks like a small shrub, an average height of twenty to eighty centimeters, with numerous stems and dark green oblong opposite leaves. By July, hyssop is covered with blue and purple flowers, collected in oblong inflorescences in the form of spikelets. This is an unforgettable sight also because during the flowering period leaves and flowers give off a spicy, luxurious aroma characteristic of this plant.
Such a strong smell simply attracts bees, so hyssop can safely be called a honey plant.
By August, the plant fades and the appearance of seeds begins, which are fractional brown-brown fruits, consisting of four nuts each.
In the wild, hyssop is often found in Dagestan and the countries of Europe, in Western Asia and northern Africa. Now it is naturalized in North America, throughout Europe and Russia.
The most common plant species are:
- hyssop officinalis;
- hyssop anise;
- hyssop chalk.
The most valuable of them is the medicinal one, since it was he who found wide application in medicine, cosmetology and cooking.
There are also many artificially selected varieties: Dawn, Accord, Hoarfrost, Healer, Amethyst, Pink Fog, Nikitsky White, Pink Flamingo and others. The main difference between them is the color of the flowers.
Hyssop cultivation and cooking use
Hyssop is a very unpretentious plant, it suits almost any climate and soil. He is not afraid of either drought or frost, but prefers to still grow under the bright sun in an open area in loose, well-drained land.
Its cultivation occurs with the help of seeds, which are collected carefully by cutting off the already darkened inflorescences swollen from the fruits. They are dried, then the seeds are shaken from the boxes and used for seedlings or immediately planted in the ground.
Seeds are planted in the ground in April and early May. They are sown in even rows, no more than a centimeter deep. The width between the rows is usually twenty to forty centimeters. Seeds germinate after about two weeks.
For seedlings, hyssop seeds are planted in March. They are sown in boxes, and when the first leaves appear, they are planted in separate pots. After about one and a half to two months, seedlings can be planted in open ground.
Care for this medicinal plant consists in watering, periodically loosening row spacing, timely removal of weeds and a small top dressing.
If you cut the shoots to about 35 centimeters in the winter, such a plant will bloom much more abundantly and look bushier and more beautiful.
Hyssop is also propagated by the method of dividing bushes, as well as using cuttings.
For culinary and medicinal purposes, the stems and leaves of the plant are used. Collect them immediately after the start of flowering. To do this, gently cut the tops of the plant with flowers and, tied in bunches, dried in a well-ventilated place or under a canopy.
Due to its exquisite aroma, hyssop officinalis has been widely used in cooking. Dried leaves are added to expensive cheeses and sausages, soups and meat dishes. This spice mixes wonderfully with legumes and is used to make oriental fruit teas and pickles. Awesomely delicious are obtained with the addition of hyssop pickled cucumbers, olives and tomatoes.
Hyssop is famous for its tart sage-ginger aroma and a bitter taste. Due to this, it is often used in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages.
Blue St. John's wort goes well with mint, thyme, ginger, basil and garlic. But getting involved in such a spice is not recommended, because the use of it in large quantities will only spoil the gourmet dishes. In addition, you should know that when adding spices, the container with food must be kept open so as not to spoil the pleasant and exciting aroma.
Few people know that this herb is good for dietary purposes, since its use in food allows you to not use salt. It is successfully added to diet salads and meat dishes, to which it gives a tart spicy flavor. This spice also goes well with fish and seafood.
Useful properties and contraindications
Hyssop is a beautiful honey plant and a beautiful ornamental plant. Due to its aroma, it is often used in culinary and perfumery industries. And due to its valuable chemical composition, it is used in cosmetology and traditional medicine.
The essential oils included in it contribute to the removal of inflammatory processes, the removal of harmful substances and carcinogens, regulate brain activity, improve immunity and have restorative properties.
Flavonoids contained in the plant contribute to an increase in vascular tone and normalization of hematopoietic processes, and tannins give hyssop bactericidal action and astringent effect.
In addition, it contains ascorbic acid, oleanolic and ursolic acids, glycosides, resins and bitterness, as well as many other useful elements.
A medicinal plant has the following beneficial effects:
- antipyretic and analgesic;
- laxative and diuretic;
- antiparasitic and antimicrobial;
- antiseptic and wound healing;
Thanks to hyssop, wounds and burns are scarred much faster, hematomas are effectively absorbed. Such an herb helps well with increased sweating, which women during menopause will undoubtedly appreciate. Also, with the help of this plant, the monthly cycle is normalized, metabolism is accelerated, the work of the brain and central nervous system improves, and blood pressure rises. Often use blue hypericum to get rid of a hangover syndrome.
Favorably affect the means with a medicinal plant on the digestive system: relieve worms, improve appetite, relieve inflammatory processes in the digestive tract and stomach cramps, promotes better absorption of food.
Hyssop is effective for colds and infectious and inflammatory diseases. It is often used for inflammation of the airways and throat, skin problems and inflammation of the urinary tract. Such a medicine is great for coughing, bronchitis, and even asthma. It is also useful for neurosis, rheumatism, anemia and angina pectoris.
Despite all its charms, Hyssopus officinalis and its contraindications have, as it is considered a low-toxic plant. Therefore, it is not recommended to use it in the presence of the following factors:
- individual intolerance to plant components;
- period of pregnancy and breastfeeding;
- children up to 12 years;
- epileptic seizures and convulsive syndrome;
- high blood pressure;
- impaired renal function;
- increased acidity of the stomach.
Use in traditional medicine
In folk medicine, this medicinal herb is most often used in the form of teas, decoctions, infusions and alcohol tinctures.
Hyssop tinctures are often used for external diseases to treat wounds, bruises and burns, as well as diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. They are especially good for bloating or intestinal colic.
Decoctions are often used in the treatment of diseases of the respiratory and urinary system, as well as with colds.
Teas also help to cope with colds, are useful during sore throats and lingering cough. They also effectively relieve heat, improve the functioning of the stomach and intestines, relax and soothe.
Hyssop extracts rinse the mouth and throat with various inflammations or stomatitis, and with conjunctivitis it is effective for washing the eyes. Often, such infusions are used to improve appetite.
For cooking, pour one liter of boiling water one hundred grams of dried hyssop herb and boil for five minutes. After the broth, strain and add 150 grams of sugar. Consume three to four times a day. The maximum daily dose is not more than 100 ml of the product.
Add one hundred grams of dry hyssop to a liter of dry white wine and let stand for three weeks in a dry, dark and cool place. Tincture must be shaken every day during all this time. After this, strain the medicine and take a teaspoon three times a day.
Pour twenty grams of dry grass into a thermos and pour a liter of boiling water. It takes thirty minutes to fully cook. After this time it needs to be filtered and taken three times a day in half a glass
Hyssop officinalis is a very beautiful and healthy herb with a tart bitter taste and an exquisite spicy aroma. Due to such properties, this plant has found wide application in the field of cooking and in the perfume industry. And due to its valuable and useful composition, it is often used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. However, like all other medicines, hyssop is also not useful to everyone and in some cases can be harmful to health. Therefore, before using it as a medicine, it is necessary to discuss this with your doctor.