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Hyssop

Hyssop

Hyssopus officinalis

What is hyssop?

Hyssop belongs to the mint family. Hyssop is an erect perennial herb with slender square stems. Hyssop can reach a height of 60 cm. The small pointed leaves are positioned opposite. Hyssop flowers from summer to autumn. The hyssop flowers are purple-blue in colour, but some cultivars have pink or white flowers. The hyssop flowers produce a strong scent, which attracts bees.

Parts used

Aboveground parts of hyssop are collected during flowering. The essential hyssop oil is obtained with steam distillation.

Phytochemicals

These are typical phytochemicals found in hyssop: diterpenoid lactones, triterpenoids, diosmin, marrubiin, oleanolic acid, pinocamphone, isopinocamphone, hyssopin, flavonoids, tannins.

Benefits of hyssop

Hyssop and its oil are mainly used to treat respiratory problems. The Greek Hippocrates already recommended hyssop to treat bronchitis. Today, hyssop is used for the treatment nasal congestion and mild irritations of the respiratory tract. The marrubiin of Hyssop facilitates the expectoration of mucus.
The hyssop essential oil has stimulant and antiseptic affects. The essential oil contain pinocamphone and isopinocamphone which have neurotoxic effects. The essential should therefore only be taken with care and in much diluted form.

Other facts

Hyssop originates from southern and south-eastern Europe. Hyssop cultivars are often used as plants in gardens. 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 flavour dishes, including soups, salads, sauces, meat dishes, vegetable dishes and fruit salads.
Fresh and dried hyssop flowers are also used as decoration

Other names

Curdukotu, hastipippili, hisopo, yanagi-hakka


 
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