Common hyssop is a native of Europe, where, just as in this country, it is cultivated in gardens. It is growing wild in many places over the U.S. today.
The FLOWERING TOPS and LEAVES are the official parts. The plant has an agreeable, aromatic odor and a warm, pungent, bitter taste. These they owe to an essential oil.
An infusion has been much used in cases of chronic catarrh, especially in old people and those of debilitated habit of body. It acts by facilitating the expectoration of the mucus which is too abundantly secreted.
Useful in chest diseases; colds, coughs, hoarseness, fevers, bronchial troubles, irritable tickling coughs, sore throat, lung troubles, also in kidney and liver affections.
The following will be useful in chest diseases: simmer 2 oz. hyssop in 1 qt. water for 15 min. Strain and make into syrup with honey. It will generally give relief in a very short time. Where the throat is sore, in addition to taking the above, gargle with the infusion a few times. The addition of sage will be helpful.
Also useful in removing discoloration from bruises or for a black eye. Place a handful of the herb on a cloth and soak in boiling water just enough to soak the herb through. Apply to the eye as a poultice.
In slow, lingering fevers, hyssop is a splendid remedy, especially with children. Simmer slowly, covered 1 oz. in 1 pt. of water for a few minutes, then allow to steep and keep warm. Take a wine-glassful every hour. It will bring a gentle moisture to the skin, relieve the kidneys and bladder. Its gentle aperient properties will influence the bowels and a gentle movement will result. Its stimulating properties will pleasantly relieve the mucous lining of the stomach and bowels of all dryness. A few days will generally be sufficient.
In eruptive diseases such as scarlet fever, measles, etc., use as above, or combine with marigold flowers. At the same time, sponge the body with vinegar and warm water daily.
For worms, take hyssop tea 3 times daily before meals.
In hot infusion, it influences the circulation giving a good outward flow of blood.
To relieve coryza, inhale the steam.
Hyssop can be used either as an infusion or decoction. The infusion made from 1 oz. herb steeped in 1 pt. boiling water is taken frequently in wine-glassful doses.
Although popular medicinally, hyssop has also been used in salads, soups, stews, and in honey. Also used to flavor the liquor, Chartreuse.
During the plagues and pestilences, hyssop was carried in bouquets and strewn about as a prophylactic against infectious diseases.
Hyssop is mentioned often in the Bible. The most interesting are the following:
- Psalm 51:7— (David sings a prayer for forgiveness and sanctification ) “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean.”
- St. John 19: 29- (At the Crucifixion, Jesus said, I thirst) -“They filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to His mouth.”