Type of plant: Herbaceous plant growing to 2 feet high with leafy stems and spikes of purplish-blue flowers
Part used: Leaves and flowering tops
Method of extraction: Steam distillation
Data: The essential oil is distilled from fresh plant material in late summer. Hyssop was sacred to the ancient Hebrews, who used it to purify temples, and it’s still used at Passover as one of the “bitter herbs.” Hyssop’s medicinal properties were recognized also by the ancient Greeks, who used it for chest complaints and to increase blood circulation. Also used by the Romans and throughout the Middle Ages in Europe, where it was a common sight in herb gardens.
Principal places of production: France, Spain, Slovenia, Croatia, Brazil, Palestine
When buying look for: A colorless or yellow-tinged, pale-yellow through pale-brown liquid with a fresh, intense, spicy, camphor-like, herbaceous aroma. The type referred to in this book is Hyssop officinalis var. decumbens.
Therapeutic properties: Antibacterial, antiviral, astringent, carminative, cicatrizing, circulatory digestive, diuretic, expectorant, pectoral, spasmolytic
Therapeutic uses: Coughs, colds, influenza, bronchitis, catarrh, asthma, bronchial infection, contusions, bruising, wounds, arthritis, rheumatism, muscular aches and pains, digestive problems
Blends well with: Bergamot, camphor (white), clary sage, eucalyptus radiata, fragonia, frankincense, geranium, immortelle, juniper berry, lavandin, lavender, lemon, mandarin, manuka, marjoram (sweet), myrtle, orange (sweet), palmarosa, ravintsara, rosemary, sage (Greek), tea tree
Precautionary advice: Avoid during pregnancy and while breast-feeding. GRAS status.