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Hyssopus officinalis (Labiatae)

HYSSOP

 

Herbalists give the whole herb for bronchitis, nasal catarrh, coughs, and colds. Giant hyssop is used in Chinese medicine for vomiting, wounds, diarrhoea, and angina.

 

An ancient insecticide, hyssop was strewn on floors and shelves to repel insects, and has been used to kill head lice and internal worms, as well as for its more traditional role of easing colds and coughs. Native to Europe and western Asia, it prefers alkaline soil in a sunny position. It is a highly aromatic perennial with thin pointed leaves covered in fine hairs and small blue flowers in late summer.

 

PARTS USED

Whole herb.

 

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS

Volatile oil containing pinene, pinocamphone, camphor, thujone, and linalool; terpenoids, including marrubiin, oleanolic, and ursolic acids; flavonoids; tannins.

 

ACTIONS

Induces sweating; expectorant; relieves wind and colic; affects the lungs; sedative.

 

MEDICINAL USE

Given for bronchitis, chronic nasal catarrh, coughs, and colds. In Chinese medicine, giant hyssop is used for wounds, vomiting, diarrhoea, and angina.

 

PREPARATIONS

Infusion, tincture.

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