Hyssop officinalis (Hyssopusofficinalis)from the family Yasnotkovyh (Labiaceae) - a shrub 50-70 cm high. Taproot, woody. Stems are tetrahedral, woody at the base, erect or ascending. Leaves are opposite, almost sessile, lanceolate, with an integral edge up to 4 cm long. Flowers are arranged in 3-7 axils in the axils of the upper leaves and form a spike-shaped inflorescence. The color of the corolla is blue, purple, pink, white. The fruit is a brown era. It blooms in July-August, the seeds ripen in the second half of August and early September.
The homeland of the plant is the Mediterranean. In a feral form, it is found in all southern regions of Russia, in the Caucasus.
Considering the elegant look of the bush, and its flowers can be purple, pink, white, and long flowering (more than a month), it can be placed not only in the garden, but also on a rabat, a flower bed, in a mixborder, or make a group of hyssops of different colors in surrounded by a lawn, etc. You can even create a hyssop border. In one place, the bushes can "live" for 5 or more years. Since a lot of medicinal raw materials in most cases is not needed, 3-4 bushes are enough on the farm. And if they are also of different colors, then it turns out a wonderful motley group, a kind of "cheerful family". Moreover, varieties with different colors have been bred.
Growing a hyssop is a snap. It is preferable to place it in a sunny area with nutritious and well-drained soil. The plant absolutely does not tolerate swampy areas with stagnant moisture. It reproduces well by seeds, which are sown in the ground in late April - early May to a depth of about 1 centimeter. If the soils are prone to swimming, then it is better to mulch the crops with peat to avoid crust formation. Seedlings appear in 12-15 days, depending on the weather. The most common care is weeding and loosening. It is better not to cover the plant for the winter, since the hyssop is susceptible to damping. From the spring of the second year, it is advisable to feed the plants with complex fertilizers (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium).
When sowing hyssop seeds, you can often observe the appearance of plants of various colors. If your specimen has white flowers, then isolate it from blue blooming plants. With cross-pollination, the white form is displaced in the seed offspring.
In order to definitely preserve the variety, you can cut the bushes you like the most. To do this, before flowering, that is, in mid-June, cuttings are cut - the tops of shoots 12-15 cm long, the lower leaves are washed, dipped in Kornevin or soaked for 6 hours in Heteroauxin, which can be found on sale, and planted in a container with sand, covering the cuttings with a jar. Watering must be done very carefully, trying to spray the plants more. After a month, they will take root, and after two they can be planted on the site in the nursery, where they will winter. Please note that the earlier you line the plants, the sooner you will have the opportunity to plant them in the ground. It is very important that the plants have time to take root and get stronger, which, as a result, will increase the proportion of successfully overwintered plants.
In the books, there are recommendations for dividing the hyssop. This method of reproduction is possible, but not optimal, the roots of the cuttings are rather weak, and the bush receives a strong injury during division. Therefore, it is better to use green cuttings. In the southern regions, you can have time to cut off flowering raw materials twice. However, after "pruning" the plants need to be fed with mineral fertilizers (a matchbox of urea in a bucket of water). It is usually not affected by pests and diseases. Plants age with age, bloom less abundantly and fall out, so it is better to replace them with young ones every 4-5 years.
As a medicinal raw material for hyssop, flowering leafy shoots are used, which are cut in July-August (it blooms, like most of its labiate relatives, for a long time - a month or more, depending on the weather). Raw materials are either laid out in a thin layer in the attic, or suspended in small bunches. It should not be dried in a hot dryer - at temperatures above 30-40 ° C, the essential oil evaporates and the raw material partially loses its medicinal properties.
Hyssop contains tannins, vitamin C, bitterness, oleanolic and ursolic acids and, as already mentioned, essential oil, which is responsible for the remarkable medicinal properties of hyssop. Interestingly, white varieties contain the maximum amount of essential oil, while pink varieties contain the minimum. Plants with blue flowers are intermediate. The content of essential oil in fresh raw materials is 0.3-0.7%. The main components of the essential oil: geraniol, borneol, thujone, fellandrene, pinocampon. The oil is a colorless or yellowish-green liquid. The aroma is spicy, peculiar, with a camphor hue.
In the Nikitsky Botanical Gardens, the Nikitsky White variety was bred; there are seeds of the Frost variety with blue flowers on sale. In 2002, Akkord and Rosy Tum varieties appeared in the State Register, intended for use as spice and flavor crops. In Belarus, a highly productive variety, both in terms of yield and content of essential oil, has been obtained, the Lazurite variety with bright blue flowers.
This plant is now better known as aetheron. But for centuries it has been used for a wide variety of diseases. Dioscorides recommended hyssop as an appetite-improving agent. King Solomon used it together with cedar for leprosy. Medieval herbalists recommended a decoction with the fruits of figs for bronchitis, and the infusion of hyssop was sprayed indoors so as not to get sick with the plague during an epidemic. Recently, interest in hyssop, and especially in its oil, has reappeared. German aromatherapists use hyssop essential oil not only for bronchitis as an expectorant, but also for such a serious illness as bronchial asthma as an antispasmodic agent that can not only stop an attack, but also generally have a beneficial effect on the course of the disease. V.V. Nikolaevsky et al. (Ukraine) recommends the use of essential oil in the form of inhalation for bronchitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, tracheitis, pharyngitis, coronary heart disease. It has a stimulating effect in depressive conditions. It is used for inhalation, for the preparation of massage oils and is added when taking baths, after mixing with a tablespoon of cream, honey or neutral shampoo. These tricks allow the essential oil to be evenly distributed in the body of water, rather than floating on the surface. In the form of sitting baths, 4-5 drops of essential oil are used for proctosigmoiditis. Outwardly it is recommended to use it for cuts, abrasions, dermatitis, weeping eczema.
However, essential oil is a concentrated product., if the dosage is violated, it can cause a number of unpleasant sensations. When applied externally, it does not cause irritation, but as an internal agent, oil should be used with caution. It is used in small doses. Contraindicated in epilepsy and pregnancy. Applied under the supervision of an aromatherapist.
Now a few words about the recipe for dried raw materials. The infusion for internal consumption is prepared by infusing 20 g of dry grass in 1 liter of boiling water in a closed thermos for 20-25 minutes. After that, filter and take half a glass 2-3 times a day as an expectorant for bronchitis and pneumonia. Infusion for external use is made more concentrated, for the same amount of water, 2-3 times more raw materials are taken. It is used for rinsing with stomatitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis and other colds.
In German medicine, it is recommended to prepare syrup with hyssop as an expectorant. To do this, filter the ready-made infusion (100 g of raw materials per liter of water) and add 1.5 kg of sugar and evaporate to the consistency of a syrup. Take a tablespoon up to 5 times a day.
Traditional medicine uses hyssop for bronchitis, angina pectoris and gastrointestinal diseases. It stimulates the appetite. Hyssop infusion is recommended for the elderly as a tonic and strengthening drink. An infusion of plants cut during the flowering phase stimulates appetite, reduces perspiration, has anti-inflammatory, analgesic and wound healing properties. The herb infusion is used to rinse the mouth, pharynx, and in inflammatory processes.
Outwardly, hyssop baths are used for excessive sweating, as well as for washing the eyes with conjunctivitis.
Hyssop can be used in cooking as a seasoning for meat and fish dishes. In some European countries, it is put in sausages or dumplings, stuffed eggs and marinades. You can add finely chopped fresh hyssop leaves to the curd. Together with other spicy plants, it is used for fermenting cabbage. Sometimes apple cider vinegar is infused with hyssop and used to dress salads. For a half-liter bottle, 4-5 branches (8-10 cm) are enough. But the taste is not for everybody.
See Vinegar with herbs "Czech"
Chicken legs marinated with herbs