Hyssop, Hyssopus officinalis, hyssop growing technique, aromatic plants, hyssop aromatic plant, properties hyssop, hyssop plant
Hyssop is an excellent aromatic plant due to its strong aromatic scent and pungent flavor.
Dialect names: fragrant grass, isopiglio, isopo, aesop, hyssepo, perico, isop, soleggio, hissepo, lissope, issòpu, ippese, sopu grass, locasi, erva ssopu, locasi
The genre Hyssopus belongs to the large family of Lamiaceaewhere we find very famous aromatic plants such as mint, sage, marjoram, lavender, basil, oregano, thyme and many others. It is a herbaceous plant native to the Mediterranean regions that is found up to the mountainous areas of southern Europe, western Asia, Morocco and Russia. In Italy it grows spontaneously especially in the north, in stony, calcareous soils, in sunny and arid areas.
They are bushy perennial plants that grow between 30 and 60cm in height, with a short rhizome, with a woody stem at the base, very branched and slightly pubescent.The leaves, without petiole, are very fragrant and provided with a light down, lanceolate and opposite, up to 3 cm long and with raised ribs.
The flowers are tubular, typical of the genus, bilabiate at the ends of the corolla, collected in very dense spikes that develop at the axil of the upper leaves.They are blue - violet in color and bloom from July to September.
Although mostly the blue-violet flowered variety is found, there are also white flowered varieties (Hyssopus officinalis albus variety) and pink flowered (Hyssopusofficinalis roseus variety).
The fruit is composed of four achenes that contain only one seed inside them.
All the aerial parts of the plant have a strong aromatic scent and a pungent flavor.
Hyssop is a very rustic plant that adapts quite well to different pedoclimatic situations, resisting even low temperatures. It is a plant that grows well even in pots therefore it can also be successfully bred at home as long as it is positioned in the sun.
Watering must be very moderate as it is a plant that grows well in dry soils and does not tolerate humid environments.
TYPE OF SOIL AND REPOT
Hyssop does not require particular soils, preferring, however, somewhat stony, dry, calcareous and well exposed substrates.
It is a very rustic plant and does not require special attention regarding fertilization.
Hyssop blooms in the summer, July and August.
At the beginning of spring (March-April) the plant is pruned vigorously by cutting the stem about 10 cm from the ground to give vigor to the plant.
Hyssop multiplies by seed or by cutting.
MULTIPLICATION FOR TALEA
In April-May, about 5-7 cm long cuttings are taken from the basal shoots from the plants.It is recommended to cut with a very sharp blade to avoid fraying of the fabrics and taking care that the blade is well cleaned and disinfected, possibly over a flame, to avoid infecting the fabrics.
The lower leaves are removed, and the cuttings are arranged in a compound consisting of one part of peat and one part of sand, making holes with a pencil, as many as there are cuttings to root, delicately compacting the soil.
Keep in constantly moist soil and once the first shoots begin to appear, it means that the cutting has taken root. At that point they invade.MULTIPLICATION BY SEED
In the case of multiplication by seed this is carried out in early spring, in March, in a compote for seeds if carried out in pots or boxes or in aprilese carried out directly in the field as the seed has a good germinability. planted in early autumn (September-October).
The parts of the plant used for aromatic purposes are the flowers and leaves which contain: essential oil, tannin, choline, glycosides. The essential oil of hyssop is very aromatic, with a pleasant smell and dark yellow color and contains pinene, limonene, geraniol, thuione, pinocanfone, isopinocanfone, estragolo, myrcene, caryophyllene, nopinene, hyssopine, tannin, resin, a glucoside, malic acid , rubber, sulfur, a bitter principle.
The essential oil is extracted from the leaves and flowers by steam distillation.
COLLECTION AND STORAGE
The flowers must be collected at the beginning of flowering, therefore in the summer period (July-August) because if collected at this time, they have the highest content of essential oils as well as the leaves.
Once collected, they can be immediately dried in ventilated and dark places and stored dry in paper bags inside hermetically sealed jars.
See: «Medicinal plants: hyssop».
USE IN THE KITCHEN
In the kitchen we use the leaves that can be harvested all year round, even if the best, the most aromatic, are those that are harvested just before flowering. They can also be dried to be used over time because they retain their aroma.
Flowers can be used to decorate dishes and give color to different dishes.
In addition to being an aromatic plant, hyssop is also used to form small hedges.
It is an excellent melliferous plant even if the honey remains intensely fragrant.
In Persia the distilled water obtained from hyssop is used for the skin as it has a reputation for making it luminous.
The name Hyssop comes from the Latin word hyssopu or from the Greek hyssoposwhich in turn would be derived from Hebrew ezob or exob which means "holy grass".
In common parlance it is known as fragrant grass.
Hyssop is a plant that is mentioned in the Old Testament and precisely Exodus12, 22 which reads: «Then you will take a bunch of hyssop, you will dip it in the blood which is in the basin and with the blood which is in the basin you will sprinkle the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you will go out the door of his house until morning ”to mark the houses of the Israelite families so as not to suffer the divine wrath that would have led to the killing of the first-born Egyptians.
It is mentioned again, again in the Book of psalms (51, 9): "Purify me with hyssop and I will be world, wash me and I will be whiter than snow".
We find it in Jews 9:19: "In fact, when all the commandments were according to the law proclaimed by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of the calves and goats with water, scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled the book itself and all the people. ".
From the Book of John 19, 29 which mentions it to indicate the branch that was used to wet the sponge with vinegar to be given to Jesus Christ on the cross: «Now there will be a jar full of vinegar. Soaking a sponge in vinegar and placing it on top of a hyssop branch, they brought it to his mouth. "
In Leviticus 14, 6 is indicated in the purification of the leper: "Then he will take the live bird, the cedar wood, the scarlet cloth and the hyssop and immerse them, with the live bird, in the blood of the bird slaughtered over the living water. ".
In the book of Numbers 17-18 to those who become contaminated by touching a corpse or other things that make them impure it says “And for an impure person he will take the ashes of the burned victim to purify himself from sin and pour water on him, in a vessel; then a pure man will take some hyssop, dip it in water and sprinkle the tent, all the utensils, all the people who are there and the one who has touched a bone or killed or died of natural death or the tomb " .
These are just to give some examples. It should be noted, however, that many scholars express doubts about the fact that the hyssop mentioned in the bible is the same one we know and we are talking about in this sheet becauseHyssopus officinalisit does not grow in Palestine so they are more likely to associate it with oregano (Origanummaru) which grew abundantly in those lands at the time of the events narrated.
Hyssop is cited by Pliny as a remedy for lice and itching in the head and against snake bites. Hippocrates recommended it for pleurisy while Dioscorides (Greek doctor, botanist and pharmacist who lived between 40 and 90 BC who practiced in Rome at the time of Emperor Nero) recommended it in cases of asthma and catarrh drunk as an infusion with wine to fight mercury and lead poisoning.
Saint Hildegard (Abbess Hildegard von Bingen, who lived in Germany from 1098 to 1179, medical scholar - photo on the side) recommended it together with cinnamon and allaliquorice as a remedy for affections of the lungs and liver and as a cure for the man who became leper together other medicaments.
Trotula de Ruggiero, an Italian doctor who in the 11th century, worked at the Salerno medical school recommended it to purify the lungs together with the fig "For freddatosse, the wine where hyssop and dried figs have been cooked is worth".
The same Medical School of Salerno (the first and most important medical institution in Europe in the Middle Ages) mentions it in its texts: «The hyssop purifies the chest from catarrh. We use the extract of the plant mixed with honey ».
LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS AND PLANTETS
See "Hyssop - The language of flowers and plants"