Important Qualities of Anise Hyssop

This international herb, Anise Hyssop (Agastache Foeniculum)  is a member of the Lamiaceae or mint family. It’s not only has culinary qualities but it also has medicinal and decorative qualities which makes this herb shine in all three areas.

Anise Hyssop has a wonderful licorice scent. It’s color is a lavender shade with flowers of cylindrical shape. It is a short-lived perennial that grows mainly in the Upper Midwest and Great Plains into Canada. Anise Hyssop is a clump forming plant that generally grows 2 – 4 feet tall and about 1-3 feet wide. 

Anise Hyssop’s medicinal qualities include digestive support, strengthening the respiratory system and supporting the immune and nervous system. It can also help with sleep, wound healing, cough  and fever.

What’s even more fascinating about this plant is that it has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. 

The leaves can be used for herbal teas, salads and to flavor all types of jellies or jams. The dried leaves are often used to make potpourri.

Like other members of the mint family Anise Hyssop and also help with nausea, vomiting, bronchitis and strengthening the cardiovascular system.

For culinary purposes it can also be added to foods, fruits, pies, ice creams, cakes, sauces, drinks and all types of seasonal dishes. A great way to use this herb not only for culinary purposes but for medical purposes is by drinking it as a tea. It makes a refreshingly cool drink on warm summer days. 

Another way to utilize Anise Hyssop is by placing the dried herbs in a cheesecloth then hang it from the tub faucet. This allows the water to slowly drip into the bath water. It helps with calming the nerves, improving sleep, as a pain reliever and relaxes sore muscles.. 

Some may want to experiment using the seeds of Anise however it may be best to use the oil since it’s less potent than the seeds. If you’re looking for a higher strength then the seeds may work best. 

Anise seeds is a spice. It is also called, Pimpinella anisum. This is NOT the same as Anise Hyssop, the perennial. Anise seeds is a flowering plant which belongs to the plant species Apiaceae, also known as the parsley family. Star Anise which is also another spices named Illicium Verum.

There are many benefits to using Anise seeds. It is  often used as an expectorant, for alleviating menstrual discomfort due to the phytoestrogen properties it contains and increases breast milk. It’s also been shown to improve memory, headaches and irritable bowel syndrome.

When taking a closer look at Anise Hyssop, when it becomes mature it can reach as tall as 4-5 feet. It produces beautiful long purple spike-like flowers which blooms in late summer months and it produces seeds of its own. Like the other members of the mint family it doesn’t run wild in garden where they’re grown. 

Anise Hyssop , has powerful medicinal properties. It  can also be used in a variety of recipes and dishes and is great plant used for decorative pieces around the home, decorate as a centerpieces on tables or as beautiful ornaments.

Anise Hyssop can always be purchased in herbal dried teas, oil, essential oil and capsule form.

Anise Hyssop (Agastache Foeniculum) FACTS:

  1. Can be grown in full sun or partial 

  2. Lavender in color

  3. Blooms in summer

  4. Zone 4 to 9

  5. Deer resistant

  6. Hase culinary and medicinal properties

  7. Height is 2-4 ft

  8. Perennial herb

  9. Produces its own seeds

  10. Easy to grow and care for

  11. Drought tolerant

  12. Grows well in dry soil

How to dry Anise Hyssop flowers:

  • Cut the stems after the morning dew has evaporated

  •  Bind bunches of the stems with yarn

  •  Turn them upside down in a dry place

  •  Place something underneath the flowers to catch the loose seeds

  •  Allow it to dry for 3 to 4 weeks

  • When the drying process is complete remove any remaining seeds

  •  Then decorate the flowers as you wish

Camille McClellan, MD, DNM, MBS
Naturopathic practitioner
McClellan Natural Health, Wellness & Nutrition
Free Naturopathic/Homeopathic Consults Available

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