Hyssop is an aromatic perennial herb, 30-60 cm high, grown at higher elevations (above 1500 mtrs.). The branches are erect or defuse, leaves are sessile, linear-oblong, flowers are bluish purple in auxiliary tufts arranged unilaterally on terminal branches. The leaves and flower tops constitutes the spice.
Origin and Distribution
It is a native to Southern Europe and temperate zones of Asia. It is cultivated in Europe especially in Southern France. In India it is found in the Himalayas and is cultivated in Kashmir. The plant thrives in light rich soil in hill stations. It is also grown as a pot herb.
Hyssop is used as a condiment and also as medicine. The leaves and flowering tops are used in flavouring of salads and soups. It is also used in the preparation of liquors and perfumes. Hyssop is considered as a stimulant, carminative and expectorant and is used in colds, coughs, and congestion and lung complaints. It is effective in pulmonary, digestive, uterine, and urinary troubles. Leaves are stimulating stomachic, carminative and colic. Hyssop oil is used as flavouring agent in bitters and tonics and in perfumery. The essential oil of hyssop has antimicrobial properties.
Indian Name of Spices
Hindi : Zufah-yabis Sanskrit : Jufa Urdu : Zufah
Foreign Name of Spices
Chinese : Ngau sat chou Dutch : Hyssop French : Hysope German : Eisop Greek : Issopos Italian : Issopo Spanish : Hisopo