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Earthnotes
Herb Library

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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.




ANISE HYSSOP
aka Blue Giant Hyssop
(Agastache foeniculum syn A. anisata, A. anethiodora, Lophanthus anisatus)
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A North American native perennial which is hardy to Zone 4. It is a member of the mint family (Labitiae). Not grown enough. A lovely and fragant (entire plant smells sweetly of anise) ornamental well-suited for the back of the border.

PROPAGATION: By seed (germinates in 1 to 2 weeks and starts off very slowly but is vigorous when established). Will self sow readily. Also by cuttings and root division. Hardy perennial.
NEEDS: Full sun and average soil. Will tolerate part sun.
HARVEST: Leaves and flowers.
FLOWERS: Late July - mid August and later.

USES

MEDICINAL:
Leaf tea has been used for fevers, colds, coughs, to induce sweating and to strengthen a weak heart.
Root was used by the Chippewa in lung formulas.

CULINARY:
Also see: Cooking with Herbs and Wild Foods

Tea from fresh or dried leaves; use 2 tsps of the fresh and 1 tsp of the dried and steep for 7 to 10 minutes.
Florets and fresh leaves for salads and garnishes.
Leaves as seasoning.
Used by Native Americans as a tea and as a seasoning. Was used as a beverage particularly by Native Americans in Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.
Use to replace Anise seed in a recipe: make a strong tea using 2 tsps of dried leaves in 1 C. of water; replace half of liquid in recipe with the tea.

CRAFT:
Flower spikes dry well for floral arrangements.

OTHER:
Bee plant. Will produce nectar all day long resulting in a light fragrant honey. Birds like seeds. Flowers attract hummingbirds. The Cree often carried the flowers in medicine bundles.

COMMENT:
Leaves may be used fresh or dried.




OTHER GIANT HYSSOPS

Agastache neomexicana:
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Leaves used as seasoning.



A. urticifolia syn Lopanthus urticifolia:
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Native Americans in Utah and Nevada used the seeds.



Wrinkled Giant Hyssop
aka Korean Mint
Agastache rugosa
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Native to southeast Asia. The whole plant is used. The leaves have exhibited antitumor properties on animals in testing. It is used to treat cancer. A tea is used for angina pain. The whole plant is employed for fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, excess intestinal gas, colds, indigestion, cholera.





©2000 by Ernestina Parziale, CH

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