Featured Herb: Hyssop Hyssop is bound to Jupiter and fire. It has a camphor-like odor, and has long been known as a cleansing herb. Records of its use date back to the 7th century, where it was used as a strewing herb to freshen sickrooms and kitchens, and as a cleansing herb for sacred places. Use it in protection rituals for mind and body (drink as a Tea), or sprinkle the Oil around the house to protect it. Use in purification and healing baths (place a handful in a mesh bag and attach it to the tap so the water will run through it) This bitter herb is considered a good cleanser of the body, especially the lungs. In the "Dark" Ages, it was strewn in the sickroom to fight illness and in the kitchen to combat cooking odors. A bag of hyssop in the bath will soothe itchy skin. Hyssop flower essence helps in dealing with unnecessary guilt, shame, fear of being judged, perfectionism, and damaged self-esteem; it helps undo irrational self-blame and eases animals that have been disciplined harshly in the past. Since Elizabethan times, an infusion of the chopped leaves has been used as a wash to get rid of headlice--especially helpful for people whose kids keep bringing these critters home from school with them. Head washing with an infusion and nitpicking should continue for several days. A gargle of hyssop and sage sweetened with honey is an old treatment for sore throats, and hyssop tea works as an expectorant for asthma and coughs. A poultice of the leaves kills the pain of bruises and prevents black-and-blue marks. Like many aromatic herbs, hyssop has antiviral properties, and it shows particular promise against HIV and herpes. Tops and flowers are high in iodine, so avoid them if you have problems with that element, as in goiter. This herb goes into liquers like Benedictine and Chartreuse, and the flowers make a nice edible garnish. Tuesday August 14th we shall be having a class all about purification methods and we will be including Hyssop! Register for class here. Stop in the store or online and check out our selection of Hyssop!