Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mardi: Herbal-Wise

Hyssop, an easy to grow semi-evergreen, has been used for healing and purification since Sumerian times.  The plant is mentioned in the Bible, specifically in Psalm 51.  Since Psalms, like prayers to saints, are considered “words of power” in hoodoo, hyssop is a much used herb in that discipline.

Baths of purification and washes to remove crossed conditions from residences and businesses frequently feature hyssop.  Brew hyssop tea and add it to a floor wash, then scrub your home thoroughly with it to clear away any troubles.  Reciting the 51st Psalm while doing so adds focus, and therefore power, to the ritual.  This is a great thing to consider when moving into a new home or opening up a new business space.  The tea can also be used in a spiritual bath to break hexes and jinxes; with the addition of olive oil to the bath the ritual is thought to alleviate sin.  Once again, speaking the 51st Psalm while washing from head to toe improves the efficacy of the rite.

Unless you are pregnant or nursing, you can ingest hyssop without problems.  Hyssop tea mixed with vinegar is thought to relieve any nagging trouble, spiritual or otherwise, if a teaspoon is taken each morning for 9 days.  Four Thieves Vinegar is sometimes recommended rather than plane vinegar to improve the outcome of the working.

Scott Cunningham recommends hanging fresh or dried hyssop over the front door of a home or business to keep evil away and sweeten the interactions of those who step over the threshold.

Used topically in medieval times as a cure for skin lesions and things thought to be “leprosy”, hyssop has never been far from the medicine chest throughout history.  Teas have been used to cure upper respiratory infections and fevers, relieve anxiety and regulate menstrual cycles.  Hyssop is now being used topically once again, in ointments applied to cold sores.  Bonne chance ~

Header:  From the Grete Herball c 1440


Timmy! said...

Okay, so I looked up Psalm 51 and it's a psalm of King David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. So that's why he was tying to purify himself. The line about hyssop goes like this:

"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow."

But it's still being used medicinally, so it would appear that it does work, Pauline.

Pauline said...

Always good times in the Bible! And yes, hyssop is still considered a medicinal herb so that's encouraging.