Medicine Garden

To help our readers learn something about native plants & their uses, we will present a featured plant every week. Today we will introduce our first plant: Giant Hyssop as it is commonly known. Its Scientific Name is Agastache foeniculum.

Giant hyssop is a perennial aromatic plant that can grow up to 90-100cm tall & has spikes of small, tubular, bright blue or purple fragrant flowers in July & August. Giant Hyssop is one of the most ornamental native plants in the Mint family, Lamiaceae which attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, native bees & honeybees. The genus Agastache is named after two Greek words: agan, which means “a lot,” and stachys, which means “ear of grain.”

The native habitat for Giant Hyssop is dry, open and semi-shaded areas & on roadsides across the Canadian Prairies in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Although mostly used now as an anise-tasting tea, there are several medicinal uses of Giant Hyssops by Native American Tribes. This plant contains antimicrobial and antifungal properties. The Chippewa use an infusion of the roots as an analgesic for cold and chest pain or apply a poultice of leaves or stalks to burns, and for other uses such as a charm for protection. The Woodland Cree use it as an antihemorrhagic drug by making an infusion of stem & leaves and to improve the flavour of food.

*It is important to note that all the information shared is for educational purposes and should not be used to replace the advice of experienced health care professionals.


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