A member of the mint family, anise hyssop smells like anise and tastes a bit like licorice! A vivacious grower, this plant can be found growing wild all over North America, where it is commonly used as a medicinal plant.
With a colorful history and an even more colorful modern-day appearance, anise hyssop is a plant with strong symbolism and inherent meaning.
What Does Anise Hyssop Mean?
Anise hyssop is known by the scientific name of Agastache foeniculum. This name is derived from the Greek “agan” and “stachys”, which translates roughly to “lots of wheat.”
This name pays homage to the large blue or lavender flower spikes that this plant has, which look a bit like a stalk of wheat. With more than 21 fellow plants in the Agastache genus, anise hyssop is not true anise or hyssop plant.
What Does the Anise Hyssop Flower Symbolize?
Anise hyssop, with all of its medicinal powers, is often believed to symbolize cleanliness. It has been used since ancient times to clean holy places and burned as an essential oil to improve one’s health.
In fact, some people even use hyssop to clean and sanitize their beehives. It is not only a calming scent for bees but can encourage them to remain in the hives.
What is the Cultural Significance of the Anise Hyssop Flower?
Unfortunately, there is very little in the way of recorded history when it comes to anise hyssop. While medicinal uses of the plant were recorded by the first Native Americans, the rest of its history is murky.
The Chippewa people used a combination of elk mint and anise hyssop to treat ailments like the common cold and chest pain. Anise hyssop contains numerous beneficial compounds that make it one of the best essential oils.
What is the Symbolism of an Anise Hyssop Tattoo?
An anise hyssop tattoo can have plenty of meanings. Not only can it symbolize cleanliness and purity, but it can also be used to reference sacrifice. With its purgative qualities, it can also be used to symbolize humility, penitence, or even baptism, too. It is often used in religious tattoos to represent holiness and devotion.
When Should You Give Someone an Anise Hyssop Flower?
Anise hyssop is a gift best given to gardeners. This mint-like herb attracts butterflies, bees, and other pollinators, so you will be giving them a useful as well as an attractive gift if you choose to do so.
Although anise hyssop is not traditionally given in a bouquet, the flowers are considered ornamental and are often used in salads. It can also be used to treat a variety of common health ailments, making it a wonderful plant to give someone as a “get well” present.
*Photo by weha/depositphotos