The hedge hyssop plant was widely used in the Middle and Modern Ages since it was supposed to have multiple medicinal virtues that have still not been proven. At present, it is still helpful as a substitute for the foxglove plant, though under medical control. Thus, its French name petite digitale.
Healing properties and Warning
The whole plant contains cardiotonic glycosides, the most important of which are gratioline and gratiosoline. The plant has heart stimulating, diuretic, and purgative properties.
Its use is reserved for the cases in which there is intolerance of the foxglove’s active components. Hedge hyssop has the advantage that its cardiotonic glycosides do not accumulate in the body, unlike those of foxglove.
WARNING! We advise you to respect the indicated doses because it is a potentially toxic plant. Doses higher than those indicated may provoke vomiting, intestinal colic, and bleeding. In massive intoxication, even heart failure can occur.
Hedge Hyssop Scientific Facts
- Other names: Gratiole.
- French: Petite digitale.
- Spanish: Graciola.
- Environment: Marshes and humid soils in Europe and North America.
- Description: Vivacious plant of the Scrofulariaceae family, growing from 15 to 30 cm high, with a hollow stem, round in its base and quadrangular at the top. The leaves are finely toothed and oppositely disposed. Its flowers are light pink or whitish. It has an unpleasant smell.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The dried plant in flower.
How to use Hedge Hyssop
- Infusion: With a maximum dose of two grams of ground dry plant per intake, up to a maximum daily amount of 10g.
- Fluid extract: The recommended dose is 20 drops, one to three times a day.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 223. Print.