I had never used this plant or even knew about it being used as tea before Corey suggested it. The leaves have a nice licorice scent. Unfortunately, when I first brewed the tea, the mint and the chamomile over powered the anise hyssop. I did brew some tea that only used the Anise Hyssop! I didn’t really enjoy it all that much, but I actually just don’t like licorice taste. But if you like licorice, Anise Hyssop is for you.
Anise Hyssop is also commonly known as Giant Hyssop or Lavender Giant Hyssop. This plant is scientifically named Agastache foeniculum and it is in Lamiaceae, the mint family. While the common name shares “Hyssop” with Hyssopus officinalis, and Hyssop and Anise Hyssop are both in the Lamiaceae family, those two plants are not closely related. Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) is native to southern Europe. Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) is native to the North American Great Plains and other prairies in North America.
As far as uses for this herb, there’s a lot out there saying what Native American’s used this herb for, but I can’t say for certain that I ever found what I would trust as a reliable source. The most common thread was that it was used in wound care due to it’s antiseptic properties and that it was also used to treat burns. As a tea it was supposedly used to treat colds. Culinarily, it can be used wherever mint would be used (like with chicken or fish), and it can also be mixed into green salads. I’ve not tried these, but I think I will in the future!
Used in a garden, Anise Hyssop is a hardy drought resistant perennial. The flowers will attract pollinators and hummingbirds and the plant is pleasantly fragrant. This plant doesn’t really need to be coddled at all, growing it from seed is easy.
I think this is probably an under-utilized herb. I certainly hadn’t heard of it! Whether you want to attract pollinators and hummingbirds to your garden or use it in the kitchen, it’ll be easy to plant, grow, and keep around.