Anise Hyssop Uses & Recipe Ideas

Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) is a beautiful plant, a perennial herb that is native to North America. It thrives in sunny locations and has long spikes of lavender-colored flowers that generally bloom June through September. It’s a member of the mint family.

anise hyssop growing in a field

I have a large patch in my garden: because it grows in a “clumping” manner, it has spread out a great deal since I planted it two years ago. It is constantly buzzing with honeybees…

anise hyssop bee

…and butterflies and hummingbirds love it, too.

Apart from being lovely to look at (the cut flowers enhance any arrangement), anise hyssop is an edible flower, and the flowers have a very sweet licorice-like flavor.

Tea

Anise Hyssop makes a delicious tea that is said to benefit digestion. To make a basic anise hyssop tea, steep 2-3 tablespoons of bruised fresh leaves in 2 cups of boiled water for 5 minutes or so, strain, and drink hot or iced.

In The Good Herb: Recipes and Remedies from Nature, author Judith Benn Hurley suggests using the tea to poach peaches, a fantastic idea I am definitely going to try.

Baked Goods

The leaves can also be added to baked goods, including fruit tart and pie crusts. Add it to any baked goods that work well with a black licorice flavor, such as cookies or breads. Lemon pairs well with anise hyssop, so give this Lemony Anise Hyssop Tea Bread a try.

Salads

I recently discovered that anise hyssop leaves make a wonderful addition to salads. Yesterday, I combined some sauteed greens with cherry tomatoes, cooked fava beans, and naturally smoked mozzarella. I drizzled on some extra virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar and then sprinkled it with chopped anise hyssop. Yum!

anise hyssop salad

Medicinal Uses

According to Hurley, anise hyssop also has some notable medicinal uses: the Cheyenne and Chippewa used the flowers and leaves as a cold and cough remedy. In a month or two, I plan to dry the leaves and then preserve them in honey to have on hand for treating illness over the winter. My Garlic Honey Sore Throat Remedy has worked really well for me, so this could make a nice alternative.

More Anise Hyssop Recipe Ideas

Anise Hyssop
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Anise Hyssop Tea (+ Other Recipe Ideas)

Apart from being lovely to look at (the cut flowers enhance any arrangement), anise hyssop is an edible flower, and the flowers have a very sweet licorice-like flavor that can be used in baked goods and salads. It also makes a delicious tea that is said to benefit digestion. Give this simple anise hyssop tea recipe a try.
Prep Time5 mins
Steep Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: European, Middle Eastern
Keyword: anise hyssop, anise hyssop tea

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tbsp anise hyssop fresh bruised leaves
  • 2 cups water boiled
  • 1 tsp raw honey optional

Instructions

  • Chop up 2-3 tablespoons of bruised fresh leaves.
  • Boil 2 cups of water and remove from heat. Add anise hyssop leave and allow to steep for 5 minutes or so
  • Strain and add honey, if desired. Serve hot or iced.