Hyssop, Hyssopus officinalis, herb, herbs, herbal remedy, Hyssopus

Hyssopus officinalis Lamiaceae.

Used as a cleansing herb Jrom Biblical times, the aromatic hyssop, a bushy evergreen shrub up to 60cm in height, grows widely in the Mediterranean region. It is a constituent oj scented liqueurs such as Chartreuse and imparts a fine flavour to honey when bees have access to its flowers.

Parts used

  • Aerial parts
  • Hyssop is picked at the beginning of the flowering period.
  • It is dried for use in infusions.
  • The flowers may be distilled and yield a pungent, spicy essential oil. . The essential oil is made into creams and lotions for external use.


For internal use

TO TREAT asthma, bronchitis, sore throat
INFUSION Put 1-2 teaspoons dried flowers into a cup of boiling water. Cover, infuse for 5-10 minutes and strain. Drink 3 cups a day.
GARGLE Use the infusion as a gargle three times a day for sore throat.

For external use

TO TREAT bruises PREPARATIONS OF ESSENTIAL OIL IN A CREAM OR LOTION Apply to the bruise twice or three times a day as directed.



Hyssop flowers contain a strongly aromatic essential oil composed of many compounds including camphor and terpenes. The plant also contains tannins and flavonoids, as well as caffeic and rosmarinic acids.

Medicinal uses

Hyssop's antispasmodic action makes it useful for treating coughs, asthma and bronchitis. It can also soothe stomach cramps. This effect was demonstrated by Italian researchers in 2002, who found that the essential oil inhibited contraction of animal intestines.
Hyssop is an expectorant and is recommended as a treatment for catarrhal coughs and bronchitis.It also raises blood pressure and stimulates perspiration - energising, tonic effects that can help to fight chronic fatigue.

The herb is antiseptic, antifungal and antiviral. A paper published in Antivira/ Research in 1990 reports that leaf extracts demonstrate strong activity against HIV, the virus responsible for AIDS. Scientists think that caffeic acid may contribute to hyssop's antiviral effect.

Externally, an infusion of the leaves may be used to treat bruises and aching muscles. The oil is also used in various rubs for bruises.


Sow seeds in spring in well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil. Hyssop does best in a sunny border.


  • No adverse side effects or toxicity reported to date.
  • Do not take the essential oil internally.
  • Do not take if pregnant or breastfeeding or have high blood pressure.
  • Do not give to children.
  • Seek medical advice if using for more than three consecutive days.
  • People allergic to oregano and thyme (members of the same plant family) may be allergic to hyssop.


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