Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
Hyssop is a small evergreen bushy herb that reaches a height of 1 to 2 feet. The stem is square and the leaves are narrow. The flowers can be white, blue or red and they bloom from June to October. It is an old-fashioned herb that can be found in many cottage gardens as a border. It is mentioned in the Bible and has been considered as being a "holy herb". It was used in the Middle East to preserve meat and as a cleansing herb.
Key Medicinal Uses
Internally Hyssop herbal tea has been used to treat fever, coughs and colds. It strengthens a weak heart and induces sweating. The root was used by the Chippewa tribe in lung formulas. This herb removes excess fluid and phlegm. Japanese studies have shown the herb to be beneficial to those who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes because it lowers the blood sugar after eating. It has a sedative and tonic effect. It was also used for asthma and as a sleeping aid. This herb helped indigestion, gas and bloating as well. It is currently being studied as a treatment for HIV. It is also used to treat herpes simplex. This herb strengthens the immune system.
Externally Hyssop is anti-inflammatory herbal remedy and can be applied to burns and bruises to reduce the swelling and discoloration. It can also be used as a gargle for sore throats. It relieves stings and bites and will kill body lice.
Other Uses Hyssop is still used occasionally in the kitchen, mostly for broth and sometimes for salad. The leaves have been used as a seasoning. It has an anise-like flavor. The dried flower spikes are used in dried arrangements. The flowers attract hummingbirds to the garden. It is an ingredient in eau de Cologne and in the liqueur known as Chartreuse.
Herbs to Combine/Supplement
Aerial parts The aerial portions are used medicinally.
This herb should not be used by pregnant women. Hyssop essential oil may cause seizures. Do not use the oil without the guidance of a skilled professional. There are no known drug interactions at this time.
Preparation and Dosage
Harvest the plant when in flower. Hyssop tincture can be taken in a dose of 1 to 4 ml three times per day. For an infusion, boil 1 to 2 teaspoons in 1 cup of water. Let it infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink three times per day.