Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) is a plant related to the mint family. It can be seen along the road or grows in the garden as an herb. The Mediterranean region is its roots and they imported it to the American areas such as the US and Canada which neutralized it.
The above-ground part of the plant is used for medicine. When pressed to make oil, it produces an aromatic and camphor-like fragrance.
Hyssop has many uses. As a medicine, conditions in the liver, gallbladder, and digestive area improves because of it. But aside from that, it is useful against respiratory problems, intestinal pain, loss of appetite, respiratory infections, asthma, common cold, sore throat, and many others.
But outside the medicinal world, hyssop can be used as a flavoring when cooking food. Cosmetic products also benefit from it.
The Use of Hyssop
The Bible many times mentioned the hyssop plant. But there is a controversy if it is actually referring to the Hyssopus officinalis. But whether it was referring to the actual hyssop or a related plant, it means that hyssop has been existed and used for a very long time.
In the Bible, it was mentioned and used for cleansing and purifying, and traditionally, the ancient people are using the plant as an insect repellent, lice eradicator, and insecticide. They also add its extract to soaps and perfumes as it has an alluring fragrance. And when it comes to food, they flavor their puddings, candies, sauces, and liqueurs using the same plant.
The plant is very useful in the world of medicine. It is used to heal a common cold, sore throats, hoarseness, and other conditions. Herbal doctors even use the plant to treat urinary tract inflammation, asthma, and appetite stimulation, though there is no clinically test or examination to prove this claim.
Its leave has an extract that is believed to have antibacterial properties and commonly used to treat wounds. However, further research is needed to support these findings.
There are many products that use hyssop. Here are some of them:
The oil produces from hyssop is used to treat conditions related to digestive and respiratory systems. But externally, the product is also effective in treating toothache, ear pain, sores, and wounds.
Hyssop oil possesses several properties and it is used for:
- Antiseptic: Hyssop has an antibacterial property that can keep a wound from being infected. It also makes wounds, bruises, and cuts heal faster.
- Antispasmodic: The plant has the ability to relieve spasms in the nervous and respiratory system as well as the intestines and muscles.
- Cicatrisant: The skin will well-benefit from hyssop oil. It is effective in treating rashes, chicken pox, boils, and insect bites. Eliminating scars is also on its list.
- Febrifuge: Fever, as well as body temperature, may reduce through the use of the oil.
- Massage and Bath Oils: It is very effective in relieving stress, fatigue, and pain that even menstrual pain goes away.
- Stimulant: The oil has the ability to boost several systems in the human body. Systems such as digestive, excretory, circulatory, and nervous system can be stimulated through the use of hyssop oil. Your metabolism can boost when you use the oil.
Hyssop tea is another product produce from the hyssop plant. The tea is associated with many health benefits such as follows:
- Blood Sugar Control: In January 2004, a test tube study was conducted and researchers found that hyssop leaves have antioxidant compounds which break starch into glucose (sugar). This means that hyssop can be supplement individuals who have an elevated level of blood sugar.
- Blood Cell Benefits: Another test tube test was made in July 2012. In this test, researchers found a possibility to prevent the breakdown of red blood cells (RBC). They observe this from comparing the effects of the hyssop leaves to other parts of the plant such as flower and stem. Significantly, it shows a better ability in protecting the RBC from oxidative damage.
- Respiratory Health: Gargling a hyssop tea will result in a better throat. Sore throat goes away, thanks to the tea. But better much thank the property of the hyssop plant that serves as an expectorant to loosen up the mucus. It also activates the immune system to fight off infection. For common cold and cough, drinking 2 to 3 cups of hyssop tea will relieve the symptoms.
What is the Safety Level of Hyssop?
In terms of toxicity, hyssop is considered safe. In fact, the FDA recognizes the plant as safe. Thus, many use it for flavoring or therapeutic purposes. However, for some reason, some people have seizures because of the same plant.
- Pregnant Women: Health care professionals advise pregnant women to stay away from hyssop. It is marked “unsafe” for them. The plant may cause a contraction to their uterus during pregnancy that may lead to menstruation. This may result in miscarriage.
- Nursing Mothers: As for nursing mothers, it is still unknown if there is any negative effect on them or their baby, but the medical experts advise to stay on the safe zone and avoid using hyssop.
- Children: Hyssop is also marked “unsafe” for children. It was reported that after a child took 2 to 3 drops of hyssop oil in many days, the child had a convulsion. So they hyssop away from children.
- Seizures: Individuals who have a history of seizures are also advised to avoid consuming or using hyssop. It can either trigger the symptoms or make it worse.
For safety measure, dosing is a very important factor. But in the case of hyssop, it will vary depending on the user’s health, age, and other conditions. For the meantime, there is no scientific measurement to base the dosage that a user can take.
Not because you are using a natural product, it means that it is safe. Additionally, it does not necessarily mean that the dosage is not important.
When you buy a product from your local pharmacist, or if your doctor prescribes a hyssop product, make sure to follow their instructions before using the product.