Hyssop, scientifically known as Hyssopus officinalis, is a versatile herb native to the Mediterranean and parts of Asia. This herb has been used for centuries in traditional medicine systems and is known for its numerous health benefits.

In this article, we’ll explore hyssop’s benefits, uses, dosage, side effects, and potential impact on COVID. So, let’s start.

What is Hyssop?

Hyssop is believed to have originated in the region surrounding the Black Sea in central Asia. However, it is now extensively farmed in other desert places, partly because it thrives even in the most barren soils. The blooms and leaves of the hyssop plant, which have a pleasant aroma, are often used in herbal remedies.

Benefits of Hyssop

1. Common Cold and Respiratory Health

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Hyssop has long been valued for relieving congestion and stimulating the cough reflex. In addition to calming coughs, its antispasmodic properties make it useful for easing respiratory system spasms. [1]

It is also an expectorant, which helps loosen phlegm in the lungs. As it can break up mucous and phlegm, it may be helpful for treating respiratory conditions like colds, coughs, and bronchitis.

Because of its antispasmodic and antiseptic characteristics, it is a great natural therapy for coughs and other respiratory disorders. This is because coughing is a common reflex of the respiratory system to remove dangerous germs, dust, or irritants. It also helps relieve throat pain.

It also has a calming influence on the bronchioles, and has historically been used in the treatment of asthma. Findings from the research suggested its potential as a new therapeutic approach for managing persistent asthma. [2]

However, more research is needed to find out the exact mechanism of how this oil works to help treat asthma symptoms.

2. Improving Digestive Health

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Hyssop helps break down complex proteins, carbohydrates, and nutrients by making digestion easier. It may encourage the body to produce more digestive enzymes, increasing appetite and making food go down easier.

Particularly, it facilitates the release of things like bile, digestive enzymes, and stomach acid. The digestive process in the stomach can’t begin without these gastric fluids. These digestive secretions include enzymes that help the body’s chemical processes and break down food into nutrients.

It is also used to help improve digestive health. As a carminative, it may alleviate symptoms of flatulence, bloating, indigestion, and appetite loss.

3. Antibacterial and Antiviral Properties

Hyssop’s essential oil has been studied for its potential as a natural treatment for different types of infections due to its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. [3]

It has antimicrobial properties might be useful against pathogens, including the common cold virus, food poisoning bacteria, and skin problems.

Researchers have shown that hyssop extracts have caffeic acid, unidentified tannins, and maybe a third class of higher molecular weight chemicals that show potent anti-HIV action. [4]

Another study looked at the possible antiviral benefits of this herb, such as treating herpes infections. [5]

This oil may also have antibacterial properties, making it useful for treating some conditions, such as bacterial and viral skin infections and urinary tract infections.

4. Relieves Skin Irritation

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Hyssop oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, suggesting it might be used to treat mild skin irritation. When applied to cuts and scrapes, it helps keep them from becoming infected. It has antiseptic characteristics, and when applied to a wound, it kills bacteria and prevents infection.

It’s also useful for treating anything from minor burns and scrapes to frostbite. Skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis, which cause inflammation, may also see improvement from using it. [6]

5. Antioxidant Properties

Hyssop has high levels of antioxidants, which are essential for warding off the damage that free radicals may do to the body. Additionally, antioxidants may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

An analysis also showed that it has promising antioxidant properties. Hyssop oil has beneficial antioxidant activity due to the presence of flavonoids. These antioxidants can be used therapeutically in the future, according to the study’s authors. [7]

Oxidative stress is linked to chronic illnesses, including type 2 diabetes and cancer. Nevertheless, additional study is required to verify its antioxidant properties.

6. Anti-Inflammatory Properties and Increasing Blood Circulation

The heart, muscles, and arteries all benefit from increased circulation. Hyssop’s anti-rheumatic characteristics allow it to boost circulation and alleviate arthritic symptoms.

This may serve as a natural treatment for inflammatory conditions, including gout, rheumatism, arthritis, and edema. When your blood flows well, your heart rate slows down, your heart muscles relax, and your blood pressure stays the same throughout your body, affecting every organ.

As hyssop oil and tea both have the ability to improve blood flow, they may be used to treat hypertension by reducing edema and inflammation.

What is Hyssop Used for?

Traditional Uses

Historically, hyssop has been used for a variety of purposes. In ancient times, it was used as a cleansing herb in religious rituals.

In traditional medicine systems, it was used to treat respiratory and digestive issues and for its antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Modern Applications

Today, hyssop is used in various forms, including teas, tinctures, and essential oils. Its applications have expanded to include skincare products and culinary dishes.

Also, its benefits are now being studied scientifically, which has led to a better understanding of the herb’s potential uses and advantages.

Hyssop Side Effects

While hyssop is generally considered safe when used appropriately, it may cause side effects to some people.

Its side effects include allergic reactions, skin irritation, or gastrointestinal discomfort. So, it’s best to start with a low dose and monitor your body’s reaction before increasing the dosage.

It can be toxic in large doses, so always follow the recommended dose on the label. It can also cause skin irritation in some individuals, so performing a patch test before using it topically is important.

Hyssop Risks

Using hyssop is not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding. It has been reported that it can stimulate uterine contractions, potentially increasing the risk of miscarriage or premature labor. Hence, pregnant or nursing women should consult their healthcare provider before using this herb.

Hyssop Forms and Dosage

Hyssop is available in various forms, such as dried leaves, teas, tinctures, and essential oils. The appropriate dose will depend on the form you are using and the intended purpose.

There is no one-size-fits-all dosage for this herb, as individual needs may vary. It is always best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a healthcare professional for the proper dosage for your situation.

When trying this herb for the first time, start with a low dose, and gradually increase it as needed, paying close attention to your body’s reaction.

Hyssop and COVID

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There has been some interest in hyssop as a potential remedy for COVID-19 due to its antiviral and antioxidant properties.

A study found that it can reduce the amount of SAR-CoV-2 levels in the stool after consuming it for 30 days. It may also help improve respiratory health. [8]

However, there is currently insufficient evidence to support its use as a treatment for COVID-19. More research is needed to determine whether this oil could play a role in preventing or treating this virus.

Bottom Line: Hyssop Helpful Benefits and Its Side Effects

Hyssop is a versatile herb with a long history of traditional use for various health conditions.

Its potential benefits, including respiratory and digestive support, antiviral and antibacterial properties, antioxidant effects, and anti-inflammatory properties, make it an appealing natural remedy for many ailments.

However, it is crucial to be aware of potential side effects and to use it in the appropriate dosage.

As always, consult with a healthcare professional before adding hyssop to your wellness regimen.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • Asta Judžentienė. Chapter 53 – Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis L.) Oils. Editor(s): Victor R. Preedy. Essential Oils in Food Preservation, Flavor and Safety. Academic Press. 2016. Pages 471-479. ISBN 9780124166417. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-416641-7.00053-5. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780124166417000535)
  • Ma X, Ma X, Ma Z, Wang J, Sun Z, Yu W, Li F, Ding J. Effect of Hyssopus officinalis L. on inhibiting airway inflammation and immune regulation in a chronic asthmatic mouse model. Exp Ther Med. 2014 Nov;8(5):1371-1374. doi: 10.3892/etm.2014.1978. Epub 2014 Sep 18. PMID: 25289025; PMCID: PMC4186396.
  • Vlase L, Benedec D, Hanganu D, Damian G, Csillag I, Sevastre B, Mot AC, Silaghi-Dumitrescu R, Tilea I. Evaluation of antioxidant and antimicrobial activities and phenolic profile for Hyssopus officinalis, Ocimum basilicum and Teucrium chamaedrys. Molecules. 2014 Apr 28;19(5):5490-507. doi: 10.3390/molecules19055490. PMID: 24786688; PMCID: PMC6270679.
  • Kreis W, Kaplan MH, Freeman J, Sun DK, Sarin PS. Inhibition of HIV replication by Hyssop officinalis extracts. Antiviral Res. 1990 Dec;14(6):323-37. doi: 10.1016/0166-3542(90)90051-8. PMID: 1708226.
  • Koch C, Reichling J, Schneele J, Schnitzler P. Inhibitory effect of essential oils against herpes simplex virus type 2. Phytomedicine. 2008 Jan;15(1-2):71-8. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2007.09.003. Epub 2007 Oct 31. PMID: 17976968.
  • Orchard A, van Vuuren S. Commercial Essential Oils as Potential Antimicrobials to Treat Skin Diseases. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:4517971. doi: 10.1155/2017/4517971. Epub 2017 May 4. PMID: 28546822; PMCID: PMC5435909.
  • Fathiazad F, Mazandarani M, Hamedeyazdan S. Phytochemical analysis and antioxidant activity of Hyssopus officinalis L. from Iran. Adv Pharm Bull. 2011;1(2):63-7. doi: 10.5681/apb.2011.009. Epub 2011 Dec 15. PMID: 24312758; PMCID: PMC3845980.
  • Zahmatkesh S, Klemeš JJ, Bokhari A, Wang C, Sillanpaa M, Hasan M, Amesho KTT. Critical role of Hyssop plant in the possible transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in contaminated human Feces and its implications for the prevention of the virus spread in sewage. Chemosphere. 2022 Oct;305:135247. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.135247. Epub 2022 Jun 7. PMID: 35688196; PMCID: PMC9173688.

Author

  • Shaira Urbano, Licensed Pharmacist

    Shaira is a licensed pharmacist (Bachelor of Pharmacy) and an experienced content writer. She enjoys inspiring and informing her readers through research-backed, comprehensive health content. Shaira draws from her personal experience working with real-life patients in a hospital setting and is currently pursuing her passion in writing.

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Shaira is a licensed pharmacist (Bachelor of Pharmacy) and an experienced content writer. She enjoys inspiring and informing her readers through research-backed, comprehensive health content. Shaira draws from her personal experience working with real-life patients in a hospital setting and is currently pursuing her passion in writing.