Top 12 Benefits of Hyssop

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Hyssop has been praised as a medicinal plant for centuries and is still in wide use today by herbalists and those seeking natural forms of treatment.

What is Hyssop?

Hyssop is an herbaceous plant, scientifically known as Hyssopus officinalis, that is widely sought after for its potential medical applications. Native to southern Europe and the Middle East, hyssop is a woody shrub that bears clumps of colorful flowers each summer. Hyssop has enjoyed cultural, religious, and social importance in many different periods of history, including ancient Greece and Egypt.

This plant can be eaten, and the leaves are commonly used as an aromatic herb in many recipes. Due to the rich contents of the plant’s essential oil and the various active ingredients, including thujone, rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, cineole, and other antioxidants, this plant can provide a number of soothing and therapeutic effects.

A close-up shot of hyssop

Hyssop is used for digestive and intestinal problems. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Hyssop Benefits

This herb can be used for the treatment of a number of health conditions, including eliminating parasites, relieving premenstrual syndrome symptoms, and lowering blood pressure, among others.

  • Relieving respiratory conditions, such as the common cold, asthma or bronchitis
  • Eliminating parasites in the gastrointestinal tract
  • Increasing circulation, which improves oxygenation throughout the body
  • Treating muscle pain and inflammation
  • Defending the body against infections
  • Preventing chronic disease due to the presence of numerous antioxidants
  • Optimizing digestion processes
  • Soothing the symptoms of premenstrual syndromes, such as mood swings and cramps
  • Calming anxiety and stress
  • Boosting immunity
  • Lowering blood pressure to protect against atherosclerosis and coronary heart diseases
  • Functioning as a diuretic to help speed the detoxifying process in the body
  • Reducing the pain and discomfort of insect bites and stings

Hyssop Uses

Throughout history, hyssop has been used in many different ways, including for culinary and medicinal purposes.

Culinary Uses

  • The fresh leaves of this plant can be used in cooking as an herb.
  • The dried leaves of this plant are often included in Middle Eastern spice mixtures.
  • This dried herb can also be used in the production of certain liquors, such as chartreuse.

Medicinal Uses

  • Brewing these leaves into a tea can help with a wide variety of respiratory conditions.
  • The essential oil of these leaves can aid in treating skin conditions and inflammation in joints and muscles.
  • Infusions of these leaves can be administered to help regulate heart health.
  • Strong tinctures using these leaves are able to clear up gastrointestinal problems.

Side Effects

There are clearly many benefits to using this powerful herb; however, there are also some side effects particularly for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. In some rare cases, using the oil derived from this herb can increase your chance of seizure, specifically in children, so this herb is not recommended for younger patients. As with any herbal remedy, it is best to speak with your doctor before adding hyssop to your health regimen.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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