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Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)

Generic Name: Hyssopus

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Azob, bitter aperitifs, borneol, bornylacetate, caffeic acid, camphene, chartreuse, decoction of qingre huoxue (QHR), diosmin, diterpenoid, European mint, ezob (Hebrew), flavonoids, geraniol, giant-hyssop herb, herb hyssop, hesperidin, holy herb, hyssop decoction, hyssop leaf extract, hyssop oil, hyssopin, hyssopos of Dioscorides, Hyssopus ambiguus (Trautv.) Iljin, Hyssopus cretaceus Dubjan., Hyssopus cuspidatus Boriss., Hyssopus ferganensis Boriss., Hyssopus latilabiatus C.Y.Wu & H.W.Li, Hyssopus lophanthoides Buch.-Ham.ex D.Don, Hyssopus macranthus Boriss., Hyssopus ocymifolius Lam., Hyssopus officinalis, Hyssopus officinalis L., Hyssopus seravschanicus (Dub.) Pazij, Hyssopus tianschanicus Boriss, isopinocamphone, Lamiaceae (family), limonene, linalool, marrubiin, oleanolic acid, Origanum aegypticum, Origanum syriacum, phellandrene, pinene, pinocamphone, polysaccharide MAR-10, QHR, resin, tannins, terpenoids, thujone, ursolic acid, volatile oil.

Background

The use of hyssop as an herbal remedy dates back to Biblical times. It is mentioned in both the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible as a cleansing agent (although these references may be to other species of hyssop, such as Origanum aegypticum or Origanum syriacum, rather than Hyssopus officinalis).

Hyssop has been prescribed for a multitude of medical conditions, although there are few high-quality human trials researching these uses. It has been used traditionally as an antispasmodic, expectorant, emmenagogue (stimulates menstruation), stimulant, carminative (digestive aid), peripheral vasodilator, anti-inflammatory, anticatarrhal, antispasmodic, tonic and sweat-inducer. However, both the alcoholic extract and decoction have been used to inhibit sweating. Hyssop is used specifically for cough, bronchitis and chronic catarrh, and also for its tonic effects on the digestive, urinary, nervous and bronchial systems. Hot hyssop decoction vapors have also been used to treat inflammation and tinnitus.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Abscess (peritonsillar), anemia, antifungal, anthelminthic (expels worms), anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antitussive (preventing or reliving cough), antiviral, anxiety, asthma, bronchitis, bruises, burns, calming, cancer, cardiovascular conditions, carminative (digestive aid), catarrh (inflammation of mucous membranes), chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), circulatory disorders, common cold, cosmetic, cough, depression, diabetes mellitus type 1, diaphoretic (promotes sweating), digestive tonic, diuretic, dyspepsia (upset stomach), emmenagogue (stimulates menstruation), epilepsy, exhaustion, expectorant, fever, food flavoring, flu, gallbladder disorders, gout (foot inflammation), herpes simplex, HIV, hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), hysteria, influenza, intestinal inflammation, intestinal worms, Kaposi's sarcoma, leukemia, liver conditions, melanoma, nephritis (inflamed liver), night sweats, ophthalmia (inflamed eye), perfume, peripheral vasodilator, pleurisy (inflamed membranes around the lungs), poor circulation, respiratory infections, rheumatism (painful disorder of the joints, muscles or connective tissues), rhinitis (hay fever), respiratory congestion, sedative, seizure (petit mal), sore throat, stimulant, stress, tinnitus, tonic, tonsillitis, toothache, vulnerary (wound healing).

Dosing

Adults (over 18 years old)

There is no proven safe or effective dose for hyssop. In general, 2 grams of dried herb infused in boiling water three times daily has been given. Avoid sustained use of hyssop oil (10 to 30 drops daily for adults) due to a slight risk of seizures.

Children (under 18 years old)

Avoid in children, due to possible seizures, as hyssop is a known convulsant.

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