Herb Spotlight - Hyssop
Hyssop (Hyssopus oficinallis)
Part Used: Aerial parts
Flavor/Aroma: Pungent, Bitter
Hyssop has been revered as a holy herb since the beginning of religious ceremonies, and has been recorded in the bible many times most notably stating, “Purge me with hyssop, and I will be clean”. The medicinal value of Hyssop reaches far beyond its strong antimicrobial properties, and is said to bestow protection onto those that gather the branches and display them in their home.
Hyssop is a perennial herb that grows as an evergreen shrub, reaching heights of 2 feet tall in ideal conditions. It has a square, slightly fuzzy stems, with light blue or purple blooms, and has a unique aromatic quality- similar to others in the mint family.¹
Cultivation and Harvesting:
Hyssop is native to the southern Eurpean nations in cooler climates, but has since been naturalized globally and is commonly found in gardens and available for purchase. The aerial portions of the herb are best harvested in the summer months, when the flowers begin to express, or waiting until after the flowers have gone through their natural bloom cycle.¹
Southern Oregon Cultivation:
Hyssop is an aromatic herb typically grown for its culinary uses- adding a spicy, minty punch to any dish. It grows easily in gardens with well-drained, rockier soil, and will self-seed and spread very quickly. Hyssop flowers attract butterflies, and provides sustenance for bees, and other critters alike.
History and Folklore:
Traditional European Uses: Hyssop was hung in the doorway of homes to protect families from evil and witches, and was planted next to graves to protect the dead from the living.¹ It was used as a culinary spice, and as a tea to relieve fevers, upset stomachs, and soothe colds and flues. Hyssop was also used to prevent pneumonia, to relieve worms, and protect the kidneys and liver.2,3
Hyssop comes from the hebrew word ‘ezobe’, literally translating to ‘holy herb’. ¹
Middle Eastern Medicinal Uses: Hyssop was used to clean temples and cleanse those seen impure. It was commonly used as a culinary ingredient and for its potent antibacterial, anticatarrhal, and diaphoretic properties.3
Hyssop is indicated to support upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis and whooping cough, mitigate gastrointestinal upsets, and relieve urinary tract or bladder infections. It is used to remedy general fevers, infectious viral or bacterial conditions, and swelling of glands in the neck and throat. The volatile oils in Hyssop play a key role in the strong antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti inflammatory abilities of the medicinal herb.³
Uses and Preparations:
Dried Herb Tea Preparation:
1-2 teaspoons per cup of water; dried leaf can be used as a brochiodialint steam by boiling one cup of water and pour it over the herb, and inhale deeply.
Using a reusable tea bag or tea ball, immerse the loose dried herbs into boiling water and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes, preferably covered, in order to release the maximum amount of herbal goodness. Some herbal tea can carry a strong flavor. We recommend organic honey as a sweetener which preserves the beneficial herbal compounds.
1-4 mL up to 3 times per day.
Some herbal tinctures can have a strong flavor on their own. Adding your tincture to a glass of 6-8oz of water is one easy way to help, should you wish to dilute the flavor.
It is important to remember that some bodies may react differently than others when using herbal products. Our recommended usage amounts are designed to be an average dosage only. If you have specific concerns about the usage amount or interaction with other medication, please consult with your doctor or health care practitioner prior to using our products.
Do not use if you are pregnant. We recommend consulting with your practitioner if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, or if you are using any other medications.
- Hyssopus officinalis. (n.d.). www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/hool1922/hyssop.html
- Emami, SA., Javadi, B., Sahebkar, A. (2017). Medical Plants for the Treatment of Asthma: A Traditional Persian Medicine Perspective. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27774904
- Hyssop Monograph. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.herbrally.com/monographs/hyssop
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.