Hyssop (Hyssopus otificinalis)

2014

Hyssop: Medical Uses

Hyssop is used for asthma, bronchitis, and coughs and as an expectorant, a diaphoretic, and a stimulant.

Historical Use

Hyssop, which is Greek for “holy herb,” was used to cleanse and purify for sacredness.

Growth

This perennial shrub of the Lamiaceae family grows on the sides of roads and can be planted in herb gardens. The leaves and flowers have a camphorlike odor and a bitter taste because of their volatile oils. Hyssop can be planted next to cabbage plants to deter insects.

Parts Used

• Dried aerial (above-ground) parts

Major Chemical Compounds

• Terpenoids

• Volatile acids

Flavonoids

• Lyssopin

• Tannin

Hyssop: Clinical Uses

Hyssop is used for asthma, bronchitis, and coughs and as an expectorant, a diaphoretic, and a stimulant.

Mechanism of Action

Caffeic acid, unidentified tannins, and unidentified higher molecular weight compounds exhibit strong anti-HIV activity, which maybe useful in treating patients with AIDS.

Hyssop: Dosage

Tea as an infusion: Steep 1 to 2 teaspoon of dried flower tops in 150 mL of boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and drink up to three times a day (Natural Medicines, 2000).

Gargle: Tea may be used as a gargle (Natural Medicines, 2000).

Tincture: 1 to 4 mL three times a day.

Side Effects

Hyssop may promote menstruation and stimulate the uterus. Seizures have been reported in two adults and one child using essential oil of hyssop.

Contraindications

• Hyssop is contraindicated in pregnant patients.

Herb-Drug Interactions

None are known.

Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding

Avoid use in pregnant and breast-feeding patients because the herb stimulates the uterus and menstruation.

Warnings

• Don’t use hyssop if you are pregnant; it may stimulate the uterus and promote menstruation.

• Seizures have been reported in two adults and one child using essential oil of hyssop.

• Avoid use while breast-feeding.