Native to the regions of the Mediterranean and Central Asia, it is one of Iran’s widespread perennial herbs, boasting an extended history of medicinal use. In an effort to fend off the raging plague, the Romans used the herb for treating minor infections and as a disinfectant. Some regions of the world believed that it purified, cleansed, and was able to “forgive sins”. Christianity highly regarded hyssop as a conciliation and baptism symbol. Coming from the word “ezob” in Hebrew, it means “holy herb”.
Description of the plant
The Mediterranean Sea sees its shores adorned by the hyssop shrub whose height is around 2 ft (60 cm) and woos bees. The plant is characterized by hairy, woody stem, tiny lance-shaped leaves in green, and purple-blue flowers. In Europe, it is widely cultivated in France, Russia, Italy, and Spain, and since it is a xerophyte, the plant is quite adapted to low input conditions and extensive droughts.
Description of the oil
The oil of Hyssopus officinalis bears a warm and sweet smell and its colors range from pale green-yellow to pallid and colorless. Steam distillation aids in the extraction of the oil from the blossoming tops and leaves of the plant. Although its composition varies greatly from one growth season to another, the oil’s main components are b-pinene, camphene, sabinene, a-pinene, myrcene, y-terpineol, thujone, limonene, pinocamphone, 1,8-cineole, and isopinocamphene.
Despite that the oil is non-sensitizing and non-irritant, the fact that it contains pinocamphone (more than 50%) tells us to use it moderately and people who suffer from epilepsy, as well as pregnant women, should evade using hyssop oil.
Combines well with
The various essential oils blend very well with one another. Particularly, Hyssopus officinalis blends excellently with rosemary, melissa, tangerine, orange, geranium, clary sage, and angelica.
Uses / effects
Owing to the fact that it aids with fatigue and anxiety and greatly enhances the overall alertness, hyssop oil is very beneficial as tonic during convalescence. The oil proves quite effective for the fight against viral infections, such as influenza, asthma, sore throats, coughs, bronchitis, colds, tonsillitis, and catarrh, as well as alleviates problems with respiration.
It is an indispensable herb when it comes to raising low blood pressure, regulating circulation, and battling indigestion, flatulence, and colic.
Hyssop oil is very effective over the course of monthly periods where the main challenge is water retention. Not only does it improve the menstrual cycle but it also helps with leucorrhoea and amenorrhea.
Research has shown that there is a direct connection between the plant’s phenolic content (whose total is one of the highest in nature) and antioxidant activities. Thus, the plant might be considered a natural ingredient and a way to substitute synthetic antioxidants.
The oil of the hyssop shrub is also capable of stimulating several body systems. For example, it is pretty effective in nurturing the digestive system which guarantees much better metabolism and a better absorption of nutrients. Its other stimulatory effects are related to the excretory, endocrine, nervous, and circulatory systems.
Hyssop oil may help with the relief of spasms in the nervous and respiratory systems, as well as with the intestines and the muscles. The perennial herb is also a pronounced antiseptic which aids cuts, wounds, and bruises in healing quicker and shields them against possible infections.
The essential hyssop oil is demonstrated to exhibit antifungal and antibacterial activities against given pathogenic organisms. The oil of the herb has been shown to have powerful antimicrobial effect against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, and Staphylococcus pyogenes.
Use in aromatherapy
Nowadays, hyssop oil finds application in aromatherapy by aiding in the treatment of problems related to the digestive and respiratory systems. Potentially, it may also be made use of for relieving sores, toothaches, bruises, ear pain, and arthritic pain.
Use in massages
Hyssop oil helps get rid of fatigue and eases out menstrual and other pains when used as a bath oil or applied to the skin during a massage.
Hyssop oil’s therapeutic uses are astringent, antiseptic, cicatrizing, digestive, tonic, hypertensive, febrifuge, carminative, diuretic, antispasmodic, emmenagogue, vulnerary, vermifuge, expectorant, and stimulant.
Bear in mind that there are some studies which suggest that in some isolated cases, hyssop might cause human intoxication and neurotoxicity, hence use with care.