Herb Reference Guide

Hyssop

History

Aromatically complex and visually stimulating, this ancient member of the mint family hails from the eastern Mediterranean to central Asia. There are 10-12 species of Hyssop, but the most widely cultivated and naturalized species is officinalis. Hyssop is mentioned in the Bible, and by ancient Greek physician; Dioscorides among other venerable places in historical literature. The whole plant when distilled yields an aromatic essential oil that is used in perfumery (eau de cologne), in liqueurs (chartreuse, absinthe), and aromatherapy. The flowers attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators and the honey produced from Hyssop flower nectar is sublime.

Function

Hyssop, like most members of the mint family aids in promoting healthy digestion. Hyssop is more known for inclusion in herbal formulas supporting respiratory health. It’s a very common ingredient in herbal cough drops and in the US during the mid to late 1800’s it was popular to apply the bruised leaves to sore muscles. The essential oils and antioxidant properties in Hyssop flowering tops help to support upper respiratory immune function as well as calm bronchial and respiratory muscle tension.

Uses of Hyssop

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

1,8 cineole, camphor, diosmin, hesperidin, rosmarinic acid, ursolic acid

Parts Used

  • Flowering tops

Important precautions

Not for use during pregnancy. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.

Additional Resources

Tagarelli G., Tagarelli A., Piro A.
J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2010; 6: 27.

Zhou X, Hai-Yan G., Tun-Hai X., Tian, S.,
Pharmacogn Mag. 2010 Oct-Dec; 6(24): 278–281.