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Hyssop is a relatively little known herb with excellent healing and taste properties. It usually comes in the form of a dried herb that can be made into an infusion. Hyssop extracts are also added to teas and various types of cosmetics. Find out what properties hyssop has and what its use is. What are the contraindications to its use?

Hyssop(LatinHyssopus officinalis ) is a small semi-shrub growing up to 30 cm with white, pink or bluish-purple flowers attracting pollinating insects. It is also known as:izop / izap, józefekandjózefka .

Originally, hyssop was found in North Africa, the Mediterranean and West Asia. Its name is probably derived from Arabic ( azzof ) or Hebrew ( ezob ) and means "holy herb". In the past, due to its disinfecting properties, holy water brooms were made of it.

Hyssop - properties

Hyssop is valued mainly for its richness of essential oils, tannins, mineral s alts and antioxidants. Its qualities were already appreciated by the ancient Greeks and Romans. In the old days, hyssop was important not only for healing, but also for rituals - it was believed to have cleansing properties, so it was sprinkled on places for new temples.

In the Middle Ages it was mainly cultivated by monks, they also spread hyssop in Europe. This plant appeared in Polish herbariums in the 16th century.

Hyssop - in what form is it

Hyssop leaves, flowers and stems are used in natural medicine. The above-ground part of the plant that is cut at the beginning of flowering is called hyssop herb. And it is most often used in herbal medicine.

Hyssop herb is dried in a dark, airy place at a temperature of up to 30 degrees C. After drying and grinding, it is best to store it in a linen or paper bag.

The dried herb is made into an infusion of hyssop for both internal and external use. In herbal stores, we can also find hyssop in the form of an oil (we can prepare it ourselves from the dried fruit). It is also an ingredient in teas, dietary supplements, herbal mixtures, ointments,creams and gels.

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Hyssop infusion - how to prepare it?

To make an infusion of hyssop, pour a small amount of herbs (1-2 teaspoons) with hot water and leave it covered for about 10-15 minutes. The infusion should be drunk half a glass three times a day after eating. After cooling down, you can also rinse the throat and gums with it. You can add sage to the hyssop for a better effect.

Hyssop - application

  • Hyssop for cough

Hyssop has anti-inflammatory, antiviral and expectorant properties, thanks to which it relieves all upper and lower respiratory tract diseases, such as colds, flu, bronchitis, pneumonia and bronchial asthma, and also supports the immune system.

It helps to get rid of the secretions remaining in the lungs and bronchi, therefore it is effective in the case of persistent cough. These properties of hyssop have already been appreciated by Hippocrates, who prescribed it to patients in the case of catarrh of the upper respiratory tract. In turn, rinsing the mouth with hyssop infusion helps with sore throat and angina.

  • Hyssop for digestion

Hyssop supports the secretion of gastric juices and stimulates the perist altic movements of the intestines, so it is often used in indigestion, heartburn, flatulence and constipation. It also has a diastolic effect.

In addition, it helps to keep the feeling of satiety for longer, so it is recommended as an auxiliary in slimming. Hyssop herb has a positive effect on the intestinal flora, soothes diarrhea and helps restore the balance in our body, e.g. after antibiotic therapy.

  • Hyssop to calm down

Hyssop, when used under the supervision of a doctor, can effectively lower blood pressure. In addition, the oil from this aromatic shrub has a calming and relaxing effect, so you should add a few drops of it to a hot bath or drink a tea containing hyssop before going to bed. Hyssop also relieves neuralgia and the pain accompanying menstruation.

  • Hyssop for rheumatism and mycosis

Hyssop herb relieves joint pain, so it is recommended for people suffering from rheumatic diseases and arthritis. It soothes the symptoms associated with contusions or injuries of bones and joints. Hyssop also has an antifungal (treats athlete's foot) and antiseptic effect - it accelerates wound healing, it can also be used for burns, abrasions and bruises.

For this purpose, it is enough to apply moist leaves andflowers directly on the skin (or wrapped in gauze) or dip a cotton cloth in hyssop infusion. This plant also has anti-parasitic properties.

  • Other uses of hyssop

This valuable plant is also used in the treatment and prevention of diabetes, as it reduces the absorption of carbohydrates, and in the treatment of the herpes virus. In addition, hyssop inhibits the secretion of sweat glands, has a diuretic effect and contributes to the maintenance of a normal and regular menstrual cycle. Its characteristic smell (leaves resemble the aroma of mint, flowers - anise) repels moths and other insects, and hyssop compresses soothe insect bites.

Hyssop - contraindications

Too much hyssop can be dangerous to our he alth. It is assumed that a safe amount for essential oil (the most condensed form of hyssop) is 15-20 drops. Excessively high doses of pinocampon and isopinocampon contained in hyssop have toxic properties and can cause convulsions (therefore it cannot be taken by people at risk of epilepsy) and vaginal bleeding. For this reason, it should not be used by pregnant women, as too high doses may cause miscarriage.

Hyssop - use in the kitchen

Thanks to its characteristic bitter-tart taste and strong aroma reminiscent of camphor or anise, hyssop is also a great seasoning in the kitchen, especially for bland dishes.

Due to its digestive-supporting properties, it can also be successfully added to meat marinades, as well as to legumes, which are difficult to digest. Hyssop herb and oil are also used as a seasoning for wines and liqueurs. Hyssop flowers are also edible and can be added to various types of salads.

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