Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) Essential Oil
PARTS USED: Flowering plant
EXTRACTION METHOD: Steam distilled
AROMA: Sweet, rich herbaceous, camphoraceous
OVERVIEW: Hyssop has a history as a strewing and purifying herb.
BLENDS WELL WITH: Angelica, Bay, clary sage, geranium, grapefruit, lavandin, lavender, lemon, mandarin, Melissa, myrtle, orange, rosemary, sage, tangerine
HERBAL MISCELLANY: It is one of the bitter herbs mentioned in the Old Testament, employed to purify the temples. Romans used hyssop to protect themselves against the plague, and to clean the houses of the sick. The chief constituents of Hyssop essential oil are Alpha Pinene, Camphene, Beta-Pinene, Sabinene, Myrcene, Limonene, Pinocamphone, Iso-Pinocamphene, Gamma Terpineol, Cineole, and Thujone.
What Is Hyssop Oil: The perennial plant hyssop is native to the Mediterranean region and was considered a holy plant in biblical times. During the time of the Romans, this herb was used against the plague, as a disinfectant and for treatment of minor infections. In some parts of the world, it had a spiritual function, and was believed to purify and “forgive sins.” Christianity held hyssop in high regard — the herb was cited as a symbol of baptism and reconciliation. In other religions, it is associated with purification.
The plant grows up to 60 centimeters or 2 feet high, and has a “hairy” stem with small pointy leaves and blue, purple or white flowers. Today, hyssop is cultivated in various parts of France for its essential oils. It is deemed one of the strongest antiviral essential oils out there because it contains nearly every type of chemical compound found in essential oils. However, the oil is still mild and gentle.
How Does Hyssop Oil Work?
The essential oil of the hyssop plant can be used in several ways. It can be applied topically on your skin or inhaled through a diffuser or vaporizer. Below are some ways to enjoy the benefits of this essential oil:
- Help relieve fatigue, stress and even any type of body pain — Add two drops of hyssop oil to your bath water, preferably warm. Taking a bath in hyssop oil infused water may also contribute to a peaceful night’s rest.
- Possibly address menstrual discomfort or menopausal symptoms — Mix three drops of hyssop oil with a carrier oil and use the mixture as a massage oil on your abdomen.
- Help reduce pain as massage oil — Similar to the previous suggestion, use three drops of this oil blended with a carrier oil and massage on painful muscles. Rubbing the mixture on your stomach may also relieve gastrointestinal discomfort caused by indigestion and gas.
- Aid in lowering fever — Massaging two drops of this herbal oil with 1 milliliter of coconut oil on the soles of your feet may help reduce fever.
- Help clear clogged respiratory tracts — When inhaled, hyssop oil can ease nasal congestion, breathing difficulties, colds and cough. Use two drops in steam inhalation. You may also apply two drops of hyssop oil mixed with vapor rub onto your chest to induce the oil’s expectorant effect.
- Help heal and prevent scars — Add two drops of hyssop oil to your lotion or cream and apply topically.
BENEFITS: The health benefits of Hyssop Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an astringent, stimulant, anti-Spasmodic, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, carminative, cicatrisant, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, hypertensive, nervine, sudorific, tonic, febrifuge, vermifuge, and vulnerary substance.
Astringent: The function of an astringent is to contract or cause something to shrink. Hyssop essential oil, being an astringent, makes the gums, muscles and limbs, abdomen, intestines, skin, tissues and blood vessels to contract. This can help you in many ways. This can prevent muscles and skin from sagging down due to age, loosening or loss of teeth, wrinkles, and hemorrhaging, all by quickly contracting the blood vessels.
Antispasmodic: Being an antispasmodic, Hyssop essential oil gives relief in spasms of the respiratory system, thereby curing spasmodic coughs. It also cures spasms of the nervous system in order to cure convulsions and related problems, as well as reducing muscular spasms, which cures cramps, and spasms of the intestines, giving relief from acute abdominal pain. It is also beneficial in curing spasmodic cholera.
Coughing is a common reaction of the respiratory system trying to expel harmful microbes, dust or irritants, so hyssop’s antispasmodic and antiseptic properties make it a great natural treatment for coughs and other respiratory conditions. Hyssop can also work as a remedy for sore throats, making it a great tool for people who use their voices throughout the day, like teachers, singers and lecturers. The best way to soothe the throat and respiratory system is to drink hyssop tea or add a few drops of oil to your throat and chest.
Almost everybody has likely experienced discomfort in his or her muscles at some point. Because almost every part of the body has muscle tissue, this type of pain can be felt practically anywhere. A study done at the Department of Pharmacology of Natural Substances and General Physiology in Italy found that hyssop oil had muscle-relaxing activity when it was tested on guinea pig and rabbit intestines. The hyssop oil treatment inhibited contractions and reduced the amplitude of spontaneous movements. Hyssop oil’s antispasmodic properties can help treat muscle aches, cramps and charley horses naturally.
Anti-rheumatic: Since Hyssop oil improves and promotes circulation, it helps cure diseases associated with poor circulation, such as rheumatism, arthritis, gout, and swelling.
An increase in blood flow or circulation in the body benefits the heart and the body’s muscles and arteries. Hyssop improves and promotes circulation because of its anti-rheumatic properties. By increasing circulation, hyssop can work as a natural remedy for gout, rheumatism, arthritis and swelling. Your heart rate lowers when your blood circulates properly, and then your heart muscles relax and your blood pressure flows evenly throughout the body, affecting every organ.
So many people are looking for natural arthritis treatments because it can be a crippling condition. Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, occurs when cartilage between joints wears down, causing inflammation and pain. By increasing circulation, hyssop oil and tea inhibit swelling and inflammation, allowing the blood to flow through the body and relieve the pressure that builds up because of clogged arteries.
Because of its ability to improve circulation, hyssop oil is also a home remedy and treatment for hemorrhoids, which are experienced by 75 percent of Americans at some point in their lives. Hemorrhoids are caused by an increase in pressure on the veins of the anus and rectum. The pressure on the veins causes swelling, pain and bleeding.
Antiseptic: Whenever we are wounded or get a cut or abrasion, our first worry is that the wound might become septic. If it is an iron object, then there remains a chance of it becoming infected by tetanus. Hyssop oil, applied on wounds, might help us avoid both of the above situations. Since it is an antiseptic substance, it prevents infections from developing into wounds.
Hyssop prevents infections from developing in wounds and cuts. Because of its antiseptic properties, when it’s applied to an opening of the skin, it fights infection and kills bacteria. Hyssop also helps in healing deep cuts, scars, insect bites and even can be one of the great home remedies for acne.
A study done at the Department of Virology, Hygiene Institute in Germany tested hyssop oil’s ability to fight genital herpes by testing plaque reduction. Genital herpes is a chronic, persistent infection that is spread efficiently and silently as a sexually transmitted disease. The study found that hyssop oil lowered plaque formation by more than 90 percent, proving that the oil interacted with the virus and serves as a therapeutic application for the treatment of herpes.
Cicatrisant: Deep cuts will heal quicker and the scar marks left by them will disappear sooner if Hyssop oil is applied to them. It is equally beneficial to fade away the after spots of boils, pox, infections, and insect bites.
Hyssop oil can work as a natural treatment for acne. Because hyssop oil is antiseptic, it can kill bacteria on the skin and fight infections. Research also demonstrates that hyssop essential oil exhibits bacteriostatic activity, which means it can stop bacteria from reproducing.
Digestive: This oil facilitates digestion. Being a stimulant, it stimulates the secretion of gastric juices like acids, enzymes, and bile into the stomach, which speeds up the decomposition of complex proteins, carbohydrates, and other nutrients. It also facilitates the passage of these foods through the intestines by stimulating peristaltic motion, thereby optimizing the absorption of these nutrients by intestinal villi.
Hyssop oil is a stimulant, so it increases the production of secretions, like bile, digestive enzymes and acid. These gastric juices are necessary in order to break down food as it makes its way to the stomach. We have digestive juices that contain enzymes in order to speed up the chemical reactions in the body and break down food into nutrients.
By facilitating digestion, hyssop oil helps with the decomposition of complex proteins, carbohydrates and nutrients. Because the digestive system interacts with all other body systems, including the nervous, endocrine and immune systems, the role that hyssop plays as a stimulant is very beneficial. Hyssop oil can also be helpful with intestinal gas, indigestion and loss of appetite.
Diuretic: Hyssop essential oil can also speed up detoxification of your body, removal of excess water and sodium, loss of fats and reduction in blood pressure just by promoting a single thing – urination. It increases the frequency of urination and the quantity of urine as well. This has other benefits too. Hyssop essential oil keeps your heart healthy, aids digestion, and also reduces the formation of gas.
Emmenagogue: This property of Hyssop essential oil can help women with irregular, obstructed, painful, or exhausting menstruation. This oil opens up menses, makes it regular and also helps overcome symptoms related with menses like nausea, headache, pain in lower abdomen, fatigue, loss of appetite, and mood swings.
Expectorant: This is yet another beneficial property of Hyssop essential oil. It is an expectorant. This is a good remedy to loosen phlegm that has been tightly deposited in the respiratory tracts. This keeps the respiratory system warm and stops any further deposition of phlegm in it. Moreover, it helps to cure the infections due to the common cold.
Carminative: This oil, having carminative properties, helps clear gases from the intestines and relieves you of problems like uneasiness, heaviness, indigestion, stomach aches, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and even heart troubles. Furthermore, Hyssop oil does not allow the formation of gas. It actually stimulates the downward passage of gas for safe expulsion from the body.
Febrifuge: When fever is due to infections, it helps reduce it by fighting infections. When fever is due to an accumulation of toxins in the body, this oil reduces it by promoting the removal of toxins from the body through urination. Hyssop oil also brings about sweating, which helps bring down a person’s temperature in cases of very high fever.
Hypertensive: Now, this property may not be welcome for normal or hypertensive people, but it is beneficial for hypotensive people (people who suffer from low blood pressure). This essential oil can raise blood pressure and help get rid of problems associated with low blood pressure, such as headaches, a tendency of vomiting, fatigue, and swelling in the limbs.
Nervine: Being a Nervine means serving as a tonic for the nervous system. This keeps the nervous system healthy and in good, working order, and helps to avoid nervous disorders. It is effective in cases of vertigo, nervousness, and convulsions as well. Hyssop essential oil is a good nervine and tones up the entire nervous system.
Stimulant: Hyssop oil stimulates all the systems running inside the body. It stimulates the nervous, circulatory, digestive, endocrine, neural, and excretory systems. Thus, it stimulates the body’s metabolism as a whole and helps in optimal consumption and absorption of the nutrients. It also stimulates and activates the immune system and protects your body from infections and diseases.
Sudorific: If someone is suffering from very limited perspiration, obstructed perspiration, or no perspiration at all (something teenagers have always wanted), he or she could be in big trouble. It simply means that toxic elements, excess water, and sodium is accumulating in your body, which is paving the way for bigger or chronic trouble. So, get going and use Hyssop essential oil. Being a sudorific, it helps bring about a lot of perspiration and frees your body of toxins, water, and extra salts. It also can help you to slim down.
Vermifuge: It kills worms, intestinal and otherwise while helping those children enjoy a better life who were suffering from obstructed growth due to these worms. Nutrients can actually be put to good use, and children can begin to develop properly.
Hyssop has the ability to fight parasites, which are organisms that feed off the nutrients of other organisms. Some examples of parasites include tapeworm, fleas, hookworms and flukes. Because it’s a vermifuge, hyssop oil expels parasitic works, especially in the intestines. When a parasite lives in and feed on its host, it disrupts nutrient absorption and causes weakness and disease. If the parasite is living in the intestines, it disrupts the digestive and immune systems.
Therefore, hyssop can be a key part of a parasite cleanse, as hyssop helps many systems in the body and ensures that your needed nutrients aren’t taken by these dangerous organisms.
Vulnerary: Hyssop essential oil protects wounds from infections and helps them heal quicker.
Other Benefits: It is very effective against diseases resulting from viral infections such as coughs, colds, flu, mumps, tonsillitis, and sore throat, as well as on bronchitis, asthma, eczema, dermatitis, and inflammation.
PRECAUTIONS: Oil Specific: Avoid in epilepsy, and while pregnant. Not for internal use.
General: As with all essential oils, never use them undiluted, in eyes or mucus membranes. Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children. If applying an essential oil to your skin always perform a small patch test to an insensitive part of the body (after you have properly diluted the oil in an appropriate carrier.
How to Use Hyssop
Hyssop is most commonly used to fight throat and respiratory infections, fatigue, muscle aches, and arthritis. It’s traditionally used in teas, but it’s equally effective as a capsule, oil or extract. Here are some common hyssop uses:
- For aromatherapy, diffuse or inhale 3–5 drops of hyssop oil.
- When used topically to treat skin irritations, burns, bruising and frostbite, dilute 2–3 drops of hyssop with equal parts of a carrier oil (like coconut or jojoba oil) before applying to skin.
- To heal scars and wounds, add 2–3 drops of hyssop oil with equal parts coconut or jojoba oil and apply the mixture to the specific area twice daily.
- Add 3–5 drops of hyssop oil to warm bath water to stimulate sweating and lower body temperature.
- To reduce fever, massage two drops of hyssop oil and a teaspoon of coconut oil into your feet.
- To clear clogged respiratory system, add 2–3 drops of hyssop oil to my Homemade Vapor Rub recipe.
- To treat a cough, add one drop of hyssop oil to my Homemade Cough Syrup.
- As a fragrance, hyssop oil can be added to soaps, lotions and body washes.
Can you eat hyssop? The fresh herb is commonly used in cooking, but the flavor is very strong, so it’s often steamed when making broths or soups. It can be added to salads in small amounts. The leaves have a lightly bitter taste due to its tannins and an intense minty aroma.
- For internal use, add 1–2 drops of hyssop to water and mix it with a smoothie. Only use very high-quality oil brands when used for consumption.
- Hyssop flower tops and leaves are steeped in water to make infusions and medicinal tea.
- The plant is commonly used by beekeepers to produce a rich and aromatic honey.
- The hyssop herb is used to flavor liqueur and is part of the official formulation of Chartreuse.
- To kill bacteria in the mouth, gargle 1–2 drops of hyssop mixed with water.
- To increase blood circulation and repair damaged heart cells, add 1–2 drops of hyssop oil, or dried hyssop leaves, to my Hot Heart Health Juice.
- Hyssop essential oil blends well with other essential oils such as geranium, lemon, clary sage, grapefruit, lavender, rosemary and orange.
Hyssop Tea Recipe: To make your own hyssop tea, follow these directions.
- Start by boiling two cups of water.
- Add two tablespoons of fresh hyssop leaves to the water
- Let it steep for 30 minutes.
- You can make a bigger batch of tea and reheat it when needed.
Hyssop tea is a great way to relieve respiratory infections, the common cold and sore throat. It also helps regulate your digestive system and supports the immune system. You can even dab hyssop tea on your wounds, cuts and bruises to speed up the recovery process and minimize the look of dark spots and scars.
How to Make a Hyssop Oil Infusion
What You’ll Need:
- Fresh hyssop
- Ceramic or enamel stock pot with lid
- Clean brick or canning rack
- Ceramic bowl or heatproof glass
- Distilled water
- Ice cubes
- Small glass bottle or vial
- Gather a basketful of flowers and leaves from hyssop plants early in the morning.
- Rinse and dry the hyssop flowers and leaves, then chop them. Crush these to slightly release their volatile oils.
- Put a clean brick or canning rack at the bottom of your stock pot.
- Place a heat-proof bowl on top of the brick or rack. This will then be the “receiver” of the condensed hyssop vapor.
- Surround the bowl inside with the chopped hyssop. It should be halfway up the side of the bowl.
- Pour enough hot distilled water over the chopped hyssop until it is immersed in water, but do not spill water into the bowl.
- Turn the burner to high until the water boils, then lower to a simmer.
- Invert the lid of the stockpot and use it to cover the pot. The upside down handle will act as a “drip mechanism” from which the condensed vapor can drip into the bowl.
- Place several ice cubes on the outside of the inverted lid, along the center depression. As older ones melt, continue adding fresh cubes.
- After three to four hours, turn off the heat and remove the interior bowl, which is filled with the condensed drops from the vaporized hyssop water. The product is the hyssop hydrosol, or herbal water.
- Extract the essential oil by pouring the hydrosol into a jar and placing it in the freezer. The liquid portion of the herbal water will freeze, while the volatile oil will stay as it is.
- Pour the essential oil into a small bottle or vial. Seal it and store in a dark, cool place.
Magical/Energetic Uses: An excellent plant for purification and protection, hyssop is invaluable in its ability to dispel negativity. Hang a bouquet at the front door of your home to deflect any unwanted energy from entering. It can also be dried and displayed anywhere you wish to create extra protection, such as in a car or bedroom.
On a waning or dark moon, burn it in ritual to assist in cutting energetic cords, banishing attachments or releasing patterns that no longer serve you. It is useful to combine hyssop with other cleansing herbs such as sage and cedar to smudge and clear unwanted energies throughout your home.
Planted in your garden, hyssop can help create protection and a positive energetic flow throughout your yard. This in turn, can elevate the vibrational frequency around your home and garden area and act as a beacon attracting nature fairies and elementals to your space.