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Information about the herb Hyssop

Hyssopus officinalis, also known as Hyssop is part of the Labiatae plant family. Hyssop is a native of Southern Europe and Asia.

General Information

Botanical Name: Hyssopus officinalis

Plant Family: Labiatae, which includes the mint family.

History: Hyssop is a name of Greek origin. The Hyssopsus of the time of Discorides was named from azob, a holy herb.

Tradition: Hyssop has been used since Biblical times (‘Purge me with Hyssop, and I shall be clean’):

  • in purification baths and rituals
  • strewn in homes during the Middle Ages to purify them from plagues
  • to cleanse persons and objects

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Plant Constituents of Hyssop


  • highly aromatic essential oil
  • volatile oil


  • antiseptic [an agent for inhibiting the growth of microorganism on living tissue or destroying pathogenic or putrefactive bacteria]
  • antispasmodic [an agent which relieves or eases muscular spasms, cramps or convulsions]
  • astringent [a binding agent that contracts organic tissue, reducing secretions or discharges of mucous and fluid from the body]
  • carminative [an agent for easing griping pains, colic and expelling gas from the intestines]
  • diaphoretic [an agent that promotes perspiration]
  • emmenagogue [an agent that promotes menstrual flow]
  • expectorant [an agent that promotes the discharge of mucous and secretions from the respiratory passages]
  • pectoral [remedy for pulmonary or other lung and chest diseases]
  • purgative [an agent that produces a vigorous emptying of the bowels, more drastic than a laxative or aperient]
  • stimulant [an agent that excites or quickens the functional activity of the tissues giving more energy]
  • stomachic [an agent that strengthens, stimulates or tones the stomach]
  • sudorific [an agent that promotes or increases perspiration]
  • tonic [an agent that tones, strengthens and invigorates organs or the entire organism giving a feeling of well-being]  
  • vermifuge [an agent to expel parasitic worms, especially of the intestines]

Usage of Hyssop

Medicinal Parts Used: Herb, flowering tops (blue, red and white flowers)

Hyssop is used for:

Brain and Nervous System Conditions

  • eases nervous tension and anxiety
  • hysteria
  • petit mal (mild epilepsy)
  • soothing influence on the nervous system

Gastrointestinal Conditions

  • chronic catarrh of the digestive system
  • flatulence (gas/wind)
  • poor digestion
  • improves the tone of a weak stomach
  • mucous congestion in the intestines

Female Conditions

  • breast problems

Inflammatory Conditions

  • relieves inflammations
  • rheumatism

Liver Conditions

  • jaundice

Respiratory Tract Conditions

  • asthma
  • bronchitis
  • chronic catarrh of the respiratory system
  • coughs due to colds
  • head colds
  • influenza
  • lung ailments
  • nose and throat infections
  • pulmonary complaints
  • sinusitis
  • soothes sore throats

Used as a gargle for:

  • chronic catarrh
  • sore throat, with Sage

Viral Conditions

  • inhibits the growth of the herpes simplex virus


  • chronic catarrh (often combined with Horehound)
  • promotes perspiration at the start of fevers
  • scrofula

Hyssop Oil has been used:

  • to kill internal worms

Externally Hyssop has been used:

  • for bruises and discolored contusions
  • for burns
  • for cuts
  • for skin irritations
  • for swellings
  • for the relief of muscular rheumatism
  • to aid in healing of wounds
  • to bathe tired and aching eyes (very dilute)

Hyssop Oil is used externally for:

  • head itch
  • head lice

Other Uses: Hyssop is used as:

  • an excellent honey
  • an important constituent of Chartreuse liqueurs
  • an ingredient in perfume 

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  • Should not be used continuously over an extended period


Global Herbal Supplies has Hyssop available in the following forms:

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