Friday, 18 February 2011

(6) Seasonal Materia Medica Profile: Hyssop

Hyssop - Hyssopus officinalis

A member of the Mint Family. Hyssop flowers between August and October. It can usually be found in dry rocky habitats and calcareous scree. Found in the Mediterranean region, and has been introduced further North (including the British Isles), has naturalised in some parts of Central Europe.

Active Constituents

The active components are bitters, tannins, essential oils, saponins, organic acids, flavonoids, terpenoids, mucilage, resin and vitamin C.


To induce heavy sweating in fevers, hypertensive to increase blood pressure, expectorant, emmenagogue, mild analgesic, diuretic, mild antispasmodic, diaphoretic, stimulant, pectoral, carminative and when used externally an antiseptic. Antiviral action against herpes simplex virus reported.


As blood cleanser, tonic and diuretic, and to treat cystitis, gastritis and kidney stones. The leaves are said to reduce inflammation. Bronchitis, colds, chills, catarrh, sore throat. Has been used in hysteria, anxiety states and petil mal BHP (1983). Respiratory disorders of nervous background in children. Externally can be used for eczema and bruises.

A Suitable Winter Remedy

For loss of appetite, diarrohea, coughs and as expectorant. Add 250ml boiling water to 1-2 teaspoonsful of Hyssop. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Take 3 cups a day.

Potential "Admixtures"

Hyssop can be combined with Betony (equal parts) in a tea for people with a tendency to epileptic episodes. The essential oil, 1-2 drops, with honey or water to create a digestive to be taken after meals. 5-6 drops with 2 teaspoons Almond oil to create a chest rub for congested bronchi.

  1. "Herbs and Healing Plants of Britain & Europe", Dieter Podlech
  2. "Bartram's Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine", Thomas Bartram

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