What is Hyssop?
Hyssop essential oil is extracted from the hyssop herb also known by its botanical name – Hyssopus officinalis. Hyssop has an extremely long history of use with references dating back to ancient texts that include the holy Bible.
Considered a holy plant, hyssop was used for cleansing the body and the mind and in Roman times, it was used to combat the plague and as a disinfectant treatment for minor wounds and other infections.
The perennial hyssop plant is actually a native of the Mediterranean regions and is cultivated today in various areas of Europe most notably France for its aromatic and therapeutic essential oil.
This potent essential oil derived by a process of steam-distillation and is used for a wide. It is also one of the best acting antiviral oils because of its complex chemical make-up.
Despite its potent actions, it is regarded as a safe, mild and gentle acting essential oil which is why it is such a popular choice in aromatherapy.
Properties and Composition
Among its many therapeutic properties, hyssop essential oil can boast antiseptic, antiviral, antispasmodic, digestive, decongestant, anti-inflammatory and pain relieving actions. It is also a calmative that can help relieve anxiety and ease the troubled mind.
The actual chemical make-up of hyssop essential oil varies depending on the stage of growth of the plant.
However research shows that its main components include monoterpenes like beta-pinene, cis-pinochampone and trans-pinocamphone. It also contains various sequiterpenes like elemol and germacrene.
Hyssop Essential Oil Benefits
1. For Respiratory Problems
One of the most common uses of hyssop essential oil is to treat congestion and other respiratory issues. It works because hyssop has antispasmodic properties that can soothe respiratory spasms and ease bouts of coughing.
It is also a natural expectorant meaning that it can be used to loosen phlegm and mucus in the respiratory tract. If you are suffering from congestion caused by a cold or bronchitis, hyssop essential oil is the ideal remedy.
- You can either inhale your hyssop oil directly from the bottle or prepare a steam inhaler for even greater effect.
- Alternatively, try massaging a few drops of diluted hyssop oil into your chest when necessary.
2. To Fight Infection
Hyssop essential oil is effective against both bacterial and fungal infections. It has excellent antiseptic qualities which can be put to great use when dealing with minor wounds, cuts, scratches, burns and bites.
It is also extremely effective against fungal infections of the skin.
A German study published in 2008 found that hyssop essential oil was effective against genital herpes by significantly reducing plaque formation by as much as 90%. (1)
3. To Aid Digestion
If you are suffering from digestive complications such as indigestion, flatulence, loss of appetite or stomach pain, hyssop essential oil can help. Hyssop oil can stimulate the production of important digestive secretions such as bile and acid necessary to efficiently break down your food into important nutrients.
If you are suffering from stomach cramps, not only does hyssop oil improve the digestive process but it has anti-spasmodic properties that will help relieve the cramping. It can also be used to improve your appetite following illness and may even help to relieve flatulence.
4. For the Skin
Hyssop essential oil can be applied topically provided that it is diluted first in order to treat a variety of skin conditions. It can help diminish the appearance of scars and even wrinkles and help you to look fresher and younger.
Because of its potent antiseptic and antibacterial properties, it is an excellent treatment for acne and other chronic skin conditions caused by bacteria. It also helps to regenerate the skin’s cells which means that it can help deal with any scaring left over from acne.
5. For Muscle Pain Relief
Muscle aches and pains are an unfortunate part of life, especially as we get older. Studies have demonstrated that hyssop essential oil has the ability to relax muscles and ease tension making it ideal for use when your muscles are tense and sore. (2)
Because of its antispasmodic nature, hyssop essential oil can also be used to alleviate cramping and twitching muscles while it is also effective in treating joint pain caused by rheumatism or arthritis.
Hyssop essential oil is a diuretic able to rid the body of excess salts and toxins which can also help treat swelling and rheumatism.
6. For Emotional Well-being
Just like so many essential oils, inhaling hyssop oil may help relieve feelings of stress and anxiety. The sense of smell tends to be very subjective and the same oil may not be effective for everybody.
A little trial and error with various oils may be needed before you find the one for you but there is no doubt that many people have used hyssop oil to great effect to improve their frame of mind and relieve nerves and anxiety.
7. For Fever
Hyssop essential oil has traditionally been used to bring down the body’s temperature during bouts of fever. If you are suffering from fever then massaging just a few drops of diluted hyssop essential oil into the bottom of your feet might help.
8. For Menstrual Cramps
If you are one of the countless women who suffer badly from cramping during menstruation, hyssop essential oil may prove to be a valuable natural ally.
- Massaging a few drops of diluted hyssop essential oil into your abdomen can help relieve cramps and bloating. It may also help you feel more positive if you suffer from mood swing related to menstruation.
9. To Improve Circulation
Hyssop has the ability to improve the flow of blood throughout the body from the organs to the muscles. By improving the body’s circulation, hyssop oil can help treat arthritis, gout and pain.
Its ability to stimulate better circulation is also the reason that hyssop oil can be used as a home remedy for hemorrhoids which are caused because of increased pressure on the rectum.
10. To Boost the Immune System
The improvement in digestion and circulation as well as its ability to destroy bacteria and other parasites means that hyssop oil can improve your general state of health and boost the body’s vital immune system.
This is especially important when you are recovering from sickness or your immune system is deflated because of treatment like chemotherapy.
How to Use it
Now that you know what it can do for you, let us take a look at how to best use your hyssop oil. Like all essential oil, how you use it will depend very much on the condition you are attempting to treat. Some of the most common uses include the following.
- Massage: make a soothing massage blend by diluting your hyssop oil with a carrier oil to improve circulation and relieve painful muscles and joint soreness.
- Hyssop oil bath: add 5 or 6 drops to your bathwater to soothe your aching muscles.
- Inhalation: diffuse or inhale your hyssop oil directly to improve your emotional condition.
- Steam inhale: add a few drops of hyssop oil to your sink of very hot water and inhale its medicinal vapors to get rid of congestion.
Side Effects and Precautions
- Hyssop essential oil should not be ingested
- Hyssop essential oil should be diluted with a carrier oil or in water before being applied to the skin.
- Hyssop oil can raise blood pressure or trigger epileptic seizures and should be avoided by those with epilepsy or hypertension.
- Hyssop essential oil may be safe for pregnant women but you should consult your doctor or midwife before going ahead with it.