Hyssop is an aromatic, smooth, perennial herb with erect or diffused branches; linear oblong, lance shaped leaves with a blunt or rounded apex and bluish purple flowers. It grows up to 30 to 60 cm in height.
Hyssop is a stimulant and a tonic. It contains volatile oil, sugar cholic, fat, tannins, carotene and xanthophylls. The tops contain ursolic acid. A glucoside diosmin which, on hydrolysis yields rhamnose, glucose and the aglucone diosmetin, have also been isolated.
Botanical Name: Hyssopus officianalis
Indian Name: Zufah yabis
Below are some of the medicinal properties of hyssop:
- Hyssop increases the secretion and discharge of urine and removes any obstruction to body secretion or excretion by opening the natural passages or pores of the body. It also induces movement of the bowels.
- Hyssop is widely used for treating respiratory disorders such as influenza, colds, catarrh and bronchitis. Marrubiin, a bitter principle in the plant, has expectorant qualities and helps to promote the removal of catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tubes. Its extracts have exhibited antiviral activities, especially against the herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores. An infusion or syrup of its leaves can be taken in coughs, asthma, sore throat and chronic bronchitis with beneficial results.
- A paste of hyssop applied externally to the affected parts is an effective remedy for skin conditions like bruises, wounds and burns. It is also used with good results for black eye, sprains and strains. The paste steeped in boiling water can be used to foment contused wounds, black eye, sprains and strains.
- Hyssop is also useful in uterine and urinary disorders. The infusion of the herb is a useful gargle for sore throat and a wash for sore eyes.
- Hyssop is beneficial in killing intestinal worms. An infusion of the herb or juice of the leaves taken twice or thrice daily expels roundworms.
- Hyssop is also effective in digestive disorders. It strengthens the stomach and promotes its action. It can be given beneficially with honey in dyspepsia and flatulence.