Hyssop Oil: Benefits, Uses, Properties, and Side Effects
From alleviating respiratory problems, promoting healthy blood flow to keeping infections at bay, the hyssop oil benefits are abundant.
The hyssop essential oil has been used from the ancient times for treating a variety of health problems. Though it resembles lavender, it chemical structure and medicinal properties are unique.
On that note, let’s understand about hyssop essential oil, its properties, usage, and much more in detail.
What Is Hyssop Oil?
Hyssop oil is obtained from the aerial part of the plant Hyssopus officinalis. Hyssop is a flower-bearing medicinal, culinary, and aromatic properties, which is well-known for centuries. The essential oil is obtained through steam distillation and is slightly bitter but has an aromatic minty flavor.
Scientific Name Of Hyssop Oil
The botanical name of hyssop is Hyssopus officinalis.
History Of Hyssop Oil
Hyssop is an herb, which is famous for its medicinal and culinary uses for hundreds of years. It is native to the South European countries. The plant grows on dry banks from 50 to 120 centimeters.
The plant has a hairy stem, which bears purple, blue, and white flowers. The leaves are small and pointy. Hyssop is a perennial and hence, it lives for longer than two years. (1)
Historical records state that hyssop oil is useful for treating minor infections. Even ancient texts like – the Holy Bible indicates the use of Hyssop. In fact, hyssop is a sacred plant, according to the Bible.
In certain parts of the world, Hyssop was famous for forgiving sins and purification. According to Christianity, Hyssop stands for baptism and reconciliation. (2)
During the Roman era, hyssop was popular for treating plague and minor infections. Though Hyssop oil possesses most robust antiviral properties, it is mild and gentle.
Color, Consistency, and Smell Of Hyssop Oil
- The color of hyssop oil is clear to pale yellow.
- The consistency of hyssop oil is
- The smell of hyssop oil is aromatic and minty.
Properties Of Hyssop Essential Oil
- Aromatic – Distinctive or pleasant smell
- Flavoring – Enhances the taste of a dish
- Expectorant – Helps you cough out sputum
- Carminative – Relieves gas
- Anti-catarrhal – Relieves the inflammation of nose’s mucous linings & airways
- Anti-inflammatory – Reduces redness, pain, and swelling
- Antispasmodic – Relieves muscle spasms
- Anti-bacterial – Fights against bacteria
- Anti-fungal – Effective against fungus
- Antioxidant – Prevents oxidation
- Sedative – Helps you relax and further, induces sleep
- Anti-viral – Effective against virus
- Cytotoxic – Kills harmful cells
- Anti-platelet – Prevents blood clotting
- Insecticide – Kills insects and bugs
- Antitussive – Prevents and relieves a cough
Chemical Compounds In Hyssop Oil
The chemical components in hyssop oil are pino-camphone, iso-pinocamphone, β-pinene, 1, 8-cineole, pino-carvone, germacrene, myrtenylacetate, camphor, spathulenol, terpinen-4-ol, carvacrol, camphene, myrcene, a-terpinene, β-phellandrene d, trans-β-ocimene, terpinolene, linalool, limonene, trans-carveol, β-caryophyllene, trans-β-caryophyllene, trans-pinocamphone, myrtenol, a-copaene, b-caryophyllene, b-cedrene, and a-humulene.
Health Benefits Of Hyssop Oil
Though the hyssop oil benefits are numerous, the most prominent ones include:
1. Amazing flavoring agent
Hyssop oil is widely used to flavor seasonings, meat, alcoholic beverages, sauce, pudding, and candies. Hyssop extracts boost the organoleptic properties.
Organoleptic properties are aspects of water, food, or any other substance that a person experiences through his or her senses—including smell, sight, taste, and touch. (3)
Given the minty odor and pungent taste, hyssop is a favorite spice throughout the world. Essential oils extracted from hyssop are popular as seasoning agents in soft drinks, teas, liqueurs, alcoholic beverages, chewing gums, candies, ice creams, baked goods, snacks, aperitifs, and frozen meals.
2. Serves as an expectorant
Hyssop oil helps in clearing the sputum naturally. When you have a cold or throat infection, you may not be able to breathe properly. This is mainly due to the excess mucus accumulated in your chest.
However, hyssop oil softens the hard mucus and helps you spit it out, thereby easing your cold. It is often used as a key ingredient in cough syrups, as it’s a cough reliever (7).
3. Relieves asthma
Hyssop oil also relieves asthma mainly because of its bronchodilator properties. Asthma is a condition that is accompanied by breathing difficulties.
There is an excess mucus production, constriction as well as swelling in the airways. These together make cause difficulties in breathing. While some experience minor asthma attacks, for others, it can be life-threatening.
However, hyssop oil dilates the airways and prevents excess mucus production. It also has antitussive and expectorant properties, which make it useful in treating other respiratory diseases like chronic bronchitis (8, 9).
4. Natural carminative
Hyssop oil helps prevent the formation of gas in the digestive system. It also helps relieve gas and keeps the digestion process healthy (10).
5. Reduces redness and pain
The essential oil extracted from Hyssopus officinalis has anti-inflammatory properties. Swelling, redness, pain, fever, and loss of movement are the signs of inflammation.
Hyssop essential oil helps you fight all the signs of inflammation even in the mucus lining of your nose and airways.
According to Turkish folk medicine, hyssop relaxes the blood vessels and promotes sweating. It relieves various pains including joint pains, toothaches, sores, bruises, and ear pains.
When used as a bath oil, it eases pains and extreme tiredness including menstrual pains. The oil helps in treating various skin problems such as rashes, boils, insect bites, as well as to lighten scars (11, 12).
6. Fights against bacteria
F pinocamphone, iso-pinocamphone, and β-pinene present in hyssop extracts are highly effective in fighting against bacteria. Hyssop essential oil is active against food-borne bacteria, which spoil the food. Thus, Hyssopus officinalis is known to increase the shelf-life of products.
Carvacrol and Pinicarvone in H. officinalis fight pathogens such as Candida albicans and S.aureus. Terpinen-4-ol and iso-pinocamphone fight bacteria such as Typhimurium and E.coli (13).
7. Treats diabetes
Alpha-amylase is an enzyme that breaks down the glycogen (stored fat) present in your body to glucose. Thus, it can raise blood sugar levels. At a concentration of 0.1-0.5 mg/ml, hyssop extracts inhibit the action of Alpha-amylase, making them useful in diabetes.
Diabetes is a condition where the blood sugar levels rise above normal. It needs immediate attention. If left untreated, it reduces the lifespan by giving rise to complications such as kidney failure.
The earlier you address, the better it is. Preventing the conversion of glycogen to glucose is one of the ways to avoid the rise of Blood Sugar Levels (BSL).
Likewise, α-glucosidase is another enzyme that raises the blood sugar levels by utilizing carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are the sources of energy that you obtain from the foods you eat. By inhibiting the action of α-glucosidase, hyssop prevents hyperglycemia (or high BSL).
8. Fortified with antioxidants
Oxidation is a destructive process, which results from pollution and chemicals from the environment. It generates free radicals that mainly cause two things: deadly diseases and early aging.
However, the compounds β-pinene, f pinocamphone, and iso-pinocamphone present in Hyssopus officinalis extracts have rich antioxidant properties.
A study conducted in 2016 included the aerial parts of H. officinalis collected from Kashmir-Leh highway, India, in October. The plant was flowering and was present at an altitude of 11,562 feet.
The researchers assessed the antioxidant potential of the plant extract by few assessments such as scavenging assay, reducing power assay, the total antioxidant capacity, and DPPH radical.
The results confirmed that H. officinalis extracts possess great antioxidant properties, mainly because of the presence of flavonoids and phenolic compounds.
Apigenin 7-O-β-D-glucuronide is a significant flavonoid present in the essential oil of Hyssop (17).
9. Heals IBS
Hyssop essential oil helps in treating IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). IBS causes pain or cramps in the lower belly. It further causes loose motions, constipation, flatulence, and formation of excess gas.
An overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine can lead to IBS. However, the antibacterial properties in hyssop help heal IBS naturally.
10. Well-known anti-platelet
Hyssop extracts have antiplatelet properties. Platelets help in the formation of blood clots. Though blood clots are necessary to prevent unnecessary bleeding, when they form at the wrong places such as within blood vessels, they can be life-threatening.
Stroke is a deadly condition where the blood vessels in the brain rupture forming clots. They need an immediate address.
Heart attacks and heart failures are fatal conditions that occur due to the formation of blood clots in the walls of blood vessels.
What Blends With Hyssop Oil?
Hyssop oil blends the best with:
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Almond oil
- Citrus oil
- Rosemary oil
- Laurel leaf oil
- Clary sage oil
- Myrtle oil
- Lavender oil
- Floral oil
- Wood oil
- Any herbal oil
How To Use Hyssop Oil?
Hyssop essential oil is widely used in aromatherapy. However, you should use it under the guidance of a certified practitioner, as it can be toxic.
- To relieve stress, fatigue/extreme tiredness, and pain, add 1-2 drops of oil to warm bath water. It helps you have a peaceful sleep at night.
- To relieve your menstrual pain, add 3 drops of hyssop to a carrier oil and massage it over your abdomen. Doing this also helps you relieve digestive troubles such as gas. You can also massage the mixture over your joints or painful areas to relieve pain.
- To lower fever, add 2 drops of hyssop oil to 1 ml of coconut oil and massage over your feet.
- To relieve respiratory difficulties, add 2 drops of hyssop oil to vapor rub and massage over your chest. You can also add 2 drops of essential oil to steam inhalation. The oil helps you relieve mental disorders such as hysteria and anxiety.
- To prevent and lighten scars, add 1 drop of hyssop oil to your lotion or cream and use it as usual.
Side Effects Of Hyssop Oil
- Do not use hyssop oil if you are hypertensive (or suffer have high blood pressure).
- Do not use hyssop essential oil if you have epilepsy or seizures. Improper use or even in small doses can cause seizures.
- Do not use it for kids under 5 years. It can cause skin sensitivity, seizures, and fever in children.
- Do not use it if you are pregnant or are a nursing mother.
- Few have reported liver damage. So, avoid using it if you have liver problems.
- Hyssop oil can react with the other medicines that you are taking. Hence, it is vital to consult a doctor if you are under any medication.