Why You Need Blue Hyssop

Get to know this distinctive herb with cleansing and respiratory easing properties and why you need this in your herbal medicine chest. The Homesteading Hippy #homesteadhippy

Blue Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), comes from the Greek word “azob”, the Hebrew word “ezob” and both mean “holy herb”.

This has a long Biblical history as a spiritual cleansing herb and was often used to cleanse the temple and other places of holy worship. 1.

Hyssop has a sweet, powerful and distinctive odor

and is a popular item in perfumery, potpourris, incense, bouquets, herb pillows and nose gays. The flowers, leaves, and stems are used both medicinally and in culinary recipes. The aerial parts are often harvested for tinctures or syrups, to flavor sauces and honeys, and have been used in salads. They can also be dried for later medicinal use. [2]

Hyssop is used medicinally

to relieve swelling, pain, discoloration of bruises and assist in healing of wounds. It has also been used to help relieve the pain and inflammation of arthritis. It has a calming action, which has also been used for relieving tension, anxiety, exhaustion, and depression. It’s adaptogenic properties have also been used to offer support during times of stress. It has been said that German Herbalist Hildegaard of Bingen wrote “hyssop cleanses the lungs and a meal of chicken cooked in hyssop and wine was the recommended treatment for depression” [3].

Studies are also underway to see if hyssop’s properties can be beneficial to HIV patients. So far, it’s looking positive, as it has been shown to have anti-HIV activity. [5] Contradications or people who should NOT use this include:

those who are pregnant, those who have epilepsy or are prone to seizures, or for those under the age of 2. This can also cause minor stomach upsets, such as diarrhea. If that occurs, discontinue use. If symptoms continue after stopping, please see a doctor.

Growing hyssop for yourself can be fairly simple.

It just needs a dry, sunny location and can tolerate most soil types fairly well. Hyssop can be propagated from seeds, cuttings, or by dividing the roots. Direct sow the seeds 1/4″ deep after danger of frost as passed. Thin to 12 inches. Seedlings will need to be watered every few days, but the mature plants require little care. Leaves can be harvested at any time, and the plant should be cut back just after flowering to 4 inches. Save the flowers and dry for later use. [4]

Common ways to use Hyssop are

in a tincture, tea, compress or fomentation. For a tea, the dosage would be 1-2 Tablespoons per 8 oz. boiling water, steeped for 10 minutes. You could drink this 3 times a day. In a tincture form, the dosage would be 1-4mL of a 1:5 tincture. To make this, you would add 10 grams of dried herb or 25 grams of fresh flowers to 50mL of menstruum. This could be in the form of alcohol (usually vodka), apple cider vinegar, or glycerine. Store in a cool, dry place and shake every time you see it for 2-3 weeks. Drain all the plant matter and compost or discard. Label and date the tincture with the dosage and store out of direct sunlight. Using a glycerine would be called a glycerite. This is usually made for those opposed to alcohol or for children.


Resources used:

1.Ex. 12:22, Lev 14:4,6,49,51-52, Num 19:6,18, 1 Kings 4:33, Psalm 51:7, John 19:29, Heb 9:19
3. Castleman, Michael “The Healing Herbs” 1995
4. Hoffman, David “The Herbal Handbook” 1988
5. hyssop against hiv http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1708226

3 thoughts on “Why You Need Blue Hyssop”

  1. I have always loved this as a fragrant bush sized herb that attracted bees and butterflies. When my plant didn’t make through a winter. I have looking for one replacement, but after reading this, I plan to buy several.
    Thank you.

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