Hyssop - Uses and Benefits
Botanical: Hyssopus officinalis.
Family: N.O. Labiatae.
Hyssop is cultivated for the use of its flower-tops, which are steeped in water to make an infusion, which is sometimes employed as an expectorant. Hyssop has been prescribed for a multitude of medical conditions. It is known as an antispasmodic, expectorant, emmenagogue, stimulant and tonic. It is used for cough, bronchitis and chronic catarrh, and has a tonic effect on the digestive, urinary, nervous and bronchial systems. Culpeper recommended allowing the hot vapors of a hyssop decoction to reach the ear by means of a funnel to ease inflammation and tinnitus. He also prescribed hyssop boiled in wine and vinegar for bruises.
Hyssop has healing effects in the treatment of respiratory infections, lung conditions and bronchitis. Used as a tea, it is a strong expectorant, which acts by loosening phlegm, thus relieving symptoms such as congestion, coughs, and hoarseness. As an antiviral it also helps rid the body of toxins that are produced by viruses. Hyssop can sooth the digestive tract and mucous membranes offering relief for sore throats. It also has natural sedative effects and can help to reduce fevers.
Tea and tincture of hyssop are unlikely to cause adverse effects. Although, the volatile oil, particularly its constituent pinocamphone, has been reported to cause seizures in laboratory animals as well as in humans when taking more than 10 drops in a day or a child taking 2-3 drops over several days. For this reason, the volatile oil should be used with extreme caution and is not recommended for those with epilepsy or any other seizure disorder. The herb is not recommended during pregnancy
Hyssop has some capacity to stimulate menstruation and induce miscarriage , although only when consumed in large medicinal doses. As a precaution, if you are pregnant or suffer from a menstrual disorder , you should avoid consuming large quantities of this herb. As the plant tops and flowers are especially high in iodine , you should avoid them if you have iodine-related health problems, such as goiter.
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