Hyssop is an aromatic perennial herb, 30-60 cm high, grown at higher elevations (above 1500 mtrs.). The branches are erect or defuse, leaves are sessile, linear-oblong, flowers are bluish purple in auxiliary tufts arranged unilaterally on terminal branches. The leaves and flower tops constitutes the spice.
ORIGIN AND DISTRIBUTION
It is a native to Southern Europe and temperate zones of Asia. It is cultivated in Europe especially in Southern France. In India it is found in the Himalayas and is cultivated in Kashmir. The plant thrives in light rich soil in hill stations. It is also grown as a pot herb.
Rasa (TASTE)- Katu (Pungent), Tikta (Bitter)
Guna(Qualities)- Laghu(Light for digestion), Ruksha( Dry in nature), Teekshana(Strong)
Vipaka- Katu (Undergoes Pungent taste after digestion)
Veerya(Potency)- Ushna (Hot)
Karma(Actions)- Kaphavata shamaka (reduces vitiated kapha and vata dosha)
DOSAGE- 3 to 6 gms powder
Hyssop is used as a condiment and also as medicine. The leaves and flowering tops are used in flavouring of salads and soups. It is also used in the preparation of liquors and perfumes. Hyssop is considered as a stimulant, carminative and expectorant and is used in colds, coughs, and congestion and lung complaints. It is effective in pulmonary, digestive, uterine, and urinary troubles. Leaves are stimulating stomachic, carminative and colic. Hyssop oil is used as flavouring agent in bitters and tonics and in perfumery. The essential oil of hyssop has antimicrobial properties.
INDIAN NAME OF SPICES
Hindi : Zufah-yabis Sanskrit : Jufa Urdu : Zufah
FOREIGN NAME OF SPICES
Chinese : Ngau sat chou Dutch : Hyssop French : Hysope German : Eisop Greek : Issopos Italian : Issopo Spanish : Hisopo
The plant has been used in herbal medicine for the treatment of sore throats, colds, hoarseness, and as an expectorant. Some herbalists also believe that hyssop has beneficial effects for asthma, urinary tract inflammation, and appetite stimulation. Its effectiveness in relieving gas and colic also are listed under its medicinal uses. None of these uses have been studied clinically.
Although an extract of the leaves has been suggested for the treatment of wounds, there does not appear to be strong evidence for its effectiveness as an antibacterial.
Still used today by herbalists for its beneficial effects, hyssop’s volatile oil represents the most important fraction of this plant. It may have some small beneficial effect in the treatment of sore throats and as an expectorant. However, clinical studies are lacking for any medicinal use of hyssop.
Alleviates the common cold
In folk medicine, hyssop is often used to alleviate symptoms of the common cold. The essential oil has been reported to reduce sore throat and cough. This is perhaps due to its mint properties. Peppermint, another popular essential oil, is sometimes used to help treat headache and sore throat.
Alleviates asthma and respiratory symptoms
Aside from treating common cold symptoms, hyssop may be used to alleviate more serious respiratory illnesses, such as asthma, according to some animal studies. However, you should not use hyssop as a treatment for severe wheezing and breathing difficulties without talking to your doctor first.
Inflammation is your body’s response to injury or illness. However, in time, this natural response can lead to long-term illness and complications. In a 2014 studyTrusted Source on mice, hyssop exhibited anti-inflammatory activity. More research is needed, however, to confirm hyssop has significant anti-inflammatory properties that could benefit humans.
A 2011Trusted Source chemical analysis of hyssop revealed its promising antioxidant properties. Researchers noted hyssop could have future medicinal use, as antioxidants can fight the free radicals that cause oxidative stress, which is connected to chronic diseases from type 2 diabetes to cancer. More research is needed.
As a purported antimicrobial, hyssop oil may act as a natural antibiotic to fight certain infections. These may include upper respiratory infection, urinary tract infection, and infections of the skin. A 2008 studyTrusted Source explored the possible antiviral benefits of hyssop, such as treating herpes infections.
Reduces skin irritation
The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects may make hyssop oil a treatment option for mild skin irritation. This includes minor burns, small cuts, and even frostbite. Eczema, psoriasis, and other inflammatory skin conditions could possibly benefitTrusted Source, too.
Purifying boost to aromatherapy
Essential oils are now used in mainstream aromatherapy for mood-boostingscents you can use at home and at work. Hyssop is prized for its purifying scent that’s a cross between a flowery and bitter aroma.
Vaidya Karanvir Singh is the younger Vaidya in Chandigarh Ayurved & Panchakarma Centre. He is the fourth generation in his family who is practicing as a general consultant in Ayurved & Panchakarma treatment at Chandigarh. In his practice, he had treated more than 1000 plus patients worldwide.