Hyssop essential oil has a long history of being used as an antiseptic cleanser. It has been hailed as a medicinal plant as well as an aromatic herb by many cultures. Hyssop oil uses date back thousands of years and it’s even mentioned in the ancient text of the Bible. One verse in Psalm 51 reads, “You will purge me with hyssop and I will be clean.” For thousands of years, it’s been known and used as a cleanser and purifier. In Rome, the belief was that hyssop provided protection from plagues. Dried hyssop was placed in homes because it was believed to keep out negativity and the “negative eye.” Many also place it at gravesites to protect their dead.
Hyssop is native to the region around the Middle East, Southern Europe, and the Caspian Sea. The name, hyssop is taken from a Hebrew word, ezobwhich means “holy herb.” Its most common use today is treating respiratory problems. It is used to eliminate coughing, prevent colds, respiratory infections, to soothe sore throats, and is a natural remedy for the symptoms of asthma. Hippocrates mentioned the herb’s ability to relieve respiratory symptoms. And pagan worshippers used it in their ceremonies to purify worshippers. The Cherokee used a hyssop infusion to reduce fevers and induce menstruation. They also used syrup drawn from the hyssop plant to relieve common respiratory symptoms like colds, coughing, and asthma.
The Hyssop Plant
The hyssop plant is a shrub. It has dark green leaves and fragrant flowers of bluish-purple, pink, and white. Classified as an herb, it belongs in the mint family and is harvested twice a year. Once the plant is mowed, it is dried and sold as an herb or made into essential oil. The aroma is similar to the scent of pine but slightly sweet. Some compare its aroma to the smell of fresh-mowed, sweet hay.
Common Hyssop Oil Uses and Benefits
The ancients were not wrong by identifying the medicinal properties of hyssop. It can be used both topically and aromatically for a variety of purposes. It can remedy symptoms of respiratory conditions and relieve muscle pain. Here are some of the benefits and most common uses for hyssop EO.
Hyssop EO can be massaged into the chest, arms, legs, and lower back to help improve circulation. Before applying it topically, dilute it with a carrier oil. You can gently massage the diluted oil into muscles or dilute it with a carrier oil and put three to five drops of the mixture in a bath to improve circulation.
Soothing Muscle Aches or Muscle Spasms
Using a dilution of 1 to 3% hyssop oil with a carrier oil, make a blend to massage into sore or aching muscles. As it increases circulation, it speeds healing and reduces muscle soreness. If you get a cramp or spasm in a muscle, this blend can be rubbed directly into the area. Its anti-spasmodic properties can alleviate the pain and the spasm.
Fighting Infections and Healing Wounds
The antimicrobial properties in Hyssop EO help fight off infection when applied to minor wounds like scrapes, bites, cuts, and burns. It also reduces the chance of scarring as it promotes the healing of wounds. To prevent infection of a minor wound, mix a few drops of the essential oil with a carrier oil and apply directly to the wound.
Reducing the Appearance of Scars
To use hyssop essential oil to reduce the appearance of scars, mix two to three drops of the EO with one teaspoon of nourishing carrier oil and apply it to the affected area two times a day. The oil’s astringent and antiseptic properties help clear and tone the skin. Jojoba oil is a good carrier oil as it helps balance the skins natural production of sebum and it contains vitamin B complex and vitamin E which are beneficial for healthy skin. However, for those who prefer a lighter oil, sweet almond or argan are also good choices.
Treating Acne and Skin Blemishes with Hyssop
Hyssop essential oil has properties that make it an excellent choice to prevent or treat acne. It has antiseptic, astringent, and antibacterial properties that contribute to its effectiveness as a cleanser. After washing your face with a mild cleanser, then gently blot the face with a hyssop-carrier oil blend. (2-3 drops of hyssop EO and a teaspoon of nourishing carrier oil)
Treating Respiratory Symptoms
Using hyssop EO in a diffuser can help alleviate the symptoms of various respiratory conditions. For relieve from coughing and other symptoms, place three to five drops of hyssop essential oil in a diffuser. Steam inhalation will also work if you do not own a diffuser. Heat the water to the point of steaming, but not boiling. Place a few drops of hyssop EO in the hot water and lean over the bowl to inhale the steam. The anti-spasmodic properties of hyssop EO help relieve chest congestion while the anti-viral, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties help the body heal. A foot massage using hyssop oil blended with a carrier oil can also help reduce a fever.
Disinfecting the House
Diffusing hyssop EO in your house can help rid the air of harmful pathogens. Its antibacterial, antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-viral properties cleanse the air. It also mixes well with other essential oils including tea tree EO, eucalyptus EO, and lemon EOwhich extend its cleansing properties.
Safety and Precautions When Using Hyssop Oil
Hyssop essential oil is safe to use aromatically and topically, but it should not be taken internally. When using it topically, dilute it with a carrier oil before applying it since it can irritate skin. A simple patch skin test is advised to ensure there are no sensitivities or allergic reactions before it is applied to larger areas of skin.
Who Shouldn’t Use Hyssop Essential Oil
Hyssop EO is known to induce menstruation, therefore, women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid using it. The oil contains pinocamphone which stimulates nerves and should be avoided by those with epilepsy or prone to convulsions. It’s best to avoid using it on children and adults are advised to avoid overuse. Those with a history of high blood pressure should consult with a doctor prior to using hyssop essential oil.
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