Hyssopus officinalis / Hyssop


Traditional Uses
The hyssop is rich in its content of highly aromatic and volatile oils that can be found in the leaves, the stems, and the flowers - this is similar to the presence of such aromatic oils in all other plants belonging to the mint family. Bees are attracted to the rather strong fragrance of the plant; the nectar is utilized by bees to manufacture a very sweet smelling type of honey. The herbal extract and aromatic essence of hyssop is also utilized by industry in the manufacture of quite a number of colognes and liqueurs. The ancient Romans loved the taste of the hyssop herb and made it into a herbal wine, the smell of the hyssop is however, considered too pungent for most modern palates and it is rarely used in this way in the contemporary world. The herb was also used by monks during medieval times, they spiced soups and sauces with this herb and may have preferred it to other culinary herbs.

The traditional use of the hyssop has primarily been as an herbal remedy for respiratory disorders of all kinds. Hyssop remedies were suggested by ancient Greek physicians like Hippocrates and Galen as a remedy for treating disorders such as bronchitis and other related inflammation complaints affecting the chest and the throat area in general. The herb came into its own in the 16th and 17th centuries, when most herbalists would prescribe an herbal preparation of hyssop for the treatment of severe coughs and other acute respiratory distress disorders. The hyssop based remedy has been used in this way by most modern herbalists as well. The hyssop remedy was found to have other uses in time; inflammations affecting the ear are treated by exposing the affected tissue to the vapors from a heated hyssop infusion. Topical problems like cuts and bruises are treated using a poultice made from crushed hyssop leaves. The pain of rheumatism is also alleviated using the hyssop leaf infusion as an external rub on the skin.

                 
Examples of appropriate dosage preparations, frequencies of use and directions for use

Dried aerial parts:
2 - 4 g, 3 times per day (Bradley 2006; Williamson 2003; BHP 1983)

Infusion:
4 drachms (approximately 16g) herb, per day (Felter and Lloyd 1983 [1898])
Directions for use: Infuse 4 drachms (approximately 16 grams) herb in 1 pint of boiling water (475 ml); may be given freely (Felter and Lloyd 1983 [1898]). (1 = drachm = 3.887 g) (3.887 x 4 = 15.55 g)
1/4 ounce (approximately 8 g) dried flowers, in 3 doses per day (Grieve 1971[1931])
Directions for use: Pour 1 pint (475 ml) of boiling water over dried flowers and infuse for ten minutes. Taken frequently in doses of a wineglass (Grieve 1971 [1931]). 60 ml = 2 ounces = 1 wineglass (Felter and Lloyd 1983 [1898])
1 ounce (approximately 31 g) herb, per day (Wren 1907)
Directions for use: Infuse 1 ounce (approximately 8 g) of herb in 1 pint (475 ml) of boiling water. Take in doses of a wineglass (Wren 1907). 60 ml = 2 ounces = 1 wineglass (Felter and Lloyd 1983 [1898])
Fluid extract:
2-4 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day (1:1, 25% ethanol, 2-4 ml) (Bradley 2006)
2-4 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day (1:1, 25% alcohol, 2-4 ml) (BHP 1983)
30 to 60 drops (1.85-3.70 ml) (Grieve 1971 [1931]))
1/2 - 1 drachm (1.85-3.7 ml) (Wren 1907)
Tincture:
2-4 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day (1:5, 45% alcohol, 5-10 ml) (Bradley 2006)
2-4g dried herb equivalent, 3 times per day (1:5, 45% alcohol, 2-4 ml) (BHP 1983)


Hyssopus officinalis essential oil

In regards to the Traditional Use and Therapeutic Action sections of Essential Oils, the oils are rated as is standard practice in the French school of aromatherapy and others. The ratings ranked from one (+) to four (++++) with four indicating the highest value, indicate the oil’s therapeutic value from a practicing clinician’s point of view. The French rating system mentioned are obtained from this book reference entitle ‘Les Cahiers Pratiques D'Aromatherapie Selon L'Ecole Francaise’ (Authors: Francine Baudry, Pascal Debauche & Dominique Baudoux). However, further clarification might be required and will be updated once additional information of the rating system is obtained.

Hyssopus
Hyssop, ysop, hyssope, hisopo, azob

Original Habitat
Originating from Europe, the perennial Hyssop plant can grow to be about 60 centimetres tall. Hyssop is now cultivated in Southern Europe throughout the Mediterranean, Central Asia and in North America. This plant is from the mint family and its flowers and leaves are very aromatic.

Plant Part Used
Leaves and flowering tops

Formulation
The essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis is used as a flavouring in foods, such as condiments, and beverages including liqueurs. In the fragrance industry it is found in soaps and cosmetic products that are sold with a spicy scent. In therapeutic aromatherapy it is used less often as a single oil and more often in formulations.

Description
H. officinalis essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves and flowering tops and is clear to pale yellow or yellow-green in colour with moderate viscosity. It has a warm, spicy and somewhat camphoraceous fragrance.[1]

Chemical Constituents
  • Oxides: Linalool oxide (57%)
  • Monoterpenes: Limonene, camphene, mycrene (20%)
  • Isopinocamphone 
Note: This monograph reports on this Essential Oil in regard to its potential use in the French school of aromatherapy, as well as reporting any additional science that has been published. The ratings range from +, indicating a lower therapeutic value, to ++++ indicating a higher therapeutic value.

Medicinal Uses
  • Virucidal (against Aspergillus fumigates, etc) ++++
  • Mucolytic anti-catarrhal ++
  • Stimulant(CNS and solar plexus) ++
Muscle Relaxant: When used in rabbit and guinea pig intestines, the essential oil of hyssop inhibited induced contractions, thereby exhibiting muscle relaxant effects. Chemical compounds from this oil were also applied separately and isopinocamphone demonstrated similar relaxant effects.[2]
Antimicrobial: The essential oil of a subspecies of hyssop was used against several strains of gram +/- bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. The results indicated that this subspecies had antimicrobial activity and this action was due to its limonene content.[6]

Traditional Use
  • Inflammatory asthma (excluding allergic reactions) and secretory asthma+++
  • Infant bronchiolitis +++
  • Anxiety, nervous depression +++
There are no clinical studies to support the traditional use of the oil of this plant.

Contraindications and Precautions
Those allergic to the Lamiaceae or mint should avoid contact with hyssop.
Not to be used by pregnant or nursing women.

Referenties etherische olie hyssopus
  • Lu M. Muscle relaxing activity of Hyssopus officinalis essential oil on isolated intestinal preparations. Planta Med. Mar2002;68(3):213-216.
  • Varga E. Investigation of variation of the production of biological and chemical compounds of Hyssopus officinalis L. Article in Hungarian. Acta Pharm Hung. May1998;998;68(3):183-188.
  • Ghfir B. Influence of essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis on the chemical composition of the walls of Aspergillus fumigatus (Fresenius). Mycopathologia. Jul1997;138(1):7-12.
  • Ghfir B. Effect of essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis on the lipid composition of Aspergillus fumigatus. Mycopathologia. Jun1994;126(3):163-167.
  • Mazzanti G. Antimicrobial properties of the linalol-rich essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis L. var decumbens (Lamiaceae). Flavour and fragrance journal. 1998;13(5):289-294.

Pharm Biol. 2012 Aug;50(8):1062-6. doi: 10.3109/13880209.2012.655859.
Biological activities of ethyl acetate extract of different parts of Hyssopus angustifolius.
Alinezhad H1, Baharfar R, Zare M, Azimi R, Nabavi SF, Nabavi SM.
Hyssopus angustifolius M. Bieb. (Lamiaceae) is one of the most important medicinal plants in Iranian traditional medicine for the treatment of lung inflammation, laryngitis and cough relief. Much attention has been paid to this medicinal plant because of its traditional uses.
OBJECTIVE:
The present study examined the antioxidant and antihemolytic activities of ethyl acetate extract of stems, leaf and flowers of Hyssopus angustifolius.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Antioxidant activity of extracts was evaluated by employing six different models, i.e., DPPH, nitric oxide and hydrogen peroxide scavenging, metal chelating and reducing power activities and hemoglobin-induced linoleic acid system. Also, antihemolytic activity was evaluated against hydrogen peroxide-induced hemolysis.
RESULTS:
Flowers extract showed the better activity than leaf and stems extracts in DPPH radical scavenging activity (IC₅₀ was 275.4 ± 7.6 μg mL⁻¹). Leaf, stems and flowers extracts showed good nitric oxide scavenging activity (IC₅₀ were 376.6 ± 11.4 µg mL⁻¹ for flowers, 297.6 ± 9.6 μg mL⁻¹ µg mL⁻¹ for leaves and 837.8 ± 19.2 µg mL⁻¹ for stems). The leaf extract exhibited better hydrogen peroxide scavenging and Fe²⁺ chelating activity than stems and flowers extracts. In hemoglobin-induced linoleic acid system, all of the extracts exhibited very good activity. Also, extracts show weak reducing power activity. The ethyl acetate extract of leaf showed better antihemolytic activity than the flower and stems (IC₅₀ was 94.0 ± 2.4 μg mL⁻¹).
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION:
These findings give a scientific basis to the traditional usage of Hyssopus angustifolius, also showing its potential as rich sources of natural antioxidant compounds.

Planta Med. 2002 Mar;68(3):213-6.
Muscle relaxing activity of Hyssopus officinalis essential oil on isolated intestinal preparations.
Lu M1, Battinelli L, Daniele C, Melchioni C, Salvatore G, Mazzanti G.
The muscle relaxing activity of the essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis L. (Lamiaceae) and some of its main components (isopinocamphone, limonene and beta-pinene) was studied on isolated preparations of guinea-pig and rabbit intestine. The essential oil and isopinocamphone inhibited the acetylcholine- and BaCl2-induced contractions in guinea-pig ileum in a concentration-dependent manner (IC50 42.4 microg/ml and 61.9 microg/ml to acetylcholine; 48.3 microg/ml and 70.4 microg/ml to BaCl2) whereas limonene or beta-pinene left tissue contraction unchanged. In guinea-pig ileum H. officinalis essential oil also blocked the contractions induced by CaCl2. In isolated rabbit jejunum the essential oil reduced the amplitude of spontaneous movements and decreased the basal tone; neither haemoglobin, methylene blue, N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) or propranolol blocked the myorelaxant effect.



Hyssop is a semi-woody plants, genus of Hyssopus, belonging to the family Lamiaceae, native to the east Mediterranean to central Asia. The herb has been used in traditional medicine as an antibiotic, carminative, antispasmodic, antifungal, and antiseptic agent and to treat bronchitis, asthma, digestive ailments, insomnia, diabetes, edema, etc.

Health benefits
1. Grug-resistant clinical herpes simplex virus type 1
In the investigation of essential oils of ginger, thyme, hyssop, and sandalwood effect on Susceptibility of drug-resistant clinical herpes simplex virus type 1 strains found that All essential oils exhibited high levels of virucidal activity against acyclovir-sensitive strain KOS and acyclovir-resistant HSV-1 clinical isolates and reduced plaque formation significantly, according to “Susceptibility of drug-resistant clinical herpes simplex virus type 1 strains to essential oils of ginger, thyme, hyssop, and sandalwood” by Schnitzler P, Koch C, Reichling J.(1)

2. Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2)
In the assessment of Essential oils from anise, hyssop, thyme, ginger, camomile and sandalwood for their inhibitory effect against herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) in vitro found that a clearly dose-dependent virucidal activity against HSV-2 could be demonstrated for all essential oils tested. In order to determine the mode of the inhibitory effect, essential oils were added at different stages during the viral infection cycle. At maximum noncytotoxic concentrations of the essential oils, plaque formation was significantly reduced by more than 90% when HSV-2 was preincubated with hyssop oil, thyme oil or ginger oil, according to “Inhibitory effect of essential oils against herpes simplex virus type 2″ by Koch C, Reichling J, Schneele J, Schnitzler P.(2)

3. Hyperglycemia
In the classification of hyssop extracts of hyssopus officinalis (hyssop) and its effect on intestinal carbohydrate absorption in rat everted gut sac and carbohydrate-loaded hyperglycemia in mice, found that hyperglycemia in sucrose- and maltose-loaded mice was significantly suppressed at an early stage, within 30 to 60 min by oral pre-administration of 300 and 100 mg/kg hyssop extracts, according to ” Inhibitory effects of hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) extracts on intestinal alpha-glucosidase activity and postprandial hyperglycemia” by Miyazaki H, Matsuura H, Yanagiya C, Mizutani J, Tsuji M, Ishihara C.(3)

4. Muscle relaxing activity
In the determination of Hyssop’s essential oil and main components (isopinocamphone, limonene and beta-pinene) and theirs effect muscle relaxing activity found that he essential oil and isopinocamphone inhibited the acetylcholine- and BaCl2-induced contractions in guinea-pig ileum in a concentration-dependent manner (IC50 42.4 microg/ml and 61.9 microg/ml to acetylcholine; 48.3 microg/ml and 70.4 microg/ml to BaCl2) whereas limonene or beta-pinene left tissue contraction unchanged. according to “Muscle relaxing activity of Hyssopus officinalis essential oil on isolated intestinal preparations” by Lu M, Battinelli L, Daniele C, Melchioni C, Salvatore G, Mazzanti G.(4)

5. Asthma
In the analyzing the Uygur medicine Hyssopus officinalis L on T-bet, GATA-3, STAT-3 mRNA levels of asthma rats found that the expression of GATA-3 and STAT-3 mRNA of Hyssopus officinalis L high-dose treatment group was lower than the low-dose treatment group (P<0.05), but T-bet mRNA that was higher(P<0.05). The expression of T-bet mRNA has negative correlation with GATA-3 mRNA (r=-0.696), the expression of STAT-3 mRNA has correlation with T-bet mRNA and GATA-3 mRNA(r=-0.767, 0.772), P<0.05 and concluded that Hyssopus officinalis L probably regulates the differentiation of Th1, Th2 and Th17 on transcription level to play the role of anti-inflammatory, maccording to “[The effect of Uygur medicine Hyssopus officinalis L on expression of T-bet, GATA-3 and STAT-3 mRNA in lung tissue of asthma rats].[Article in Chinese]” byWang HY, Ding JB, Halmurat U, Hou M, Xue ZQ, Zhu M, Tian SG, Ma XM.(5)

6. Aspergillus fumigatus
In the observation of essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis and its effect on the lipid composition of Aspergillus fumigatus found that total lipids and sterols were reduced, whereas total phospholipids were increased. There were alterations in the proportions of fatty acids, neutral lipid and phospholipid fractions, according to “Effect of essential oil of Hyssopus officinalis on the lipid composition of Aspergillus fumigatus” by Ghfir B, Fonvieille JL, Koulali Y, Ecalle R, Dargent R.(6)

Side Effects
1. Overdoses can cause convulsions and seizures as a result of chemical compound pino-camphone.
2. It may cause allergic effect such as skin rashes, swelling of skin, difficulty breathing, etc.
3. Overdoses also can cause disturbances of the central nervous system.
4. Do not use the herb in children or if you are pregnant without approval of the related field specialist.

Sources
(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17353250
(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17976968
(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14703310
(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11914956
(5) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21806885
(6) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7935731
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