Hyssop Use and Side Effects | Hyssop Tea
Hyssop Use and Side Effects
Hyssop, meaning “holy herb”, has been used for a thousand years to clean holy places. “Purge me with hyssop, and I will be clean” the Bible records. It is a bushy evergreen plant that is part of the mint family and is native to southern Europe and temperate Asia. All above-ground parts of the plant are used for medicinal purposes.
Hyssop is an excellent tonic to help strengthen and invigorate the body. It is used to remove phlegm, relieve coughs, and decrease inflammation of the nose and throat. When combined with sage, it can soothe sore throats when gargled.
Hyssop can help protect the body from infection, promote sweating in those with a fever, and regulate blood pressure. It can improve digestion, relieve gas, and according to Japanese research (published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology - 2003), drinking hyssop tea can help lower sharp increases in blood glucose levels (sugar) after eating in people with type II diabetes or in people at risk of developing it.
External uses include helping in the treatment of bruises, insect bites and stings, wounds, burns, and rheumatism.
Other hyssop uses:
Hyssop leaves can be added to salads, soups, or meats to give them a slightly bitter minty flavor (use sparingly because the flavor is very strong).
It is an ingredient in the liqueur Chartreuse and in the perfume Eau de Cologne.
In the garden, the hyssop plant attracts bees and butterflies which can help control pests and encourage pollination.
Hyssop Side Effects
Hyssop may cause upset stomach, nausea, and diarrhea.
High doses can cause dizziness, tightness in the chest, and convulsions. People with a history of seizures should not take hyssop.
Use as directed and do not take for extended periods of time.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid use.
Consult with a doctor if giving to a child, if you have a medical condition, or if taking medications before use.
Now that you know about hyssop use and side effects, here is how to make a cup of hyssop tea:
Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tablespoon of dried herb, cover, steep for 10 minutes, and strain. You can add a little honey, stevia, or lemon to enhance its flavor. Drink 2-3 cups a day.
For external use: make a stronger cup of tea, soak a clean cloth in it to make a warm compress, and apply to the affected area.
Image courtesy of CC-BY-SA-3.0 / Sten Porse at Wikimedia.
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