Hyssop

צמח זעתר

Hyssop is a wild shrub that is very common in Israel and the Middle East and has an important place in herbal medicine in traditional medicine. It is also used as a food and as a spice, with a sweet-bitter taste full of a wide variety of essential oils.

It is a fragrant, perennial shrub with hairy leaves and it grows to a height of about half a meter. The parts of the plant used are the leaves, flowers and stems. Its oil is also used as a perfume. It is the main ingredient in the spice mixture known in Israel called Zaatar in addition to thyme, sumac and sesame seeds.

Hyssop has about 6 varieties but in Israel there is only one variety that appears in high frequency. It is very similar in taste and smell to the savory and thyme plants that come from the same Lamiaceae family.

It is known to help with stomach aches, colds, stomach parasites, earaches and more.

It is also used for purification and disinfection and its use is mentioned in the Bible in the context of purification processes and rituals.

It contains essential oils with active ingredients such as thymol and carvacrol which are known to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and in addition carvacrol is known as an antioxidant. In addition, it is known for its antibacterial, antifungal and anti-worm activity. Hyssop contains about 250 calories (per 100 g), some carbohydrates, fats and protein. In addition, it contains important vitamins and minerals like calcium, sodium, iron, vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B, K and zinc.

It can be consumed fresh, in powder, essential oil, oil or extract.

Known medicinal properties of the plant:

  1. Influenza and throat viruses
    Hyssop contains antiviral and antibacterial substances that allow it to help with sore throats, hoarseness, coughs, colds and flu.
  2. Upper respiratory tract
    It contains antiviral substances that help soften tissues and is therefore effective for diseases like bronchitis, pneumonia, and cough.
  3. Ear ache
    Effective in treating ear infections and reducing pain. Dripping a few drops of extract or essential oil in combination with olive oil will do the job.
  4. Toothaches and oral cavity
    Moss is a natural treatment for teeth, gums and infections in the oral cavity due to its anti-bacterial properties. It helps disinfect the mouth and throat, helps reduce pain and reduces inflammation and infections.
  5. Digestive system and stomach
    It helps to deal with gastritis, nausea and irritable bowel syndrome. In addition, in combination with sage and ruta (rue) is also found effective against worms. It soothes the lining of the bowel system and can cause a mild laxative effect. It strengthens the digestive system and is found to be effective in situations of duodenal ulcers.
  6. Skin problems
    It is rich in vitamins that nourish the skin and treat a wide variety of skin problems. Effective in cases of stings, wounds, psoriasis, burns, rashes and various fungi. It disinfects and moisturizes the skin. It helps in skin rejuvenation, wrinkle reduction and cracked skin. It helps prevent skin aging with the help of antioxidants that inhibit the storage of fat in the body and the removal of toxins.
  7. Pain
    Used as a painkiller in a number of pain states like headache, menstruation, and joint pain. In addition to the toothaches and earaches mentioned earlier.
  8. Heart health
    Helps in situations of low cholesterol levels. Tissue softening capabilities created by atherosclerosis.
  9. Support immune system
    Hyssop is known to help and support the body’s activity and strengthen the immune system. It is used as a concomitant treatment for cancer for the side effects of radiation. It has been found that it also helps in killing cancer cells in some cases.
 

Hyssop is a common plant in the Israeli landscape and has great nutritional value and many uses as a medicinal plant. It is wonderful in the use of fresh leaves in salads, dried in cooking as a spice or fresh. It has high healing abilities in soaks and extracts for external and internal use.

To read about more herbs and their special properties click here.

Hyssop

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