Super foods

8 Hyssop tea benefits

Explore this Mediterranean super herb that has been cited multiple times in the holy bible.

Story Highlights

  • Hyssop tea has been used as a traditional medicine since ancient times.
  • It possesses many benefits in treating asthma, elevated blood sugar, and hypertension.
  • Components of Hyssop have been linked to the promotion of a healthy skin.
  • Hyssop tea provides a natural alternative to many drugs.
  • Antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-HIV activities are well defined by scientific publications.
  • Buy dried organic hyssop herb.
Primarily found in the Mediterranean basin, Hyssopus Officinalis is the plant responsible for a popular aromatic tea known as Hyssop tea. It has been used since antiquity to treat or soothe a number of diseases and illnesses.  A 2011 literature review indicated that the major elements of hyssop include many polyphenolic compounds and essential oils traditionally used for medicinal purposes, as an antispasmodic, stomach ache, antifungal and cough treatments. 1

Among the compounds found in Hyssop tea, DPPH and ABTS are notable for their antioxidative strength. Diosmin and Hesperidin are two flavonoids present in the Hyssopus plant and have been extensively studied for their many medicinal properties in treating chronic venous insufficiency, hyperglycemia, hemorrhoidal disease, and many other potential health benefits. Ursolic acid is another constituent of Hyssop tea and also linked to many potential health benefits such as improved metabolic disorders, reduction of muscle atrophy, and cardioprotection.

Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

– Psalm 51:7

Despite its unpleasant taste, the hyssop plant was and still is also used as a food flavor and a sauce ingredient. Further efforts should be carried out to discover the pharmaceutical values of the Hyssopus plant.

Top 8 benefits of Hyssop Tea

  • Better blood sugar control

Diabetes is a lifestyle-related disease and according to the latest World Health Organization estimates, there is almost half a billion 2 individuals living with type II diabetes in the world.

Excessive carbohydrate and refined sugar consumption is the leading cause of diabetes – its medical management generally involves keeping the blood sugar level normalized and below a certain threshold. Alpha-glucosidase is an enzyme present in the gut responsible for the breakdown of ingested carbohydrates, turning it into a sugar and elevating blood sugar levels immediately.

A publication in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology 3 found that Hyssop tea has an inhibitor effect on alpha-glucosidase, which delays the digestion of carbohydrate and leads to a reduction of sugar absorption. This in turn improves the body’s ability to control blood sugar especially after meals rich in sugars and carbohydrates and provides us with an insight on the benefits of drinking Hyssop tea with or directly after a heavy carb meal.

  • Anti-HIV activity

Just because there’s no vaccine to prevent HIV infections, doesn’t mean there aren’t drugs are able to stop the multiplication of this deadly disease. Since the 1980’s, most pharmaceutical studies aimed at developing antiviral agents that were meant to stop the replication of the HIV virus in the human body. By inhibiting the reverse transcriptase enzyme, removing the cholesterol from the viral membrane of infected cells, or by simply inhibiting virus packaging, current medications on the market are able to delay the replication of the HIV virus and thus prolong life. This comes at a hefty cost and a large number of pills to be taken on a daily basis. The search for natural agents that could possibly mimic the action of these anti-HIV drugs led us to the Hyssopus Officinalis extracts. Hyssopus Officinalis dried leaves extract are capable of inhibiting syncytia formation, an HIV reverse transcriptase. Also, the caffeic acid present in Hyssop tea exhibit solid anti-HIV activity, and may be valuable in the treatment of individuals with AIDS. 4

  • Treatment of Hypertension

Angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) is an important blood pressure regulator in the body and ACE inhibitors are the medication of choice given to individuals suffering from hypertension or other blood pressure irregularities. While they successfully proved efficiency, they come bundled with many side effects such as cough, taste disturbances and skin rashes. Searching for antihypertensive properties in traditional medicines has been executed over many years and the consensus is still that ACE inhibition is the golden standard for treating hypertension. In a study to evaluate the antihypertensive activity of many plants and herbal medicines, Hyssop tea emerged as one of the leading natural remedies to inhibit the Angiotensin I-converting enzyme and treat elevated blood pressure without any side effects whatsoever. 5

  • Promoting Healthy Skin

Since the skin is the largest organ of the body, it is prone to the hundreds of disorders that affect humans all over the world. Even though many of these skin conditions share similar signs and symptoms, proper diagnosis is often difficult and prevention still is the best approach to minimize chronic skin diseases. In the arid Himalayas, a region known as Lahaul-Spiti is characterized by harsh weather conditions and a high prevalence of various skin ailments such as boils, blisters, itching, and leprosy. Traditional medicines and herbal doctors are the dominant source of healthcare in the area.

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge sent researchers to investigate the common treatments used in their traditional medicine; among the plants reported to be used against different skin ailments, one plant emerged as a potent cure for multiple skin conditions: Hyssopus Officinalis. The flower and leaf pastes are applied on boils, or applied on skin eruptions or rashes, and the reduction of skin inflammation. 6

  • Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activities

Historically, the use of Hyssopus Officinalis as a carminative, tonic, antiseptic, expectorant and cough reliever is well documented. But recent reports are digging in depth on the antioxidant, anti-platelet, and anti-fungal activities that this plant possess. Some of the flavonoids detected in the Hyssop tea are known for their free radical scavenging properties making it an excellent antioxidant supplement. To measure its antimicrobial potential, extracts of Hyssop tea were used against several types of nefarious bacteria strains like E. coli (Escherichia coli), Candida Albicans, and Streptococcus pyogenes – inhibition zones in the assay were found, proving the antimicrobial activity of Hyssopus Officinalis. The antimicrobial property is simple: the extracts are able pass through the cell wall and cytoplasmic membrane of the bacteria and disrupt the structure of their layers. For certain strains, Hyssop tea is able to coagulate the cytoplasm of bacteria and damaging their lipids and proteins. 7

  • Treatment of Asthma

Increased prevalence of asthma is a result of higher levels of environmental pollution and it’s still dubbed as a major public health issue around the world. Asthma is a chronic airway inflammation that is caused by an infiltration of eosinophiles and other inflammatory cells into the lung tissue.

Since Hyssop tea is a potent antioxidant, it plays a major anti-inflammatory role that helps reduce the symptoms of asthma. Present studies showed that not only Hyssopus Officinalis is able to reduce inflammation, but it can also regulate the immune system by reducing the infiltration of Eosinophiles into the lung tissue. 8

  • Muscle Relaxing Activity

Our muscle cells are constantly contracting and relaxing to get us moving. Muscle stiffness and soreness are so common these days amongst professionals young and old. Hyssop tea can help reduce inflammation in muscle cells, but most importantly, Hyssop oils possess a relaxing effect on the muscle tissue after topical application. Isopinocamphone is a substance found in the Hyssop plant that has shown promising results in relaxing the muscles and soothing the aches from fatigue. 9

  • Improving Chronic Venous Insufficiency and Circulation

Two important flavonoids present in the Hyssopus Officinalis plant have been recently linked to improve chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). CVI is basically a condition where it is difficult for blood to return to the heart from the legs. Diosmin and Hesperidin are the two identified compounds – their oral consumption lead to a rapid improvement of the microcirculation in CVI affected individuals. This represents a non-invasive therapy for patients who previously had no other option aside from painful surgery with virtually no side effects or risks. 10

How to Make Hyssop Tea and Optimal Dosage
The most common way to consume the Hyssop herb is in the form of a tea. You can usually purchase dried hyssop from your favorite health store. If it’s difficult to find, you may shop online and have it delivered to your home. Buy dried organic hyssop herb. Once acquired, it can be brewed into a tea. Due to its harsh taste, many prefer to add honey or lemon juice to make the tea more palatable.

The tea is brewed by infusing no more than 1 tablespoon of the herb in one cup of hot water for a minimum of ten minutes. Limit your consumption to three cups per day. Traditional usage included the preparation of medicinal tea and its use in poultice form to ease certain conditions. For skin irritations and ailments, topical application is the preferred method of administration.

Safety and precaution

Hyssopus Officinalis or Hyssop tea is considered the most broad-spectrum antiviral essential oil, while it is frequently used in therapies, it is still recommended to use with caution as it is deemed unsafe for epileptic patients at high doses due to its neurotoxic effects. Hyssop tea is also contraindicated in pregnancy and with young children. 11

Summary

Hyssop tea and its plant are known for their multiple health benefits especially in controlling blood sugar, hypertension, and a healthy skin. It is used in multiple parts of the world as a traditional medicine or as a complementary treatment in cases such as HIV infections. The strong antioxidant and antimicrobial activities make Hyssop tea a must-have herbal medicine in any home.


  1. Fatemeh Fathiazad.A review on Hyssopus officinalis L.: Composition and biological activities. African Journal of Microbiology Research. 2011;5(17). doi:10.5897/ajpp11.527.

  2. Mathers CD, Loncar D. Projections of Global Mortality and Burden of Disease from 2002 to 2030.PLoS Medicine. 2006;3(11). doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030442.

  3. Miyazaki H, Matsuura H, Yanagiya C, Mizutani J, Tsuji M, Ishihara C. Inhibitory Effects of Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) Extracts on Intestinal .ALPHA.-Glucosidase Activity and Postprandial Hyperglycemia. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology. 2003;49(5):346-349. doi:10.3177/jnsv.49.346.

  4. Kreis W, Kaplan M, Freeman J, Sun D, Sarin P. Inhibition of HIV replication by Hyssop officinalis extracts. Antiviral Research. 1990;14(6):323-337. doi:10.1016/0166-3542(90)90051-8.

  5. Kouchmeshky A, Jameie S, Amin G, Ziai S. Investigation of Angiotensin-Convertings Enzyme Inhibitory Effects of Medicinal Plants Used in Traditional Persian Medicine for Treatment of Hypertension: Screening Study. Thrita. 2012;1(1):13-23. doi:10.5812/thrita.4264.

  6. Lal B, Singh K. Indigenous herbal remedies used to cure skin disorders by the natives of Lahaul-Spiti in Himachal Pradesh. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge. 2007;7(2):237-241.

  7. KIZIL S, HAŞİMİ N, TOLAN V, KILINÇ E, KARATAŞ H. Chemical Composition, Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Activities of Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis L.) Essential Oil. Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca. 2017;38(3):99-103.

  8. MA X, MA X, MA Z et al. Effect of Hyssopus officinalis L. on inhibiting airway inflammation and immune regulation in a chronic asthmatic mouse model. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine. 2014;8(5):1371-1374. doi:10.3892/etm.2014.1978.

  9. Lu M, Battinelli L, Daniele C, Melchioni C, Salvatore G, Mazzanti G. Muscle Relaxing Activity of Hyssopus officinalis Essential Oil on Isolated Intestinal Preparations. Planta Medica. 2002;68(3):213-216. doi:10.1055/s-2002-23139.

  10. Roohbakhsh A, Parhiz H, Soltani F, Rezaee R, Iranshahi M. Molecular mechanisms behind the biological effects of hesperidin and hesperetin for the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Life Sciences. 2015;124:64-74. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2014.12.030.

  11. Devall H. Antiviral Effects of Essential Oils.

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Georges Farah

Georges Farah is a Registered Dietician with a masters degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and has been blogging about health and wellness since 2012.

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