What is hyssop essential oil used for? Well, it certainly has quite a few beauty benefits. And did you know hyssop oil is in the bible? Yep! Anyways, let’s get an overview of the properties, benefits and uses of this essential oil.
Hyssop Essential Oil Properties
The botanical name for hyssop is Hyssopus officinalis. That’s pretty easy to remember, right?
Color & Smell of hyssop essential oil
The oil is typically colorless but may have a light yellow to yellow-green hue. And the smell? Well think of a sweet, woody, earthy, and herbal scent.
What’s in the oil?
The chemical composition of hyssop essential oil really depends on where the plant was grown. And this 2011 study shows just how much the oil varies with location.
For the most part, the compounds which can be found in most hyssop essential oil samples include pinocamphone, isopinocamphone, beta-pinene, camphor, pinocarvone, and myrtenal. But high amounts of linalool, eucalyptol, limonene, beta-caryophyllene and myrtenyl acetate have also been reported in some varieties.
So you see, there is tremendous variation in the chemical composition of this essential oil.
Hyssop Essential Oil Benefits
You just saw how the compounds in this oil vary with location. So you can understand it is a little difficult to generalize the benefits of hyssop essential oil. I mean an oil sample that has high levels of linalool will have similar benefits to coriander seed, palmarosa, and orange essential oils. Whereas, samples rich in eucalyptol will share benefits with bay, tea tree, rosemary and basil essential oils.
That’s why generalizing the hyssop oil benefits is a little complicated. Nevertheless, let us look at what the studies say.
It may help muscles relax
This 2002 in vivo study showed hyssop oil reduced contractions and spontaneous movements of preparations of guinea pig and rabbit intestines. Note, isopinocamphone, limonene and beta-pinene were identified as the main compounds in the oil used.
So, from this study, it was suggested that the essential oil may have muscle relaxing activity.
It has some antioxidant benefits
According to this 2010 study, Hyssopus officinalis essential oil has antioxidant benefits. But it is relatively low when compared to standard antioxidant agents like Vitamin C and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT).
Again, bare in mind that the oil used in this study had isopinocamphone (which made up 57% of the oil), beta-pinene (7%), terpinen-4-ol (7%) and pinocarvone (6%).
It is antibacterial
The same study mentioned above also investigated the antibacterial effects of the oil against several bacterial strains including Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. The results showed just five and ten microliters of the oil possessed very strong antibacterial benefits. That’s pretty impressive!
It is antifungal
Hyssop oil actually has very strong antifungal effects.
Take a look at this 2015 study. It checked the antifungal activity of the oil against 52 strains of five Candida species (including Candida albicans). The oil was found to have significant antifungal benefits. And it was stronger than its main compounds: pinocamphone, beta-pinene and beta-phellandrene.
But that’s not all. Another study (2013) showed similar effects against plant pathogenic fungi. At concentrations of 0.4%, hyssop oil completely inhibited the growth of the tested fungi and reduced the germination of spores. Again, the oil was more potent than its individual compounds. For this study, these compounds were bornyl acetate, isopinocampheol and pinocamphone.
It is antiviral too
Here is the final benefit of hyssop essential oil. It has proven antiviral effects. Well, that is according to this 2008 study.
The study tested several essential oils including anise, hyssop, thyme, ginger, chamomile and sandalwood against the herpes simplex virus type 2. While all the oils exhibited potent effects, hyssop killed the virus at concentrations of 0.0075%! Amazing right?
Side note: hyssop was only stronger than anise essential oil. That means thyme, ginger, chamomile and sandalwood had stronger antiviral activities.
Hyssop Essential Oil Uses
You have been through the benefits, so now, what is hyssop oil used for? Well, before we get into that, you should know a few things. Pinocamphone is a known neurotoxin, which means that, at high concentrations, it can damage your neurons and nervous system. This is why you should only use hyssop essential oil moderately and at very dilute concentrations.
Pinocamphone may also affect persons suffering from epilepsy. So it is best to avoid diffusing the oil in public spaces.
Finally, you should avoid using hyssop essential oil when pregnant. In fact, consult your doctor before using this or any other essential oil.
Where to buy hyssop oil?