When looking to the garden for remedies, the hyssop plant is a good place to turn. Hyssop is a bushy herb that grows one to two feet high. The plant produces blue, white, and red flowers, which have many medicinal uses. Historically, hyssop has been associated with cleansing and purification. Today it can be used to treat many symptoms of the common cold.
One of hyssop’s most popular uses is as an expectorant. The plant helps to break up respiratory mucus. Once broken up, the mucus is easier to cough up, making the person taking it much more comfortable. Hyssop is soothing, helping to relieve the pain of a sore throat if ingested properly.
To take advantage of hyssop’s benefits, one must first prepare the plant. A popular way to consume this herb is in the form of a tea. You can find dried hyssop at most health food stores. If there are no natural stores in your area, you can also find it online. Once procured, the dried plant can be brewed into a strong tea. While hyssop has a pleasant taste, it may not suit everyone. Lemon and honey can be added to make it more palatable.
Hyssop tea has benefits beyond what it can do for congestion. It is reported to act as a mild sedative. If you have trouble sleeping, drink a cup or two before bedtime to help relax. The tea can also be soothing for sore throats.
If you hope to treat nasal congestion with this plant, you need to prepare it differently. Instead of using a dried form of the plant, use hyssop essential oil to create a steam bath. Fill a bowl with hot water and add a few drops of oil. Bend over the bowl and place a towel over your head to keep the steam in. Breathe in the steam to help clear your sinuses.
If you wish to use the plant to soothe a sore throat, you can drink it as a tea. If this does not appeal to you, you can also gargle with it. Make the hyssop tea as usual, and then allow it to cool. Once it is at a comfortable temperature, use it to gargle. You can do this several times a day to soothe your throat.
Hyssop is safe for most users. However, there are a few situations in which this plant should be avoided. Women who are pregnant should avoid using this remedy. It may cause the uterus to contract, raising the risk of miscarriage. There is no evidence proving if hyssop is safe to use while breastfeeding. Therefore, it is recommended that you err on the side of caution and avoid using it if nursing.
Hyssop contains a chemical called thujone. This and several other chemicals found in the plant can stimulate the central nervous system. While this is not a problem for most people, it can cause seizures if taken in high dosages. Epileptic children are especially vulnerable – even a low dose can cause convulsions. Everyone with epilepsy should avoid using this plant.
Herbs That Complement Hyssop
Hyssop has many benefits when taken on its own, but when combined with other herbs it can be made even more effective. One of the most common herbs used in conjunction with hyssop is horehound.
Horehound has a reputation for providing many of the same benefits of hyssop. Its role is most commonly one of an expectorant. It can help loosen and remove the toughest of phlegm. If you wish to use it in conjunction with hyssop, consider making a tea with both herbs. Purchase both herbs from a natural food store. Infuse an eighth of an ounce of each herb in one pint of boiling water. Allow the mixture to steep for ten minutes, and then sweeten to taste. This tea can be consumed three times a day until your symptoms have abated.
Hyssop is a useful herb to turn to when experiencing a cold. Its pleasant taste and expectorant properties makes for a delicious tea that can help do away with unpleasant congestion. Unless you are pregnant or epileptic, do not hesitate to turn to this plant to treat your cold symptoms naturally.