Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) is a perennial herbaceous plant from the mint family. It is also known as medical hyssop. The herb's name comes from the Greek word "hyssopos", which means "sacred herb".
Already in the third millennium BC Egyptian priests used hyssop for ritual washing, and the people of the Middle East used it to cleanse sacred places.
Hyssop is described in many scriptures as an herb that cleanses the soul from sin. Indeed, the plant has a detoxifying effect on the body by increasing sweating, which in turn is the mechanism by which the body releases toxins.
Belief in the cleansing power of hyssop has not disappeared since Moses. In this sense King David expressed his deep repentance after his sin with Uriah's wife. He said: "Sprinkle me with hyssop and I will be clean" (Ps 50: 9). In the Orthodox Church, hyssop is a symbol of repentance, humility, and purification.
The use of hyssop for medicinal purposes dates back to ancient times. The ancient Greeks, but also the Indians, used hyssop to treat bruises, scars, frostbite, conjunctivitis, insect bites and muscle pain. During the Middle Ages, the herb was used to treat a variety of diseases from epilepsy to snake infestations. The Romans also used hyssop for the process of pressing wine.
In folk medicine, hyssop is mainly used to relieve coughs, bronchitis and inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, to treat infections of the nose and throat, inflammation of the gums and enlarged tonsils. Hyssop leaves are used to treat stomach problems and to relieve some digestive disorders such as bowel cramps and colics.