As spring nears and buds begin to bloom, the bees and butterflies awaken to a fresh new world of nectar. This month’s plant, Hyssop, is a favorite with the bee and butterfly crowd. They love the succulent bluish purple flowers and their warm woody scent. Grown primarily in the Mediterranean, hyssopus officinalis is a wonderfully therapeutic shrub that grows about 24 to 36 inches high. The lance shaped leaves and flowers are steam distilled to produce the essential oil.
Hyssop has long been used in healing and in cleansing rituals. Mentioned several times in the Bible, this extraordinary plant was used to clear out evil and unwanted energies from temples and sacred places. The holy men would make brooms out of the stalks and literally sweep out negative spirits. Early Christians began using hyssop in baptism ceremonies and later considered it a symbol of forgiven sins. It’s no wonder the ancients considered hyssop a sacred herb and used it in rituals and ceremonies. We now know that because of its constituents, hyssop is a cephalic oil, working directly on the mind to clear and center the thoughts whilst bringing in a heart connection. It is wonderful for increasing concentration and self-awareness and has the ability to allow the spirit to soar whilst keeping the mind focused and the body grounded. It can be burned in an aromalamp during meditation or prayer for deeper connection to one’s inner knowing, and can also be burned for deeper insights and understanding when studying or doing creative work.
On a physiological level, hyssop is a great expectorant, loosening mucus and calming coughs. Helpful for bronchitis, asthma and other respiratory aliments, hyssop can be burned in a sick person’s room to relieve symptoms or put in a carrier oil and rubbed on the chest to soothe spasming lungs. Its warming and comforting effects on the nervous system make it a good oil for people who are stressed and anxious during illness, especially if the stress raises one’s blood pressure. Hyssop is an excellent aid in regulating blood pressure. Considered a heart tonic, when the blood pressure is too low, it balances it and when high, it can decrease it. Hyssop strengthens the heart both physically and emotionally. But because of its effect on the heart, the essential oil should not be used by anyone suffering from epilepsy, nor should it be used during pregnancy.
Hyssop is considered a spiritual oil. Its uplifting and rejuvenating qualities help us to move forward in life. We can clear the muddled mind and seek inspiration and wisdom from our higher consciousness with hyssop’s help. With clarity of spirit we can see our life’s journey and calmly and enthusiastically venture forth. Hyssop’s connection to the heart helps us to open to our heart’s teachings and learn from a deep soulic space. Expanding the heart chakra, we open to new found love of life and joy of creation. It is truly a mystical essential oil.