This is an herb of great antiquity. It was frequently mentioned in the
Bible from Moses to John. It is also mentioned in Arab literature. The Greeks used it as cough remedy. The herb was cultivated in Europe mainly for its essential oil. It was also grown in gardens for ornament. They were employed as flavouring for salads and soups and also in
the preparation of liqueurs and perfumes. Hyssop was at one time official in some pharmacopoeias of Europe. Hyssop oil was used as a flavouring agent in bitters and tonics, especially in French liqueurs of
the Chartreuse and Benedictine type. It was also used to some extent in perfumes with a spicy odour.
It is found in the Himalayas in Kashmir at altitudes of 8,000-11,000 ft.
Morphology Description (Habit)
It is an aromatic, shrubby perennial plant. The branches are erect or diffuse. The leaves are sessile, linear-oblong or lanceolate, obtuse and entire. The flowers are bluish purple, in axillary tufts arranged unilaterally on terminal branches. The nut-lets are dark brown, narrow, trigonous and smooth.
About 47 chemical constituents forming 98.65 per cent of the total oil have been isolated of which the major ones are as follows: isopinocamphone (38.1%), pinocarvone (20.3%), 1,8-cineole (12.1%) and ß-pinene (10.2%)1. In the ehanolic extract of the plant 2H-10, 4a - (epoxymethanol) - phenantren - 12 - one - 1, 3, 4, 9,1 0, 10a - hexahydro-5, 6 dihydroxy - 9a - ethoxy - 1, 1 - dimethyl 1 - 7 - (1-methylethyl) (rosmanol-9- ethyl ether) is identified.
Antioxidant activity of the active compound of the plant is 2H-10, 4a - (epoxymethanol) - phenantren - 12 - one - 1, 3, 4, 9,1 0, 10a - hexahydro-5, 6 dihydroxy - 9a - ethoxy - 1, 1 - dimethyl 1 - 7 - (1-methylethyl) (rosmanol-9- ethyl ether), which is much greater than butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)2.
No toxic effects reported in usage of this plant.
It is used as a remedy for cough. The oil promotes expectoration in bronchial catarrh and asthma.
- Shah, Indian Perfume, 1991, Vol. 35, pp. 49.
- Djarmati et. al., J. Amer. Oil Chem. Soc., 1991, Vol. 68, pp. 731; Chem. Abstr., 1991, Vol. 115, No. 254559; Chem. Abstr., 1990, Vol. 113, No. 20410.