Hyssopus officinalis Linn

Family ► Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat ► Native to tropical America. Distributed throughout India.

Family ► Labiatae; Lamiaceae.

Habitat ► Native to Europe and temperate Asia. Occurs in West Himalyas from Kashmir to Kumaon.

Ayurvedic ► Dayaa-kunji. (Nepeta longibractea is also equated with Zuufaa, Dayaa-kunji.)

Unani ► Zuufaa, Zuufaa Yaabis.

Hyssopus officinalis Linn. 321

Action ► Stimulant, carminative, sedative, antispasmodic, diuretic, pectoral. Used for bronchitis, coughs and colds. Induces heavy sweating in fevers, increases blood pressure. Emmenagogue. Used externally for bruises, discoloured contusions and cuts.

Key application ► As expectorant. (The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia.)

Hyssop contains terpenoids, including marrubiin; a volatile oil consisting mainly of camphor, pinocamphone and beta-pinene; flavonoids, gluco-sides, tannins and resin. Marrubiin is a strong expectorant. The plant also contains ursolic acid, an anti-

inflammatory principle. The alcoholic extract of the aerial parts at flowering yields an active antioxidant compound, rosmanol-9-ethyl ether. Its activity is much greater than butylat-ed hydroxytoluene. The extract of the plant showed weak hepatoprotective activity against CCl4-induced toxicity in albino mice.

Pinocamphone and isopinocam-phone are toxic constituents of the essential oil. Wild plants from Ku-maon (Uttaranchal) shows presence of very small amounts of pinocam-phone (0.61%) in essential oil, as compared to Himalayan hyssop (38.44%) and cultivated North American hyssop (42.66%). The essential oil can induce epileptic seizures.

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