Fall and the Metal element has many associations in acupuncture theory. In recent posts, I’ve explored the body, mind and spirit aspects of Fall, as well as essential oils. Here’s one more essential oil for fall: Hyssop is classified in herbal theory as hot, dry, and stimulating; therefore it should be used in moderation. This essential oil should be used under the guidance of an experienced herbalist, so as not to aggravate any existing conditions. But there are still ways to experience it safely on your own.
IMPORTANT SAFETY DATA: Do not use in pregnancy or while breast-feeding, or for children under 2 years old. Do not use on individuals with epilepsy or fever. Do not use at more than 2% dilution.
If you are curious about hyssop, and do not meet any of the above safety criteria, try diffusing it for a short while. Or check out the many recipes that call for it as a condiment or flavor in desserts (I couldn’t decide which recipe to share, although there was one for a vinegar that caught my eye).
The flowers of Hyssop are strong, aromatic and are attractive to bees and butterflies. It has been used as a culinary, medicinal and ritual herb for thousands of years.
Hyssop benefits poor vitality, breathlessness and immune deficiency. It can help prevent the recurrence of colds and flu, and fights infection. It can also be used for appetite loss, bloating and slow digestion. In combination with other oils (used topically), it can be used for rheumatic pain of a cold, cramping nature, which commonly occur in winter.
It has an invigorating effect on the mind, and is frequently recommended for poor concentration, short-term mental fatigue, pessimism and melancholy. By opening the chest – again, this affiliation with the Lung – it helps us face the world, counteracting the urge to withdraw. Yet at the same time, Hyssop is considered another one of the Herbs of Protection. It helps us defend ourselves (boundaries) from negative influences, both physical and psychological.
This is an ideal oil for those who are easily affected by others’ moods and emotions, and tensions in the environment. When we feel cleansed of confused thoughts and negative emotions we can sharpen our awareness and access spiritual insight.