Herbal Therapies Used by People Living With HIV: Hyssop
Part of A Practical Guide to Herbal Therapies for People Living With HIV
Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) is one of the oldest medicinal plants used in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. The leaves and flowers of this evergreen shrub are used and the essential oil is extracted. Hyssop was traditionally used as a treatment for fevers and colds as well as for liver and gallbladder problems, but none of these uses has been tested in clinical trials. Test-tube studies show that hyssop stops the production of HIV without damaging the infected cells. These results have encouraged some people living with HIV to try the plant as an antiviral. Anecdotal reports suggest that the plant is effective in treating HIV-related infections and increasing CD4+ cell counts.
Hyssop has no reported side effects at normal treatment doses, but high doses, especially over time, may cause serious side effects, such as seizures. Children should be treated with caution, because several sources suggest that even relatively small doses may cause seizures. Hyssop comes in the form of a tincture, capsules or a tea and may be added to skin products and ointments to treat skin conditions.
This article was provided by Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange. Visit CATIE's Web site to find out more about their activities, publications and services.