Upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) are one of the most common reasons for doctor visits resulting in missed work or school with symptoms ranging from a runny nose, sore throat, cough, to difficulty in breathing. URTIs can occur at any time of year, but they are most common during the winter.
The infections in the respiratory tract are mostly of viral origin and often lead to secondary bacterial infections. The treatment options available for such infections are effective and provide instant relief, however, linked to some side effects. On the other hand, herbal medicines are gaining importance because of their multidisciplinary actions in alleviating the symptoms from their root cause.
One of such herbs is Jufa or Hyssopus officinalis or Hyssop which is referred as magical herb for respiratory problems. Hyssop is considered to have soothing, expectorant, and cough suppressant properties in herbal medicine. Hyssop is being used in classical medicine for centuries to increase circulation and treat a variety of conditions such as coughing and sore throat. Hyssop has the ability to stimulate the gastrointestinal system.
Jufa contains glycoside hyssopin, flavonoids (including diosmin and hesperidin), tannins, caffeic acids, resin, gum, and the bitter substance known as marrubiin. Terpenoids include marrubiin, ursolic acid, and oleanolic acid. Hence possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, and several other pharmacological activities.
Common viral respiratory diseases can be treatable without altering the gastric or intestinal flora. Jufa can act as anti-viral by inhibiting the replication of the virus in the lungs by enhancing interferon production. Therefore, protecting the lungs from damage and giving relief in no time.
Anti-microbial activity/ Anti-inflammatory activity
The disease-causing bacteria attach to the cilia (tiny, hair-like extensions) that line part of the upper respiratory system. The bacteria release toxins (poisons), which damage the cilia and cause
airways to swell. Here, Hyssopus officinalis has in vitro antimicrobial activity against Gram +ve and Gram −ve bacteria hence inhibiting microbial growth. The levels of immunoglobulins decrease due to anti-inflammatory properties and in turn give relief in symptoms.
The aerial flowering tops of Jufa have been suggested for broncho-tonic effects due to its essential oil constituents namely, I-pinocamphone, pinene, terpinene, etc. Therefore, providing demulcent and soothing actions in bronchial diseases.
Jufa works effectively in excessive mucous production. Jufa liquefies thick and tenacious mucous and at the same time gently stimulates expectoration.
Airway remodeling inhibition effect
The relieved pathological changes including smooth muscle proliferation, mucus secretion, and collagen deposition support its airway remodeling inhibition by correcting the imbalance of the MMP-9/TIMP-1 ratio in respiratory
H. officinalis’s stems, leaves, and flower’s ethanolic extracts showed good antioxidant activity in the hemoglobin-induced linoleic acid which repairs any damage caused by the foreign particle and boosts cell repairing activity.
Looking at the benefits of Jufa herb AIMIL pharmaceuticals an Ayurveda based pharma company has made an Ayurvedic syrup with the benefits of Jufa and other respiratory system friendly herbs like Clove, Peepli, Gojiya, cinnamon, Kateli, Baheda, dried fig, and Unab which can be consumed with lukewarm water with the name JUFEX to help relieve symptoms of various respiratory ailments.