Crude extracts of dried leaves of Hyssop officinalis showed strong anti-HIV activity as measured by inhibition of syncytia formation, HIV reverse transcriptase (RT), and p17 and p24 antigen expression, but were non-toxic to the uninfected Molt-3 cells. Ether extracts from direct extraction (Procedure I), after removal of tannins (Procedure II), or from the residue after dialysis of the crude extract (Procedure III), showed good antiviral activity. Methanol extracts, subsequent to ether, chloroform and chloroform ethanol extractions, derived from procedure I or II, but not III, also showed very strong anti-HIV activity. In addition, the residual material after methanol extractions still showed strong activity. Caffeic acid was identified in the ether extract of procedure I by HPLC and UV spectroscopy. Commercial caffeic acid showed good antiviral activity in the RT assay and high to moderate activity in the syncytia assay and the p17 and p24 antigen expression. Tannic acid and gallic acid, common to other teas, could not be identified in our extracts. When commercial products of these two acids were tested in our assay systems, they showed high to moderate activity against HIV-1. Hyssop officinalis extracts contain caffeic acid, unidentified tannins, and possibly a third class of unidentified higher molecular weight compounds that exhibit strong anti-HIV activity, and may be useful in the treatment of patients with AIDS.