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Helichrysum: history and legend of an immortal plant

2021-06-11 13:55

Anna Sipione

sustainability, food, Sicily, curiosity, helichrysum, spices, environment,

Helichrysum: history and legend of an immortal plant

A plant with a fascinating history and unique properties

"You will remain steeped in luck, who adorns himself with helichrysum"

What a story, the helichrysum. This less glamorous shrub, no taller than 50 cm and with a bitter and pungent, almost unpleasant smell, holds (curious) surprises. Starting from the name, which legends attribute to the first nymph who caught him, Elicrisa. Beautiful nymph, with golden hair, who loved a God without being reciprocated and for this reason, at her death, she was transformed by the Gods into a helichrysum plant whose flowers, today, are lucky charms for people in love: " You remain steeped in luck, who yes

adorned with helichrysum ”, says a popular saying. It is also said that a bunch of helichrysum, left to dry all year round and then burned on the night of St. John, would allow you to conquer your loved one.

The properties of this plant, very widespread in Italy in arid places, especially in the islands, where it sometimes extends so much as to cover entire expanses of land, are as powerful as the stories of which it is the protagonist. Helichrysum, in fact, is rich in components such as nerol and neryl acetate, tannin, waxes and helichrysin, which give the body numerous benefits.

Breath grass - as it is called in some regions of Italy for its balsamic properties - can be used as a natural remedy against bronchial cough and is recommended for people with diabetes for its diuretic and purifying action. Not only that, the helichrysum is used in the production of ointments against sunburn, burns and psoriasis and, in ophthalmology, as an emollient in case of acute and chronic conjunctivitis.

A plant with a thousand beneficial properties and defined as "immortal" due to the characteristic of its flower heads, capable of remaining unaltered over time, even after being dried.

Immortal like the love of the nymph Elicrisa, still preserved today, intact, in its golden flowers.

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