Botanical and Common Names
- Family Asteraceae
- Helichrysum spp., H. italicum or H. angustifolium, H. stoechas, H. gymnocephalum, H. patulum
- Italian helichrysum. Common names include, everlasting/immortelle, the curry plant (the leaves have a strong, curry-like smell, although helichrysum is not used in any curry dish), and Italian strawflower.
Helichrysum italicum is an iconic plant of the Mediterranean area, but the use of its essential oil in glamorous perfumes and personal care products has turned it into a veritable icon of luxury. However, just like the geographical distribution of Helichrysum species extends beyond the Mediterranean region, the properties of H. italicum are not limited to fragrance as they can benefit human health as well. In this context, H. italicum can be viewed as the sleeping giant of Mediterranean herbal medicine, and its extracts have the potential to be developed as dietary supplement ingredients just like its essential oil has been used successfully in perfumery and aromatherapy. Waking this giant will not be simple, but recent studies have provided the basis for a Helichrysum renaissance.
It grows wild and is cultivated in France, Italy, the Mediterranean area. Helichrysum is a strongly aromatic shrub, with brightly colored flowers. The flowers retain their shape and color when dried, and gave the herb it’s name: everlasting. There are over 500 species of Helichrysum, but many do not produce an essential oil.
Source: American Botanical Council
You can find Helichrysum in these itineraries: