Helichrysum

Helichrysum

Helichrysum spp.

Helichrysum, commonly known as the everlasting flowers, is characterized by multiple species that are employed for its use in curries and essential oil for its spectacular pharmacological actions. It has earned the name ‘the everlasting flower’ because of its capability to rejuvenate the skin, all the while keeping it healthy and beautiful.

  • Plant type: Annual
  • Other names: Everlasting Flowers, Curry Plant
  • Medicinal: Yes
  • Culinary: No
  • Ceremonial: No
  • Parts Used: Flowers & Leaves
  • Side Effects: None
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About Helichrysum

Helichrysum, commonly known as the everlasting flowers, is characterized by multiple species that are employed for its use in curries and essential oil for its spectacular pharmacological actions. It has earned the name ‘the everlasting flower’ because of its capability to rejuvenate the skin, all the while keeping it healthy and beautiful.

Helichrysum is a perennial flowering plant that can grow up to a height of 20 to 40 inches. The leaves of this genus are oblong to lanceolate. The reason for its extremely celebrated beauty is the cheerful flowers with stiff paper-like petals that unfold only to reveal the vibrant colors. The species of the Helichrysum genus also contain petal-like bracts that emerge in a wide array of shades, including white, pink, orange, and red.

Due to its diversified usage, Helichrysum is hailed by a good load of names like St. John’s weed, goldilock, curry plant, Italian straw plant, harnblumen, eternal flower, and so forth.

The chief biologically active phytochemicals of everlasting flowers include pinene, italidone, limonene, curcumene, nerole, and acetophenone. Its essential oil and juices are used to heal the wounds, cuts, bruises, ulcers, and excessive sexual desire. Its infusions are used for sore throat. The dried everlasting flower tops are kept under the pillows to calm the one who sleeps on it.

Growing

The Everlasting flowers are good to grow both indoors and outdoors. For outdoor plantation, the seeds can be sown in the warm soil when all the dangers of frost have surpassed, usually in late spring. The indoor setting encourages to broadcast the seed in spring.

The everlasting flowers require average soil (sandy) that contains organic matter and has a pH that ranges from 6 to7. The seeds must be slightly pressed into the soil and must not be covered as they direly need light to germinate. The plant also requires dancing showers of water every day that must be provided gently.

Helichrysum is a genus whose species are self-supporting in the run of short-lived perennials. When the seeds receive their desired conditions, they are liable to germinate within 15 to 20 days.

Soon the seedlings give rise to shoots that produce broad leaves and during mid-summer, the plant enters its blooming phase. This phase can last until light frost strikes in. The flowering plant can bear the light hits of frost. These hermaphrodite flowers invite insects to cater to the pollination process and formulate achene fruits.

The seeds of these fruits are either collected or self-sow to produce another plant of the same species.

Harvesting

The everlasting flowers are harvested when they are fully matured which usually happens in June and July.

The stems, leaves, and flower tops of the Helichrysum are harvested with gardening shears.

To preserve the floral aroma that has sweet and dry earthy notes, the aerial parts of the plant are dried typically by tying up the stems containing leaves and flowers. The bunches are hung upside down in a well-ventilated space, away from the sunlight for 2 to 3 weeks to attain properly dried plant material.

Usage

Helichrysum flowers are of immense importance due to their high-prized medicinal properties. They are used in a good load of medicinal preparations to treat certain disorders.

  • Tincture - Infuse freshly chopped helichrysum leaves and flowers in grain alcohol for 4 to 6 weeks. Strain the liquid and place it in a dark and dry place.
  • Tea - Just 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried everlasting flower tops are soaked in a cup of hot water to form the everlasting tea.
  • Decoction - Dried everlasting flowers are simmered in water for 5 to 6 hours to form a Helichrysum decoction.
  • Salve -  Helichrysum essential oil is used in formulating the salve.
  • Syrup - Dried flowers of helichrysum are rolled on low flame with a sugar solution to form the syrup.
  • Infused oil - Dried everlasting flowers are allowed to sit with jojoba oil (or any carrier oil) for 2 weeks in a sunny spot to form everlasting infused oil.