Helichrysum Italicum: Why You Should Use it To Improve Your Health
What exactly is helichrysum italicum? Commonly known as the curry plant, helichrysum has long been used for its medicinal properties and, even nowadays, plays an important role in the traditional medicine of many Mediterranean countries.
Admired for its silvery foliage, erect yellow flowers, and spicy exotic aroma, the curry plant is a small, bushy evergreen shrub growing up to 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide. It is endemic to the southern parts of Europe, along the Mediterranean coast.
Let’s look at some of the potential benefits of this potent plant.
Many herbalists believe helichrysum to be a powerful natural healing agent for:
- Ear Infections
- Inflammation of the kidneys
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Researchers who have looked into helichrysum have found that it has both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. As such, it may be useful in killing fungi, bacteria, and viruses that are known to cause infections.
A Powerful Anti-Inflammatory
People also apply helichrysum essential oil onto scars to discourage inflammation and promote healing.
Research by the Research Centre at the University of Beira in Portugal found that helichrysum was effective against dangerous bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus which can cause health complications from skin rashes to potentially fatal heart problems.
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Natural Digestive and Diuretic
Helichrysum helps in the secretion of gastric juices that are vital for proper digestion and assimilation of food. It is used against a host of digestive disorders and indigestion. In Turkey, it has been used for thousands of years as a natural diuretic, to rid the body of excess liquid retention and reduce bloating and stomach aches.
A herbal remedy made from helichrysum flowers is a great way to reap the digestive and gut health-boosting benefits of this potent medicine. Alternatively, you can ingest an essential oil made from helichrysum flowers, provided it is 100% food grade.
Antiviral and Increases Immunity
A large part of the immune system is actually located in the gut. Consequently, the gut-healing and anti-inflammatory properties of helichrysum actively help in boosting immunity.
Some active compounds in helichrysum, acetophenones, phloroglucinols, and terpenoids have been shown to have antifungal properties against harmful C. albicans growth. Candida is a common yeast infection that can occur in the mouth, intestinal tract, or vagina.
May Regulate Insulin
Animal studies have shown that overweight, insulin-resistant rats who were given helichrysum showed lower insulin levels, had lower inflammation markers, and reduced insulin resistance than the control group.
The Bottom Line
Helichrysum is a potent medicinal herb , native to the Mediterranean region of Southern Europe. It has been used in folk medicine for its digestive and diuretic properties in people around the plant’s native range. The antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties are quickly making it popular around the world in the form of an essential oil.
Helichrysum increases immunity and is proving to be effective in preventing infections on cuts and wounds and other skin problems including rashes, hemorrhoids, and acne. It has been shown to regulate insulin in animal studies and is effective against Candida. More scientific studies are needed to verify the effectiveness of this plant.