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Curry Plant

Helichrysum italicum (Roth) G. Don

Brief Summary

    Helichrysum italicum: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia

    Helichrysum italicum is a flowering plant of the daisy family Asteraceae. It is sometimes called the curry plant because of the strong smell of its leaves. Other common names include Italian strawflower and immortelle. It grows on dry, rocky or sandy ground around the Mediterranean. The stems are woody at the base and can reach 60 centimetres (24 in) or more in height. The clusters of yellow flowers are produced in summer, they retain their colour after picking and are used in dried flower arrangements.

    The plant produces an oil from its blossoms which is used for medicinal purposes. It is anti-inflammatory, fungicidal, and astringent. It soothes burns and raw chapped skin. It is used as a fixative in perfumes and has an intense fragrance.

    This plant is sometimes used as a spice. Although called "curry plant" and smelling like curry powder, it has nothing whatsoever to do with this mixture of spices, nor with the curry tree (Murraya koenigii), and is not used as masala for curry dishes either. Rather, it has a resinous, somewhat bitter aroma reminiscent of sage or wormwood[citation needed] and is used like these: the young shoots and leaves are stewed in Mediterranean meat, fish or vegetable dishes til they have imparted their flavor, and removed before serving.[citation needed]

Comprehensive Description

    Helichrysum italicum
    provided by wikipedia

    Helichrysum italicum is a flowering plant of the daisy family Asteraceae. It is sometimes called the curry plant because of the strong smell of its leaves. Other common names include Italian strawflower and immortelle. It grows on dry, rocky or sandy ground around the Mediterranean. The stems are woody at the base and can reach 60 centimetres (24 in) or more in height. The clusters of yellow flowers are produced in summer, they retain their colour after picking and are used in dried flower arrangements.

    The plant produces an oil from its blossoms which is used for medicinal purposes. It is anti-inflammatory, fungicidal, and astringent.[1] It soothes burns and raw chapped skin. It is used as a fixative in perfumes and has an intense fragrance.[2]

    This plant is sometimes used as a spice. Although called "curry plant" and smelling like curry powder, it has nothing whatsoever to do with this mixture of spices, nor with the curry tree (Murraya koenigii), and is not used as masala for curry dishes either. Rather, it has a resinous, somewhat bitter aroma reminiscent of sage or wormwood[citation needed] and is used like these: the young shoots and leaves are stewed in Mediterranean meat, fish or vegetable dishes til they have imparted their flavor, and removed before serving.[citation needed]

    Cultivation

    Helichrysum italicum is a tender perennial (USDA Zones 7-10).

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      Helichrysum italicum

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      Helichrysum italicum flowering

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      Close-up of inflorescences

    References

    1. ^ Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Helichrysum italicum: Araceli Sala, María del Carmen Recion et al, in Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology Volume 54, Issue 3, 18 FEB 2010
    2. ^ Inflammation: Natural Resources and Its Applications by Parag Jain, Ravindra Pandey, Shiv Shankar Shukla: Springer, India 2015 p.47