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Elicrisio, Helichrysum stoechas

Family of compositae

This common small plant grows in marly and dry places and it seems like a small shrub, not more than 30-40 centimetres high, with small branches at its basis and pale blue leaves on the small branches, which end with a sort of small bunch (corimbo) full of gold yellow blossoms. Rubbing the leaves and flowers we have a very particular smell between liquorice and sulphur.

In the past it was burned inside houses in order to purify the air. If reduced in ointment it seems to have beneficial effects on skin diseases, while reduced in aerosol it is a good remedy against bronchitis and asthma. This plant was used by Romans to adorn the statues of their gods and even today this modest plant has something sacred in itself.

Picture and text of Tebaldo Lorini
Translated by Gianna Toni

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