It’s part of the traditional medicine of Mediterranean countries, although its popularity is also spreading around the rest of the world quickly. Its liquid it’s highly expensive and it is grown also in Albania. It is Helichrysum Italicum of course. This miraculous herb has been grown and cultivated in the last couple of years mainly in Koplik, Malësi e Madhe, Lezhë and partly in Tirana. Through a USAID’s Program, farmers in these areas have been to cultivate this rare medicinal herb.
This is the flower which smiles to the sun and is definitely smiling to many people in Koplik, which live by this new flower which holds a great potential business wise. At the moment there are only 54 ha cultivated of helychrysum, but as experts say it could grow up to 100 ha, which means 100 families in Malësi e Madhe could make a living out of this herb, whose oil is highly demanded in Europe, especially in Austria.
On the hills of Tirana, farmers have started to cultivate it as well. Besnik Koçi, who has a company which distills its oil, says for Agroweb, that after sage, this is the second most sough medicinal herb. “It is very profitable as business as the demand is very high. The only thing we need to work more on it is the quality of the oil”. For 5 grams of helichrysum in Europe you would normally pay 20-30 Euro.
By now you’re likely asking: “So what does it do?” A great many things! Helichrysum italicum is a unique essential oil in its distinct synergy of molecular components. It is the only oil known to contain safe but powerful regenerative di-ketones. Its components have been studied for their anti-inflammatory action; further, the oil contains what are known as ‘spasmolytic esters’ which cause tissues to relax. Relaxing, anti-inflammatory and regenerative – a wonderful combination in a single therapeutic oil. The spicy-floral aroma of Helichrysum is uplifting and grounding, with an effect on the psyche that may help release ‘stuck’ emotions.
According to Gabriel Mojay’s ‘Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit’: “Those (emotions) that are most indicated…are enduring resentment, half-conscious anger, bitterness of spirit, and a stubbornly negative attitude.” Helichrysum makes an excellent addition to many aromatherapy massage blends for this reason; the physical and psychological actions of the oil offer synergistic support to individuals experiencing pain. The touch of caring therapeutic massage using the wonderful properties of Helichrysum is likely to bring profound relief to many people.
As you can see, Helichrysum offers its potent healing medicine to many folks interested in natural healing, wellness and fitness. It is such an exceptionally safe oil that can be used by health professionals without hesitation. True Helichrysum italicum may appear expensive relative to other oils, but it is often used in small amounts and low dilutions; a little will go a long way – and will be a much appreciated addition to your natural home medicine chest. There are over five hundred species of the Helichrysum plant; many share the same characteristics of narrow pale green leaves and bright yellow flowers.
It is only the Helichrysum ‘italicum’ species that produces the highly regarded ‘Everlasting’ or ‘Immortelle’ oil for aromatherapy, same variety is also grown in Albania. The oil’s growing demand has sparked interest in essential oil distillers all over the world, but few are able to grow it domestically as it needs a Mediterranean climate, which Albania is blessed to have. Together with sage, lavender and mountain tea, helichrysum could soon become the next big thing in medicinal herbs in Albania.