Helichrysum, Helichrysum italicum, belonging to the large family of the Composites, is a characteristic plant of the Mediterranean scrub, widespread in uncultivated and stony, sunny and arid places. It is in fact a spontaneous little plant with a woody base about 40 cm high, very resistant, with a slightly prostrate posture on the ground, where it forms dense odorous spots in the coastal regions, characteristic for the silver-green-gray color with bright yellow flowers, with an aromatic scent very intense and particular, which typically characterizes the Mediterranean scrub.a.
The name Helichrysum derives from the Greek helios sole and chrysos oro, and refers to the shape and the very bright golden yellow color of its flowers, small flower heads gathered in corymb inflorescences.orimbi).
The twigs and leaves are covered by a thick silvery gray hair, with a velvety appearance, which protects them from adverse climate conditions, especially from the summer heat and drought of the rocky and arid places where the Helichrysum grows. In the innermost regions, far from the coast, and at a higher altitude, the Helichrysum grows more sparsely, but equally luxuriant and easy to identify: walking along the hillside, especially on sunny days, you can feel its intense perfume even before glimpsing its splendor. of its golden flowers.ati.
The Helichrysum is frequent in the Mediterranean scrub, especially in the center-south and in the islands, Sardinia is a prosperous region because the plant prefers places with good exposure to the sun, it grows with its active ingredients, particularly abundant and effective in countering numerous disorders of the organism human.mano.
Today we know a lot, but not all of the composition of Helichrysum: the flavonoid content, its tannins, caffeic acid. Also a particular substance, called arenarine, to which a probable antibiotic activity is attributed. And today we know of many medicinal properties attributed to Helichrysum, as an anti-inflammatory, anti-edema, analgesic, decongestant, anti-allergic, anti-erythematous, photoprotective, bechica, balsamic and expectorant, against eczema, and in particular psoriasis, but also, as an adjuvant, in the pertussis, in bronchitis, in the presence of asthmatic or emphysematous manifestationsose…
The first studies on the application of this plant, in the pathologies of the skin and on the respiratory system, are due to Dr. Leonardo Santini who, having noticed that the farmers of the Garfagnana, where he worked as a medical guide, treated the bronchial affections of cattle with Helichrysum, experimenting it on his patients, obtaining confirmation of his expectations, but in addition he noticed a favorable action in patients with affectionsoni eczematous and especially psoriatic, and in 1949 he published the results of his observations.
A clinical study confirmed the therapeutic efficacy of the plant in the treatment of psoriasis: clinical improvement after about three weeks of therapy, evidenced by the clear healing of the erythematous squamous patches with progressive decrease of the parakeratotic component, regression of erythema and decrease of itching.
Always Dr. Santini highlighted an antiallergic component of Helichrysum, which he used by means of aerosols, eye drops and eyelid packs in allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis and blepharitis. He also achieved results worthy of attention in the treatment of burns and chilblains, obtaining a faster disappearance of painful manifestations, itching and burning..
Since then, there has always been experimental confirmation, in the field, of the intuition of the doctor Santini, up to the scientific proofs that is the discovery of how the substances contained in Helichrysum act biochemically. For example, a study carried out in the Department of Pharmacology of the University of Valencia in March 2002 recognized the validity of the brilliant insights of Dr. Santini, confirming the anti-inflammatory properties of Helichrysum, and also highlighting its antioxidant properties.danti.
The antioxidant activity has been related to the antiaging substances contained in the helichrysum, in particular polyphenols, flavonoids and coumarins, which exert a protective action against cell damage produced by strong oxidants such as free radicals of the ROS type. ROS.
Continuing his research, Santini obtained interesting results in the treatment of burns and chilblains. In fact, he found that Helichrysum, in ointment, was able to exert a preventive action in ultraviolet rays and curative burns in 1- 2- 3 burns with rapid reparative processes, regression of exudative phenomena etc., analgesia with reduction and disappearance of pain, burning and itching. The author sees in the presence of flavonoids an essential factor in the growth of these activities. Continuing his research he thought, on the basis of the clear anti-edema action of the drug, of extending the use of Helichrysum to phlebitic, postphlebitic and varicose edema. The application of the ointment with massage, left in a thin layer on the suffering limbs, considerably reduced the infiltration of the tissues by regressing the eczematous stasis dermatitis and the concomitant dystrophic alterations in addition to the subjective symptoms tension, burning, sense of cold, functional awkwardness, etc. inflamed hemorrhoids the analgesic and decongestant action was highlighted.ngestionante.