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Helichrysum

Helichrysum petiolare     / H.  odoratissimum

Afrikaans:   Kooigoed

English :      Everlastings

IsiXhosa:    Imphepho


Description and diagnostic features   

   They are grey hairy plants. The species H. nudifolium  is hairless.     

   The flowers of this genus form small compound flowers.

   The everlasting flowers

   H. petiolare has clear petioles holding the leaves away from the twigs.

      In H. odoratissimum is more aromatic when fresh but as the plants start drying out after being harvested the aroma can no longer be contained and dissipates.

     The plants are very rich in aromatic compounds.  I was told by people who do chemical analysis that these plants contain more different chemicals than any other plant they have tested.


Part used           

    Leaves and thin twigs.


Uses                

  1. As bedding it keeps out the pests.
  2. As tea it is fantastic at removing the streptococcal infection of the blood that leads to the erosion of heart valve tendons, leading to murmur of the heart and low blood pressure.
  3. As a tea it also removes riketsia from the blood and overcomes headache from tick bite fever. Drinking the tea daily for ten days will eliminate the swelling of lymph nodes.  
  4. As a female aphrodisiac it relaxes the pelvis and causes more moisture to flow. There is a species that is very aromatic called bride’s imphepo.
  5. As a help in relaxing the pelvic girdle to give birth more easily in tight hipped woman it is valuable.
  6. As a smouldering smudge it is used to call the ancestors that drive away other unwanted spirits.
  7. Holding it at arms length above the body to burn there at the place of the sun chakra, it will activate the creativity and you will feel the current running down from there through your head.


Warning          

       Never use more than 2 cups of tea a day else the pelvic girdle becomes so relaxed that picking up something heavy can cause a dislocation of the back.

       When burning or rather smouldering the leaves to evaporate the aromatic oils it is never good to blow at them. That is disrespectful. Rather wave the smouldering leaves around.


Habitat             

     They grow all over the southern and western and eastern cape. H petiolare is rampant in the Knysna forest.


Propagation    

    It spreads abundantly from seed.  It needs a fair amount of moisture to survive.


Helichrysum petiolare

Helichrysum odoratissimum