Article - CurrybushCommon Name: CURRYBUSH
Scientific Name: Helichrysum italicum
Currybush is a hardy, evergreen perennial shrub with branched
woody stems up to 60cm and has aromatic, narrow silver-grey leaves.
It bears clusters of small rich yellow button-like flowers in summer
and autumn. After rain, the whole plant smells strongly of curry.
Currybush is frost hardy and likes well-drained soil in full sun. It does not like wet winters and can be lightly pruned after flowering. In spring it can be cut back to within a few centimetres of the previous years growth.
Helichrysum is native to Europa, Asia, Australia and Africa. Helichrysum comes from the Greek helios (sun) and chrysos (golden), referring to the yellow flower colour.
Harvesting and parts used:
Pick the leaves any time to use fresh.
Pick the flowers in bud and hang upside down in bunches to dry for use in flower arrangements.
Currybush has a curry taste and aroma. Add soft sprigs and tips to curries and stews at the end of cooking time – remove the sprigs before serving. Stir the finely chopped leaves into mayonnaise, soups and salads. Sprinkle over vegetable, rice and egg dishes. Just snip the leaves with a pair of scissors or chop on a board with a sharp knife.
An essential oil produced from Currybush blossoms has several medicinal properties. It is anti-inflammatory, fungicidal, and astringent. The essential oil's compounds are known to prevent and relieve blood clotting (helpful for bruising), stimulate tissue regeneration, act as a powerful anti-oxidant, and reduce inflammation.
This combination of effects may help with injuries such as twists, sprains, bruises, and tendonitis. Currybush oil soothes burns and raw chapped skin. Currybush oil is useful for the treatment of respiratory problems and it is used as a fixative in perfumes.