The elicriso, known in English as helichrysum or everlasting, is a typical plant of the Mediterranean area. The name is derived from the Greek words helios (sun) and chrysos (gold), due to its flower shape and colour.
It is a perennial plant strongly rooted, about 40 cm tall, with ash-grey colour branches and bright yellow flowers. They give off a particular scent so strong that even when dry it retains its characteristic aroma. It blooms between April and June and is very resistant to wind.
Helichrysum italicum has its wider dissemination in the Mediterranean area. In Italy it is mostly found in central and southern Italy and the islands, from the coast up to over a thousand meters above sea level, especially in places with a good exposure to the sun, such as Sardinia, where temperatures are ideal.
The drug is made from the flowering buds that are harvested from May to September, depending on the altitude. The medicinal properties are anti-inflammatory, analgesic, decongestant, anti-allergic, balsamic. That is why it is a valuable aid in case of various diseases, both for external and internal use. Elicriso infusions and syrups help in all cases of skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis, whooping cough, bronchitis, and with anti-allergic function in rhinitis and conjunctivitis.
In Sardinia, in the areas visited by our itineraries, there is a local variety of this everlasting plant, the Elicriso del Monte Linas. Unlike Helichrysum italicum, it is smaller and odour is not as strong. The flower, which only blooms in June, has white petals. The Helichrysum montelinasanum is a very rare species in the world, exclusive to Sardinia, and is a mountain flora survivor dating from the ice age.