Curry Bush (Helichrysum italicum) is sometimes called the curry plant, because of the strong curry fragrance of its leaves. The curry aroma is very prominent in the air after rain or after water has touched the leaves. The plant has both culinary and medicinal uses.
It is native to the Mediterranean region. Although called curry bush and smelling like curry powder, it is not related to the curry tree (Murraya koenigii) and it is not used as a curry spice.
It is a hardy perennial plant. The stems are woody at the base and can reach 60cm or more in height. Leaves are silver-grey and small clusters of yellow flowers are produced in summer. Other common names include Italian strawflower and immortelle.
Curry Bush Culinary Uses
This plant is used as a stewing spice. It has a resinous, somewhat bitter aroma similar to sage and its young shoots and leaves are often used in Mediterranean meat, fish or vegetable dishes and the herb is removed before serving.
Curry Bush Medicinal Uses
The plant has wound-healing, anti-inflammatory, fungicidal, antibacterial, expectorant, antispasmodic and relaxing features.
Growing Curry Bush Plant
- It can grow in any soil type, but prefers soil that drains well.
- Requires full sun and a warm climate.
- Can withstand dry spells, but grows best if watered at least once a week.
- Grows very well in containers.
- Mature plants can be pruned to shape.
Information is for educational and informational purposes only and may not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment offered by healthcare professionals.