Sweet alyssum or Lobularia maritime is a flowering shrub in the Brassicaceae family. It is native to northern Africa, southern Europe, and the Canary Islands. Alyssum, the plant’s genus, comprises of more than a 100 species. The alyssum genus has both perennial and annual plants.
[Note: The Right Flowers is not a medical site. Knowledge of and information about the therapeutic benefits and applications of flowers, while known through the ages, does not constitute medical advice. If you are having health issues, you should consult with a physician.]
Sweet alyssum, is a tough plant requiring little pampering and capable of surviving mild frosts that kill other tender plants. This small shrub features oblong or oval leaves and produces clusters of fragrant, small yellow, purple to white flowers from June to October that are great for floral arrangements. Normally, the flowers have small, blunt petals arranged in a square shape.
Though all sweet alyssum flowers are popular for their beauty and longevity, the white variety is more popular compared to the yellow or purple varieties. White sweet alyssum blossoms are normally used alongside blue ageratum and red salvia as a show of patriotism in the US for July 4th (Independence Day) celebrations and for adorning monuments on Memorial Day.
Sweet alyssum has a very subtle fragrance that is often described as flirty and seems to be more fragrant in the morning compared to later in the day. Gardeners claim that its subtle aroma is similar to beeswax or honey which makes it ideal for growing around the house.
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Sweet alyssum flowers have antiscorbutic and astringent properties. As a result, the plant has been held in high regard for its ability to treat many health issues including:
Sweet alyssum flowers have been shown to be highly effective in managing kidney disorders including ascites, renal failure, and edema. The beneficial compounds in these flowers assist in the prevention and halting of renal failure by inducing diuresis. This hastens the removal of excess water from kidneys by enhancing renal functions. In addition, the flowers help in flushing out excess salt and toxins accumulated in the body by increasing the secretion of urine which assists in detoxifying the body.
Sweet alyssum is also used for:
Treating gonorrhea, abdominal pains, cold and flu
Relieves pain and stanches bleeding from gums
Treating rabies, commonly known as mad-dog disease
Lowering accumulation of fluids in body cells and tissues
Apart from being a handy medicinal plant, sweet alyssum flowers are edible. The blossoms are used to enhance flavor in salads and other dishes where pungency is required. The flowers are great for making candy due to their honey fragrance.
Sweet alyssums are great flowers. They require very little care to thrive, can withstand mild frosts, make for great floral arrangements, and have medicinal as well as edible qualities.