Essences and secrets from the heart of the Mediterranean
When the aircraft door reopens we are always overwhelmed by a unique and completely recognizable aroma. The salty air blends with the essences of rosemary, helichrysum and lentisk, whispering “Well found”.
The olfactory connection that is created in Sardinia is one of the strongest that you will come across in nature.
This is because the Mediterranean scrub is a plant system that has evolved over millennia, through real defense and survival strategies, which have allowed it to overcome numerous environmental difficulties such as drought, wind, fires and herbivorous pastures.
The conditions that we find in Sardinia, a harsh and generous land, are the best that can occur in nature to guarantee the quality of this ancient plant system. Warm and little rainy climate with strong temperature range (which in the hottest periods can even reach 20 °) and largely uncontaminated nature, all elements that temper the vegetation, concentrating its lymph (consequently its aromas and properties) as a defense strategy, ensuring the optimal quality of these aromatic and medicinal plants.
The medicinal plants that grow wild on the island are rich in meanings and properties, used since ancient times.
Our current knowledge in the herbal, aromatherapeutic and phytotherapeutic field derives from an ancient knowledge handed down from generation to generation thanks to the amazing powers of these herbs.
Among the most common plants of the Mediterranean flora we find: rosemary, lentisk, wild lavender, juniper, fennel, myrtle and many others.
But let’s reveal some secrets of these ancient perfumes.
Famous since ancient times for promoting digestion, stimulating the liver and the production of bile. It works by emulsifying fats, favoring their digestion, which is why its use in cooking is typical, especially in roasts.
But in popular memory its uses are numerous: from the remedy for low blood pressure, to natural mouthwash to keep teeth white and healthy, to remedy for brittle and greasy hair.
The fantastic beach of the Costa Smeralda, Romazzino and its famous Hotel, is dedicated to rosemary, “rumassinu” in Gallura.
According to the Romans, it improved memory and concentration in studying, which is why they used to have twigs on study tables.
Lentisk oil is rich in essential fatty acids, perfect anti-perspiration.
This was also known in the ancient popular tradition, when it was used as a remedy for excessive sweating and as a deodorant, even adding the decoction of its leaves to the bath for an action on the whole body.
Its healing and decongestant properties were already known to the ancients.
Its use for bath oils, ointments and anti-aging creams is still widespread today.
Wild lavender used for both internal and external use has powerful relaxing properties.
In many areas of the island, its infusion is used as a remedy for depression and fatigue.
In the collective imagination, myrtle is the plant of the Sardinian tradition par excellence. This is certainly due to the famous liqueur made from berries or leaves, a symbol of the Sardinian post-lunch.
Actually, in the deepest tradition, myrtle is a symbol of purity and love, so much so that it is the plant consecrated to Venus. It is said that it was used to combat negative moods and thoughts.
Indeed, they are properties that can also be found following the consumption of its delicious liqueur!
How not to mention the helichrysum!
It is certainly one of the most characteristic notes of the perfume that characterizes our coasts and also one of the most dear to the inhabitants of the island.
In ancient times, it was usual for the Sardinian wives of sailors to put some twigs between the letters for their husbands leaving for distant lands, in memory of the scent of their land.
Also known as immortal, it is able to survive in the most inaccessible situations and its perfume lasts for a long time even if cut.
It has extraordinary balsamic, antibacterial (used in antiquity to sprinkle women immediately after childbirth, before visits), anti-inflammatory and relaxing properties.
In Gallura, it is the protagonist of the traditional feast of San Giovanni (24 June, date of writing of this article, we hope for a good sign!). Used to light the fire which young couples will jump in as a good omen.
In conclusion, this ancient, complex and unique ecosystem, which has resisted for millennia forged by the climate and the wind, deserves a profound respect. In return we will have immortal and sensual scents, which come straight from the heart of this magical land and which we will keep forever within our own.