Herb Called "Halkidiki"?
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Tanya Trzeciak
Posted on: March 7, 2002

The Boston Globe Health and Science section last week had a brief article taken from CHEMISTRY IN BRITAIN that told of an herb called HALKIDIKI that is supposed to have amazing healing powers. I have been unable to find it even mentioned in any of my herb books. What is it and where can I find it?

We have not heard of a herb by the name "halkidiki". We tried to access online the story you referred to but were not successful.

The name sounds Greek, and of course, there is a place in northern Greece by that name. Recently, a herb from Halkidiki, Greece, has been the subject of scientific study. Calamintha clinopodium, used by local healers to treat wounds and gastric ulcers, was found to have an antibacterial effect against Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium that causes gastric ulcers. The herb also was found to possess antioxidant and cell proliferant properties. The authors of the study conclude that their findings "lend substance to its use in wound healing" (www.rpsgb.org.uk/pdfs/165.PDF).

We cannot say if this is the herb you are looking for, but if it is, we have it. Calamintha clinopodium is also known by the synonym, Clinopodium vulgare, which we carry and list under the common name, "wild basil". It is listed in our online catalogue under "B" herbs for "Basil, Wild".

Follow up:

Thank you for your prompt reply to my inquiry. The "wild basil" you mentioned just may be the same herb I am looking for. According to the article in the newspaper, the herb is mixed with olive oil and used on the skin.

I will add the "wild basil" to my order.

Thank you again.

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