Chypre belongs to the evergreen plant family with needle-like leaves. It has about 20 different varieties, all growing to heights of 25 to 45 metres. Chypre has scale-like leaves growing on its trunk and branches. Both its pistillate (female flower) and staminate (male flower) grows on the same branch. The pistillate bears fruits and contains round winged seeds.
The Mediterranean or Italian chypre originates from the coastal regions of Europe but at present, chypre is also cultivated in the temperate zones of Europe and North America.
These chypre trees are grown very close to one another, thus making them a good choice for building windbreak forest in South Africa. Chypre is also seen in most of the gardens in South Africa, Greece and Italy.
Ancient Egyptians were very familiar with chypre. Many records have pointed to the medicinal usage of chypre. Even ancient coffins were made from chypre wood. Ancient Egyptians also used chypre as offerings to their gods, thus chypre was commonly used in funeral rites. Chypre was even used as a cure for hemorrhoids bleeding. In fact, in many unearthed ancient records, chypre was often quoted as having the power to stop bleeding. Many scientific experiments have also proven that chypre has the ability to contract blood vessels and cure many illnesses such as varicosity and hemorrhoids.
Chypre essential oil is extracted from the tender leaves and round winged seeds via the process of steam distillation. The essential oil is colorless or sometimes pale yellowish. After distillation, the essential oil has a subtle scent of woody and amber muskiness. Its fragrance is very refreshing, allowing an easing of the heart and mind. Frequent usage of chypre not only purifies the heart and spirit, it is also believed that chypre helps to improve the respiratory system. Inhale your way to better health with chypre!