Also known as liveforever, Jupiter’s beard, and hen and chicks.
Houseleek probably originated in Macaronesia, a group of islands in western Europe and Africa. It is a very drought- and cold-resistant plant, that requires almost no care to be cultivated. It thrives in well-drained soils in a temperate climate. The Romans thought it could ward off lightning, hence one of its names: “Jupiter’s beard”.
When applied externally, the houseleek soothes burns (including sunburn), insect bites, nettle stings, redness or irritation, as well as haemorrhoids and phlebitis. The juice contained in its leaves gives a sensation of cold, which, when applied as a poultice, lotion or ointment, soothes the pain of inflammation. It has antiseptic properties and prevents engorgement.
Houseleek helps to heal wounds: it has astringent virtues, which limit bleeding by tightening the tissues, and prevents the proliferation of bacteria. It is useful for minor skin or mouth problems.
Cataplasm: crush the fresh leaves and apply to the irritated area.
Lotion: extract the juice and dilute ½ cup in one litre of water. Apply to the irritated area.
In case of persistent symptoms or if you have any doubts, consult a doctor.