Bulgaria ranks on a third place in the world and on first in Europe as a herbs’ producer and exporter. Annually, around 15000-17000 tonnes of medical and aroma herbs are produced in the country. Only about 2-3000 tonnes of them are processed and consumed in Bulgaria, due to the Information and Nature Conservation Foundation.
About 200 Bulgarian herbs of 140 different plant species are exported, mainly for Germany, Spain, Italy and France. Over 85% of the harvested medical herbs are exported dried for depth processing abroad.
Bulgarian Herbal Treasures
Immortelle (Helichrysum arenarium) is the newest hit amongst the oil-bearing crops
There are farmers in Bulgaria, who had already succeeded to close the whole cycle – they produce medical plants, process them and extract essential oils, and afterwards are trading them on the world markets.
Immortelle is also famous like “Stone Flower” and few more names in Bulgarian. The herb was used for curing F.M.D. (Foot-and-Mouth Disease) in the past, and that is why the people used to call it F.M.D. herb. Due to the experts, Immortelle possesses exceptional healing properties and that is why it has currently great use in the pharmaceutical and perfume industries. It is used for removing scars after surgery, rheumatism, jaundice, Gallstones and Gallbladder sludge, Inflammation diseases of the kidneys and the bladder, neuralgia, low blood pressure, gynecological and skin diseases.
The “Stone Flower” likes limy soils rich in calcium (pH 7-7.5), therefore it could not thrive everywhere in Bulgaria. There is an increased demand for Immortelle oil on the world markets in the last years due to producers. From about 650 kg. green mass man can produce one kilogramme oil, and the price of it on the world markets ranges between 1500-1800 euros.
Bulgaria is a leader amongst the exporters of healing plants
Because of its geographical position and its climate, Bulgaria is extremely rich in herbs. Its herbal resources can be an occupation for a large part of the population, due to the experts from the Information and Nature Conservation Foundation. According to them in proper utilization of medicinal plants, one-third of Bulgarians could earn from this wealth.
Besides the picking of herbal raw materials, the extraction of the plants’ healing power through processing and production of the end products, which include herbal extracts, Bulgaria is a successful destination for thematic tourist and culinary services devoted to herbs. Even more, the diversity of Bulgarian cuisine & folklore customs, the well-preserved nature and the pure air are excellent base for the development of herbal programs and services and are attracting interest in Bulgaria as a major herbal destination.