As discussed earlier, live-long has obtained its name from the persistence of the plant to live for long. In other words, this plant possesses firmness for life. The succulent leaves and large rootstock of the plant provide it with the unique knack of remaining fresh as well as alive for a prolonged period of time even after it has been dug up. The plant's Latin (specific) name 'Telephium' is derived from the name of Hercules' son Telephus, who is believed to be the first person to identify the plant's attributes and used the herb to heal a leg injured in a battle, which was not healing otherwise. According to legend, the herb, also referred to as 'midsummer men', was collected on Midsummer's Eve long back to decide on the fate of a love relationship - two leaves of the plant would be kept beside one another and if they dropped in the direction of one another, it was believed that love between the individuals concerned was genuine. It may be noted that for long people have traditionally accepted and used live-long as a medication to treat diarrhea. According to Hieronymus Tragus, the 16th century German botanist and physician, the herb was used in curing health conditions, such as sore throats, stomach disorders, lung ailments, liver diseases, bowel problems, inflammations and even burn injuries. It has been established that this herb possesses anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulant attributes, as it encloses two vital polysaccharides. It is understood that the two polysaccharides are likely to facilitate in slowing down the growth of tumours and, at the same time, augment the action of phagocytes that are effective in eliminating bacteria and viruses. The whole live-long herb is considered to be astringent and cytostatic (any substance that retards/ slows down cell growth and cell division) - the reason why the herb is effective in treating tumours. Live-long also has a tonic action on the kidneys and is known to be helpful in treating cancer. A poultice prepared with the bruised live-long leaves is widely used in curing carbuncles and boils.
The leaves of the live-long plants may be consumed raw or after cooking. At times, the leaves of this plant have also formed an ingredient of different salads. On the other hand, the roots of this herb are also edible, but they need to be cooked before consumption. Live-long roots are often used as ingredients in stews, soups and such items.
The perennial plant live-long is native to places that have temperate climatic conditions and is grown in several countries around the world. This herb also grows in tropical regions, especially in the mountainous regions and places that are comparatively cooler. In the lower regions, live-long grows well in places like the banks of hedges on the periphery of shady woodlands. Live-long thrives well in almost all types of soils, but has a preference for a luxuriant soil that has a proper drainage system as well as that which is not very parched. This plant has the aptitude to endure poor soils and reasonably deep shade. Nevertheless, this plant flourishes in different types of soils and a well-grown plant can even tolerate drought. As mentioned earlier, live-long thrives well in arid soils having proper drainage and one can even grow this plant in the fissures on the walls. The plant is also able to endure temperatures as low as -20�C. Plants belonging to the genus appear to be unaffected by invasions by rabbits. Live-long bears flowers whose colors vary from pink to red. Live-long is propagated by its seeds. It is best to sow the seeds in adequately drained soil in a sunlit location inside a greenhouse during spring. Although this plant can grow in different conditions, it is important to ensure that the soil should not become dry or parched, as live-long cannot tolerate dry soil. When the seedlings have grown sufficiently large to be handled, prick them out and plant them in separate pots. Provided the young live-long plants grow sufficiently well, you may transplant them in their permanent positions outdoors in the ensuing summer. Alternately, if the growth is not well, it is advisable to keep the plants in the green house or place them in a cold frame throughout their first winter and plant them outdoors during the early part of summer next year. Propagating live-long by means of the division method is simple and may be undertaken roughly any time during the growing period. However, it is perhaps most appropriate to carry on with the division process during spring or the early part of summer. The smaller divisions should be planted in pots and grown in a somewhat shaded location in a cold frame and they may be planted outdoors in summer when they have become sufficiently established. On the other hand, larger divisions may straight away be planted in their permanent positions outdoors. Live-long can also be propagated with its cuttings at just about any time during the plant's growing period. However, it is best to undertake this method of propagating live-long early in the plant's growing season.
As mentioned earlier, like live-long, every member belonging to this genus is known to be edible, especially the leaves of the plant. However, consumption of plant species of this genus that produce yellow flowers may result in stomach disorder when they are eaten in large amounts.