Helichrysum Essential Oil <br/><em>Helichrysum italicum</em>
Silver leaves seem to glisten and dance in the sun while cheerful yellow flowers on tall stalks sway with each passing breeze. This is the mysterious helichrysum shrub, a mostly unknown wonder in the rocky crevices and sandy realms of Africa and the Mediterranean. The yellow blooms are called “Everlasting Flower” or “Immortelle”, a nod to the flower’s eternal grace and substance when dried.
Related to the sunflower, the plant’s name comes from the Greek root words, “helix” for “spiral and “khrusos” for “gold”. The Greek word “helikhrusos” changed to “helichrysum” in Latin and remains the word we use today for a plant that has more than 600 species.
Describing the scent seems to be a lark for many. Some people assert that the oil from the delicate blooms smells like burnt sugar and ham. Others describe it as a deeply sweet, earthy essence. Still others claim it smells like an earthy herbaceous fragrance or a mix of straw and fruit with a dollop of honey.
Whatever note you love best about helichrysum, chances are good that you will fall in love with this delightful oil. There are countless reasons to adore the oil, from its amazing skin benefits to its ability to help you connect spirit with your physical body.
The Many Uses of Helichrysum
- Scars and Burns. Helichrysum is a cicatrisant, which means it helps to heal scars, which especially helpful in the white, raised scars that are difficult to conceal. The skin healing power of helichrysum oil also extends to burns, helping to heal damage to the skin.
- Blood Pressure, Inflammation. Clinical studies have proved helichrysum’s anti-inflammatory effect that lowers high blood pressure. Since the oil improves the health of the body’s blood vessels, it’s also a good tool in the management of a good cardiovascular system.
- Digestion, Diuretic. Helichrysum triggers the release of gastric juices that can help ward off indigestion. It also spurs urination, helping to rid the body of toxins and waste.
- Liver Health. Helichrysum essential oil encourages healthy liver function with its blood purifying, anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. Many of these effects are due to the oil’s antioxidant agents, according to a 2000 article in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. The belief is that the oil can help remove heavy metals and toxins from the body that harm your liver.
- Immunity. The oil’s beneficial digestive and anti-inflammatory properties aid your body’s immune system. Some believe that the potency of this effect may be strong enough to lower the risk of contracting the HIV virus. Be aware, though, that more research is needed to verify the HIV-prevention claim.
- Hemorrhoids. Research shows that helichrysum oil’s anti-inflammatory properties can decrease the swelling that makes hemorrhoids so painful.
- Many more health benefits. There is a great deal of alternative medicine and anecdotal evidence that this oil also helps to ease kidney stones, prevent multiple sclerosis and candida fungal infections.
- Nervousness. The oil helps to calm nerves and the heart.
- Creativity. It is believed that the aroma of helichrysum improves your ability to think creatively. It may also increase your dream activity.
- Smooth Skin. Helichrysum essential oil promotes beautiful, smooth skin, helping it recover from wounds, sunburns, bacteria and fungi.
- Third Eye Chakra. Helichrysum helps to clear your mind and calm your nerves, so you can tap into your perceptions of this realm as well as the realm beyond.
- Balance. Lovely helichrysum helps you become more aware of the energies surrounding you. With this insight, you can better balance your creativity and emotions, acknowledging those feelings that need attention and allowing you to discard the emotions that no longer enrich your soul. This balance helps to connect your body and your spirit.
Helichrysum essential oil is generally safe, but you should dilute it in carrier oil before applying it to your skin directly. The oil offers some anticoagulating properties, though, so people with bleeding disorders, cardiovascular disease and other contraindications should not use helichrysum oil. This holds true for people who are about to undergo surgery or who have recently had surgery.
- Botanical Name: Helichrysum italicum
- Common Method of Extraction: Steam distillation
- Plant Part Typically Used: Flowering Tops
- Color: Light Yellow
- Consistency: Thin
- Perfumery Note: Base to Middle
- Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium to Strong
- Aromatic Description: Rich and sweetly warm with hints of caramel and honey