The Helichrysum oil is derived from several species of Helichrysum, though the most widely used species is one called Helichrysum italicum. Helichrysum itself is a genus with over six hundred species including the Helichrysum italicum.
Helichrysum italicum is a flowering plant that produces yellow leaves, and has a curry powder-like fragrance (don’t go making some curry now!). The Helichrysum plant is even referred to as the curry plant although, it is not one of the components used in making the curry blend.
Helichrysum italicum is commonly found growing in the Mediterranean region. The Helichrysum oil is obtained from the plant by steam distillation of the flowers and can be used in aromatherapy or applied topically. The Helichrysum oil is also called ‘’immortelle’’ and can be used to treat diseases that affect the cardiovascular system, liver, kidneys, and the skin (immortality, anyone?)
Health Benefits and Uses
Maintains Healthy Skin
Helichrysum oil has anti-inflammatory properties; thus, it can fight skin inflammation. It is excellent for reducing the appearance of scars when mixed with carrier oils like jojoba oil. It is also commonly used to help manage psoriasis.
The Helichrysum oil is capable of preventing acne as it contains a substantial amount of antioxidants. Unlike harsh chemicals commonly used to treat acne, this oil is natural and can soothe and heal the skin without causing any irritation. It is also useful in treating wounds and cuts, preventing them from becoming complicated infections.
Often referred to as the everlasting flower, the Helichrysum oil can improve skin appearance and reduce the appearance of fine lines or wrinkles thus promoting a healthy complexion and the highly sought after appearance of youth.
Acts as an Expectorant
Relief from a cold or a cough can easily be achieved with Helichrysum oil. When this oil is diffused, it may help remove mucus and phlegm. By removing mucus, the Helichrysum oil keeps the mucous membranes of the respiratory passages in good condition, allowing ease of breathing.
One of the best ways to use this oil as an expectorant is to mix the oil in a humidifier to be inhaled. The steam produced will help thin mucus or phlegm and provide relief.
Supports Heart Health
The anti-inflammatory property of Helichrysum essential oil plays a role in maintaining the health of the cardiovascular system. By inducing a relaxing atmosphere when used in aromatherapy, Helichrysum oil can alleviate stress and anxiety which are known contributors that cause high blood pressure, helping you maintain normal values. This oil can also boost heart health by helping to decrease blood vessel inflammation, thus improving their overall flexibility and reducing likelihood of experiencing cardiovascular episodes.
The immune system of the human body is responsible for the overall health of an individual, and when this system is weak or compromised, the body is exposed to disease or illness-causing agents.
Helichrysum oil is capable of improving immune responses of the body, and this is vital since the body is continuously exposed to foreign pathogens that may cause disease. The oil is rich in substances that have scientifically been shown to have antimicrobial properties as such, Helichrysum oil is beneficial in the control of disease-causing microorganisms.
One of the most common diseases affecting the urinary tract is kidney stones, which can cause severe discomfort and be very difficult to pass. Helichrysum essential oil can provide relief for individuals who have kidney stones. It can help to detoxify the kidneys and prevent kidney stones from occurring in the future. Applying the oil topically on the lower abdomen in a mix with other oils can help in the detoxification process. This oil may also be able to stimulate the excretion of toxic substances and waste products from the liver, thus protecting the liver from damage.
May Prevent Cancerous Growth
Since it contains a good amount of antioxidants, the Helichrysum essential oil may be useful in preventing cancer cell growth. Its anti-inflammatory property may also play a role since chronic inflammation is a known factor that causes cancer. By reducing inflammation, the Helichrysum oil may reduce cell mutation and thus may prevent DNA damage. Regeneration of cells, as well as repair, may also be enhanced from aroma therapeutic usage.
Provides Relief from Muscle Spasms
Most cramps are not very serious but can be very painful when they occur. The pain that results from muscle spasms can be relieved with Helichrysum oil. It may help the muscles relax and improve blood circulation to that area. It should be mixed with a carrier oil and massaged onto the affected area to relieve tension in the muscles and is a better alternative to artificial muscle relaxers that may be addictive and may not solve the problem completely.
Digestive juices are vital as they help in breaking down food particles into a form the body can absorb. Helichrysum oil is a natural digestive stimulant that may help to increase the secretions of these juices. An adequate amount of digestive juices enhances digestion and improves the body’s health. It may also be able to reduce inflammation along the linings of the intestines and keep indigestion in check.
Reduces Mental Fatigue
The soothing aroma of the Helichrysum essential oil helps relieve mental fatigue which may result in confusion, lethargy, and low productivity. When used aromatically, this oil improves focus and reduces anxiety and restlessness. It may also be able to promote sleep and is useful in enhancing mood while promoting recovery from emotional stress. By reducing the effects of mental exhaustion, the Helichrysum oil may also be able to contribute to increased energy and a sense of well-being.
May Help Treat Tinnitus
By applying the Helichrysum oil topically on or around the ear lobe, tinnitus may be prevented. If left untreated, tinnitus can result in dizziness, pain, and discomfort but with a natural oil like Helichrysum, these symptoms may be managed effectively. The Helichrysum oil may do this by opening channels so that excess fluid can be drained from the ear and ease the pain and inflammation typically experienced.
A common anorectal condition, hemorrhoids develop when the pressure on the lower rectum increases and causes inflammation and protrusion of the blood vessels in this area. A home remedy for hemorrhoids is Helichrysum essential oil which can provide relief from inflammation caused by hemorrhoids. For best results, it may be applied topically or massaged onto the affected area. Since it has antioxidant activity, this oil may be able to promote faster healing of damaged blood vessels.
Helichrysum Oil Prevents Yeast Infections
Candidiasis is a yeast infection that can affect the mouth and the vagina. Some of the symptoms indicative of this yeast infection include exhaustion, digestive problems, hormone imbalance, localized itching and inflammation of the skin, along with a weak immune response. Helichrysum essential oil has anti-fungal properties, thus it may be able to fight yeast infections when applied topically or inhaled during aromatherapy.
However, keep in mind that candida overgrowth can have far reaching implications, so do not hesitate to seek professional help if you notice symptoms not abating after several days.
Helichrysum essential oil is safe for use topically and in aromatherapy. When used topically, the Helichrysum oil should be diluted with other carrier oils as it may cause further inflammation and irritation if applied as the concentrate. It is recommended that a patch test is done before settling to use this oil on the skin.
While some health authorities suggest that the Helichrysum oil may be ingested; others state otherwise. It is best to check with a qualified doctor before ingesting this oil -especially pregnant women and children.
Although a bit pricey, Helichrysum oil has a long shelf life and amazing therapeutic properties. What do you think? Will you be adding some to your medicine or first aid cabinet? We sure hope so!