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Practical Natural Health and Wellness: The Many Wonders of Helichrysum Essential Oil
The essential oil of Helichrysum is relatively unknown in the United States, though interest in this natural healing phenomenon is growing, and with very good reason. Helichrysum is one of the most potent, dramatically healing essential oils used in medical aromatherapy today.
There are over five hundred species of the Helichrysum plant; many share the same characteristics of narrow pale green leaves and bright yellow flowers. It is only the Helichrysum ‘italicum’ species that produces the highly regarded ‘Everlasting’ or ‘Immortelle’ oil for aromatherapy. There is even a sub-species of this called ‘serotinum’ which is a little rarer – if seeking out the oil, check the Latin name to ensure you’re getting the right one.
Helichrysum italicum is found growing wild around the Mediterranean, where fine grades of the essential oil are distilled. With the growth in the oil’s popularity, exceptional oils are now being produced in North America as well, with laboratory credentials and brilliant aromas to prove it. As with many other essential oils, it is the care taken in the growing of the plant and use of precise distillation techniques that make an oil ‘therapeutic grade’; where different geographical locations can sometimes produce different ‘chemotypes’ of essential oils, this does not seem to be the case with Helichrysum.
Helichrysum italicum is a unique essential oil in its distinct synergy of molecular components. It is the only oil known to contain safe but powerful regenerative di-ketones. Its curcumene components have been studied for their anti-inflammatory action; further, the oil contains what are known as ‘spasmolytic esters’ which cause tissues to relax. Relaxing, anti-inflammatory and regenerative – a wonderful combination of a single therapeutic oil.
The oil has a great variety of applications due to this broad range of action: “The pain-reducing, analgesic, and the regenerative effect are unique” states Dr. Schnaubelt. It is regularly used for skin, muscle and connective tissue injuries and healing with profound results. As noted in ‘Medical Aromatherapy’: “Generally, Helichrysum italicum works for all conditions in which inflamed tissue needs to be calmed down and regenerated.”
The oil is exceptionally handy for moms with little sports enthusiasts where bumps and bruises seem to be a regular part of their game. A little Helichrysum oil immediately applied to the hurt area can alleviate a bruise from even appearing, and if applied later (and perhaps several times over the next couple of days) can significantly speed healing. Of course, the effect isn’t limited to little ones – the oil is growing in popularity for folks of all ages that are into sports and fitness, for use with acute and chronic injuries alike. Most often, the oil should be used ‘neat’ right away, then a 5-10% dilution in a common base oil applied thereafter; the oil is safe to use as frequently as desired.
Helichrysum is also considered a cicatrizant, which means it reduces scars, both old and new. For acne scars, stretch marks, and even older keloid scars, apply a blend of 25 drops each Helichrysum and Rosemary (Verbenone chemotype) in each ounce of a 10/90 mix of Tamanu Nut and Hazelnut oils. Rosehip seed oil may be effectively be used instead of the rarer Tamanu at a 25/75 ratio with the Hazelnut oil if desired. Apply frequently – the older the scar, the longer it may take to see a change, but results have been said to be surprising even for older scars when used for a duration of six months.
Briefly, Helichrysum italicum is also used for neuralgia – with its regenerative and analgesic actions: Use the oil diluted as a massage formula for painful or tingling areas. It may offer support for other physical conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis in a similar blend, with other warming oils added for improved circulation (small amounts of Black Pepper and Ginger essential oils are often used). The oil may help tinnitus symptoms: place one drop on a cotton ball in the ear each night for one to two weeks. Helichrysum acts as an anti-coagulant and is supportive of the veins and in cases where vein degeneration has lead to clot formation. It can offer support in cases of coughs, colds, and asthma; It is further used for headaches, nervous tension, and exhaustion from stress. Consult a knowledgeable practitioner for advice on Helichrysum’s use as part of your health and wellness program.
On the more esoteric side, where aromatherapy also affects the psyche and emotions, according to Mojay’s ‘Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit’: “Those (emotions) that are most indicated…are enduring resentment, half-conscious anger, the bitterness of spirit, and a stubbornly negative attitude.” For many, there can be a direct link between these hardened emotions and physical manifestation of illness. Aromatherapy massage with Helichrysum may be extremely beneficial, as one receives the oil’s aroma, its biological effects, and the healing touch of massage. Here, the oil may be used in a 1-3% dilution, alone or with other oils tailored to the person’s needs.
So as you can see, Helichrysum is well-suited to a great many individuals concerned with natural health, wellness, and fitness. Whether you’ve got active children, you’re active sports enthusiast or have one in your family, you’re healing your skin or improving its appearance, or have other muscular, nerve, joint or vascular conditions, Helichrysum italicum oil may offer welcome healing action.*