Do you know, I wrote a book about helichrysum essential oil benefits back in 2017. Do you think I can remember anything I wrote? I cannot! So, if it is an oil you want to learn more about, it's worthwhile to look on Amazon.
The helichrysum species is vast, containing around 600 subspecies. It is a remarkable group because they are so similar; the only way to tell some of the species apart is to examine the chemistry that comes up in the essential oil.
You might remember that I recently wrote something about the terroir for Wine Day; how do the soil and the sunshine affect the chemistry of the oil? There is no plant that this is truer for than helichrysum. Its chemistry changes from country to country, village to village, and, sometimes, field to field!
The Everlasting Flower
You might also see it listed as Immortelle or Everlasting plant. The flowers dry, but their fragrance and color do not. One of my favorite pieces of archeological evidence is the necklace found in a Roman lady's tomb in Hawara, Egypt. It now sits in a case in the British Museum, but I am assured that it smells just as strongly as if just a few weeks old.
The fact that the lady was wearing it says something about her too. One of the reasons I was intrigued to write about the plant was that there was no mention of it in any herald until the 1990s. When I trained back then, it was a pretty unheard-of essential oil. Eventually, I found references for it in ancient Greece, referred to as “Amaranth.” The Amaranth was a plant treasured by Artemis and was used to make wreaths for her hero soldiers and priestesses. That the tomb was Roman might suggest that the woman was a priestess of Artemis’s Roman counterpart Diana.
Even its name speaks of anointing. A chrysum is a holy name for anointing oil. Helichrysum? Anointing of the sun.
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Helichrysum Essential Oil Benefits In Healing
The idea that the plant is Everlasting says a great deal about its uses for fortifying the body. I use it a lot for people in a weakened state. Actually, the Doctrine of Signatures says that plants with yellow flowers are ruled by the sun. Sun medicines are strengthening, powerful, and invigorating. They are warm, happy, courageous, and outgoing. That medicine lives in the plant, and these are just some of the gifts of the helichrysum essential oil benefits.
The benefits of helichrysum essential oil seem to build resilience, especially if the person is grounded from some emotional upheaval, like stress, trauma, or PTSD.
Whenever I hold the oil, I have a clear image of someone sliding down the hospital wall, their knees buckling because the worst possible has happened to them, and helichrysum going to join them to sit on the floor.
There is something very gritty about the oil. Helichrysum essential oil benefits situations where words are too raw. Where the eggshells you’re stepping on are landmines waiting to explode. Helichrysum essential oil benefits the border moments between here and Hell. Just the simple smell of it makes you feel less alone.
In the same way, helichrysum is extremely good for aches and pains, weakened from illness, or even more so, convalescence.
I mentioned earlier how chemistry alters from place to place. And while helichrysum will always be amazing for skincare, and the helichrysum essential oil benefits will always be tremendous for immunological support, where you get it from will influence just how good.
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Helichrysum essential oil Benefits in Skin Care
Helichrysum essential oil from Corsica and Sardinia and around those islands has a profile that is high in neryl acetate. This constituent is a marvel for skin preservation. So, these are the oils you want if you aim for the most immaculate skin cream you could create, but they are in very short supply.
Any helichrysum essential oil will give you an incredible complexion, period.
I especially love to use it for more mature skins. It has a very unusual fragrance. The plant is often known as “Curry Plant” because it smells like turmeric, but the oil has a rich deep dusky fragrance. It is a fixative base note and blends gorgeously with roses, geraniums, and neroli oils.
Research shows that the benefits of the most powerful helichrysum essential oil are anti-inflammatory properties. (Viegas, 2013)
In terms of inflammation, it is superb for trauma in particular. It soothes swelling, pain, and redness and heals skin very quickly. I found this first hand when we first moved into the cottage. There had been a slab placed over an open drain. I stepped on it and went through. The slab snapped in two and then swung back and trapped my leg. It was hideously scratched, bruised, and incredibly painful for about three days.
It’s clear to see in the picture how profoundly my leg was trapped because my albino skin remained completely white above it (I should point out this is the middle of summer, and that’s me with a tan, I’ll have you know!)
I used a helichrysum lotion, mainly because I was worried about infection. After all, it was a sewage drain I had slipped into, and who knows what delights were lurking near my blood.
A week later, the bruising was subsiding, and the scratches were healing. By ten days, there was no sign of the injury. Since that time, I’ve seen helichrysum do incredible things repeatedly. I can only think of two other oils that could heal the skin like that: myrrh and galbanum.
Indeed, the title of my book is Helichrysum - For The Wound That Will Not Heal, describing not only physical symptoms but emotional and mental ones too.
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Helichrysum Essential oil Benefits Against Nasties!
As well as a powerful anti-inflammatory, its uses as an antimicrobial agent are profound.
Studies have also shown that helichrysum essential oil benefits killing Staphylococcus aureus in a petri dish, can be found in the upper respiratory tract, and cause horrible illnesses such as pneumonia and meningitis. On the skin, it leads to infections, abscesses, and impetigo. (Viegas, 2013)
Another of helichrysum essential oils benefits is its antifungal action. In particular, Candida albicans lead to fungal infections in the vagina and the mouth for thrush and oral thrush, respectively.
I also spoke of helichrysum essential oil benefits for the immune system. I speak of several trials in the book, but two stand out. They are in Petri dishes, mind, rather than human trials, but the components in helichrysum could kill both the HPV virus (herpes, cold sores, etc.) and even the HIV virus. Again, because I cannot stress it enough, this was not a human trial. That said, I now add helichrysum to my lip balms.
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I can’t recommend helichrysum essential oil benefits to you enough. For me, it’s not going to be the star of the blend but a great supporting cast that takes good healing results to the next level. It’s a definite for any aromatherapist to have in their oils box to experiment with and be impressed with.