The precious essential oil of Helichrysum is relatively unknown in the United States, even in natural health and wellness circles. Interest and experience with this natural healing phenomenon is growing rapidly, however and with very good reason. Helichrysum is one of the most potent, dramatically healing essential oils used in European medical aromatherapy today. As noted by Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt, America’s leading medical aromatherapist, the effects of this oil are so convincing that it has never met with any kind of criticism. An essential oil so useful, even those who consider aromatherapy a pseudo-science do not challenge its wonderful effects! So what is Helichrysum oil, and how can it benefit the newcomer to aromatherapy?
With so many species of Helichrysum grown, and several essential oils distilled from these, it is important to recognize the most important of the therapeutic varieties. It is the italicum’ species of the Helichrysum plant that is mentioned with highest regard in the aromatherapy literature; moreover, the serotinum’ sub-species may be the most potent. When looking for the oil, be sure it is 100% pure, undiluted, Helichrysum italicum for best effects.
Helichrysum italicum is found growing wild around the Mediterranean, where fine grades of the essential oil are distilled. With 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. As is also the case with most essential oils, a pleasing, well-rounded, natural aroma is indicative of its healing potency.
By now you’re likely asking: So what does it DO? Ah, well, a great many things! 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 in a single therapeutic oil.
As Dr. Schnaubelt notes: The pain-reducing, analgesic, and regenerative effect is unique…Generally, Helichrysum italicum works for all conditions in which inflamed tissue needs to be calmed down and regenerated. The oil has a great variety of applications due to this broad range of action. It is regularly used for skin, muscle and connective tissue injuries and healing with profound results. Most simply, the essential oil may be applied directly to larger cuts, scrapes and even surgical incisions to speed healing (true Lavender oil works well for small wounds add a little Tea Tree in either case for a stronger anti-microbial effect).
Helichrysum oil is wonderful for active sports and fitness enthusiasts of all sorts. Its anti-inflammatory action is so helpful for bumps, bruises, sprains and strains; Its effect is so potent that in many cases, it may prevent bruising and swelling all together if applied in time. Even if applied later, as one would an Arnica preparation, it will still speed healing. Chronic injuries may also be helped with other supportive ingredients. Tendonitis can be treated, for example, with a blend using 1 part per 100 each of Helichrysum italicum, Lemon Eucalyptus and Yarrow essential oils in a base oil of your choosing a base of comfrey cream may be most beneficial.
Helichrysum is included in many therapeutic blends for the skin. It is considered anti-inflammatory, tissue regenerating and a cicatrisant (scar reducing). To treat scars, old and new, use 25 drops Helichrysum, 25 drops Rosemary Verbenone and 75 drops Calophyllum (Tamanu) in each ounce of Hazelnut oil. Apply regularly to the scar; this formula is even used for smoothing of old keloid scars over a period of six months. For additional support, add 75 drops of Rosehip seed oil to the blend. Helichrysum is used in blends to reduce stretch marks after pregnancy: Use a 3% dilution of Helichrysum oil in Hazelnut with 20% Rosehip seed as the base and apply regularly. During pregnancy, a low dilution blend (1% total essential oils) of Neroli and Cypress in Hazelnut oil is recommended to prevent the marks from occurring. Hemorrhoids may be relieved with 1% Helichrysum and 1% German Chamomile in Sesame oil. Allergic skin reactions and eczema may be calmed with 1% each Helichrysum and Blue Tansy essential oils in Hazelnut oil.
Helichrysum essential oil is indicated for many other conditions, and should be discussed with your healthcare provider to see if it makes sense as an adjunct therapy. The oil may ease symptoms of neuralgia through its regenerative and analgesic properties apply a 3% dilution of the oil in Hazelnut or Jojoba to tingling or painful areas. It may offer support for other physical conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis in a similar concentration, with added warming oils may be added for improved. Helichrysum acts as an anti-coagulant, and is supportive of the veins. It is considered effective for reducing tinnitus: a drop is placed on a cotton ball and put in the ear each night for two weeks some recommend simply placing a drop on the pinky and massaging the ear canal. The antispasmodic and decongestive actions help with coughs, colds and asthma. It also can offer great support for stress related exhaustion and headaches.
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 indicatedare enduring resentment, half-conscious anger, 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. Helichrysum can be applied regularly, as it is a safe essential oil with no contraindications. The oil is still relatively rare, and the flowers only yields a small amount, so the cost may seem a little high – but a little goes a long way. It is only used undiluted in acute situations; otherwise a low dilution is often used. Helichrysum italicum is one of aromatherapy’s stand-out healing oils, coming highly recommended by many natural healers, and deserves a place in nearly everyone’s medicine chest.