Helichrysum essential oil is a highly versatile oil that we all must keep in our homes. The anti-inflammatory, antiallergenic, antispasmodic, antifungal, anticoagulant, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties of helichrysum oil make it an essential oil superstar.
It boasts of many health benefits including reducing inflammation, wound healing, improved digestion and skincare.
What is helichrysum essential oil?
Helichrysum oil is obtained through steam distillation from Helichrysum italicum, a plant in the sunflower family. It is also known as the Everlasting oil or the Immortelle oil.
Helichrysum essential oil has a refreshing aroma that is often described as earthy and herby. This oil is predominantly yellow, with a hint of red in it.
The helichrysum shrub, which can be identified by its numerous clusters of tiny yellow flowers, is native to the Mediterranean region. The name ‘Helichrysum’ is derived from the Greek words ‘helios’ meaning sun and ‘chrysos’ meaning gold.
Helichrysum essential oil is made up of several esters like Neryl acetate, which promote relaxation. This oil also contains alpha-pinene, which is beneficial for oral health and skin health. The other components of helichrysum essential oil include –
- 1, 8-cineole
History of helichrysum essential oil
The helichrysum flower was well known for its beauty and medicinal properties in ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks dried and offered these flowers to their gods.
The helichrysum plant and its oil have been used for centuries across Europe and Africa to heal wounds and to cure illnesses.
They burned the aromatic leaves of this plant as incense. The helichrysum plant is also used as a herb in Mediterranean cooking.
Today, this essential oil is harvested in Croatia and around the Mediterranean. The flowers are harvested when they are very young. The plants are monitored and plucked when the climatic conditions are just right to ensure good quality.
Health benefits of helichrysum essential oil
1. Heals and diminishes scars
The anti-inflammatory properties of helichrysum essential oil heal cuts and wounds and diminish scar marks. This oil also promotes the sloughing of the outer skin.
Helichrysum oil stimulates the collagen and elastin fibers to fill in the gaps or tears in the surface, which helps to heal the scars and lighten scar marks.
2. Natural acne treatment
Helichrysum is known for its ability to heal and soothe acne. The natural anti-inflammatory properties of helichrysum bring down the swelling of the acne. Its antibiotic and antibacterial properties make it an excellent natural treatment for acne (1).
Since it is 100 percent natural, it soothes acne without drying out the skin.
3. Stops the spread of candida
Candida is a fungus that naturally occurs in the body. However, when our immune system is not functioning correctly, this fungus can spread and cause infections in the urinary tract, vagina, mouth, skin and mucous membranes.
According to a 2014 study, the flavonoids and terpenes present in helichrysum oil display antifungal action against Candida albicans (2).
4. Soothes sunburns
The anti-inflammatory properties of helichrysum oil work well to treat sunburns. When applied, it soothes and nourishes the surface of the skin, allowing the skin to begin healing itself.
The natural corticosteroids and anti-inflammatory enzyme inhibitors reduce the redness and sensitivity of the sunburnt skin.
The analgesic properties of this oil also help to relieve the pain associated with sunburnt skin.
5. Reduces kidney stones
Helichrysum oil can help detoxify the kidneys and reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. It also has diuretic qualities that help move water through the body and make it easy to pass kidney stones.
According to a 2016 study from Turkey, we can use helichrysum extracts for the treatment of urolithiasis. These extracts can be used as an alternative therapy to potassium citrate for patients suffering from kidney stones (3).
You can dilute this essential oil and massage it on to your kidney area.
6. Increases immunity
Helichrysum essential oil helps boost immunity. According to studies helichrysum oil contains flavonoids and phloroglucinols which inhibit bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
The helichrysum flavonoid ganglion also shows significant antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) (4).
7. Promotes digestion
Helichrysum has been used for thousands of years in Turkish medicine to treat indigestion. This essential oil has cholagogic properties, which means it encourages bile discharge into the stomach, which helps to neutralize acids.
This process improves digestion, cures acidity and reduces symptoms of acidosis.
According to a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, ethanolic extracts of Helichrysum elicits antispasmodic actions, and hence it helps deal with intestinal complaints (5).
8. Acts as an expectorant
Since helichrysum oil acts as an expectorant and mucolytic, it can be used to treat cough, cold and flu symptoms naturally.
When inhaled, this oil provides warmth to the respiratory system, which prevents throat spasms that lead to cough. It also improves the health of the mucous membranes and reduces the itchiness of the throat.
Helichrysum loosens mucus and promotes its removal. Its antibacterial properties also prevent sinus infections.
9. Reduces muscle cramps
Helichrysum oil can reduce muscle cramps and spasms when used topically. The anti-inflammatory properties of this oil help minimize swelling and speed up the healing process.
Imbalance of hormones, neurotransmitters, and electrolytes are also responsible for muscle spasms. It can lead to cramps and convulsions in the stomach. Regular consumption of helichrysum oil helps in balancing hormones, which provide relief from muscle cramps.
10. Boosts heart health
Helichrysum oil has been used in European folkloric medicine to lower high blood pressure for years. In 2008, a study from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, showed that helichrysum extracts could reduce inflammation, increase smooth muscle function and lower blood pressure (6).
Helichrysum oil also has anti-coagulation property, which keeps the blood flowing at a normal rate. This property of helichrysum facilitates the removal of waste from the blood and minimizes clot formation.
11. Natural cancer treatment
Helichrysum oil is a source of novel potential antitumor agents due to its pronounced and selective cytotoxic actions towards malignant cells.
According to a study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, helichrysum extracts were tested against different cancerous cell lines.
The results showed that the anti-cancer ability of helichrysum extracts is dose-dependent and selective. However, it also highlighted the potential for helichrysum to be used in natural anti-cancer treatment (7).
12. Treats hemorrhoids
Helichrysum oil has natural anti-inflammatory, analgesic and tissue growth stimulating properties, all of which helps in treating hemorrhoids.
Mix four drops of helichrysum oil with almond oil and apply it to the affected area. This oil helps reduce swelling and ease the pain as well. You can also mix a few drops of helichrysum oil with the warm bath water and soak in it for a few minutes.
13. Reduces stress
Helichrysum oil helps reduce stress and promotes the feeling of calm. According to a study published in the Journal for Alternative and Complementary Medicine, when a mixture of helichrysum, peppermint, and basil essential oils was inhaled, it reduced mental fatigue and burnout (8).
Ways to use
Always buy helichrysum oil from a reputable source to ensure that it is 100 pure and organic. Store helichrysum oil in a dark bottle, away from sunlight.
According to aromatherapists, helichrysum oil blends well with other essential oils like tea tree oil, lavender oil, chamomile oil, and bergamot oil.
There are many different ways to use helichrysum oil. These are –
Aromatically – You can inhale this oil by adding one or two drops onto a cloth or tissue. Add a few drops to a diffuser or a vaporizer in your home.
Topically – Mix helichrysum oil with a carrier oil like jojoba, sweet almond or avocado oil and massage it on to the affected area. You can also add a few drops of this oil to your bath water and soak in it.
Internally – Dilute one drop of this oil in four ounces of liquid to take it orally.
Side effects and precautions
Helichrysum oil is considered safe for use when we use it as directed. It is generally believed to be well-tolerated. However, some mild side effects have been reported in some rare cases.
When using topically always dilute helichrysum oil with a carrier oil or in a lotion to avoid skin irritation, inflammation, and toxicity.
If you’re using this oil for the first time, do a skin patch test to ensure that you do not develop a rash. If you experience redness, rashes or itchiness, do not use it.
Since this oil has not been tested in pregnant women or infants, they should not use it without consulting with their doctor.
Helichrysum essential oil, also known as the Immortelle oil, is extracted through steam distillation from Helichrysum italicum. This essential oil with the earthy and refreshing aroma has many promising health benefits.
It helps heal wounds and diminish scars, treats acne, prevents the spread of candida, improves heart and respiratory health, reduces muscle scamps, and also naturally treats cancer.
You can use this helichrysum oil aromatically, topically or internally. Always use 100 percent pure organic helichrysum essential oil.