Helichrysum essential oil is made from the Mediterranean plant called Helichrysum angustifolium or Helichrysum italicum, also know by the common names immortelle or Italian everlasting. Growing up to 24 inches (60 cm), the oil is steam distilled from the flowers of this evergreen herb. In alternative medicine and aromatherapy disciplines, helichrysum essential oil is said to heal a number of maladies, internally and externally. This oil can be expensive, even when bought through brokers of wholesale essential oils, but it has a long shelf life of up to five years.
Among all types of essential oils, helichrysum is one of the most prized, due its chemical compounds that ease a number of conditions. It contains high levels of sesquiterpenes, which are anti-inflammatory agents that can often be used internally and externally. Helichrysum essential oil also has anticoagulant and skin healing properties, due to a high level of di-ketone, which stimulates tissues to heal faster, and esters, chemical compounds that prevent tissue breakdown and dilate blood vessels.
In natural medicine, this powerful combination is said to heal the pain of arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, inflammation, and sprains. Its anticoagulant effect stimulates tissues so blood from bruises or sprains is dissolved and drained away more quickly. Helichrysum essential oil prevents wounds from becoming septic and, when blended with rose hip massage oil, can reduce the appearance of even very old scars. Alternative medicine practitioners claim the oil is anti-microbial, anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, and fungicidal when used as a topical rub several times a day. The oil is not known to cause skin irritation.
Taken internally, as three to four drops in 6 ounces (176 ml) of water, it works as a blood thinner and will dissolve blood clots and hematomas. It is also valuable as an anti-tussive, or cough reliever, as well as an expectorant and mucus thinner. Helichrysum’s anti-allergenic properties make this an ideal remedy for those suffering from seasonal or year-round allergies with cough and increased mucus. Internally, it can be taken two to three times a day.
Because of its many properties, this oil is one of the best essential oils in a natural medicine practitioner’s healing kit. However, not all helichrysum essential oil has the same therapeutic strength. Make sure the essential oil is produced from Italian everlasting plants grown in France or Corsica, when ordering aromatherapy supplies. Helichysum from other areas can be of inferior quality, and is not a bargain even though it may be a lower price.