Helichrysum essential oil is derived from several plants species under the genus Helichrysum. A third of its six hundred species grow in Africa while the rest are scattered in the regions of Europe and Australia. Though great in numbers, only a few species are actually used for medical purposes like H. Italcum and H. Arenarium and H. Petiolare. Helichrysum goes by different names based on its region of origin but it is commonly called as Everlasting essential oil or Immortelle. It is even called curry plant even if it has nothing to do with curry powder. Helichrysum can be a bit pricey than other essential oils because it is difficult to grow and maintain its 25-50% level of neryl acetate due to the changes in the climate and soil acidity. Once distilled, the plant’s essential oil can be used as a powerful agent fight different diseases and infection.
Uses of Helichrysum:
1. Muscle spasms. When we overextend the use of our muscles, we often experience cramps or involuntary muscle contraction. These spasms are often quick yet painful and usually attack the muscles surrounding the heart, skeletal and digestive systems. Helichrysum contains the substances sesquiterpenes and esters which are key in relieving muscle tension. For intense pain, directly apply a generous amount of Helichrysum Italcum essential oil and for mild to moderate spasms, just mix helichrysum oil with lavender and sweet-almond essential oils and apply on the affected area.
2. Hematoma. When we fall or experience a terrible bump, we sometimes damage the blood vessels within our muscles. This causes hematoma that in most cases should gradually disappear after a few days or two weeks. However, there are times the sac of blood continues to proliferate in the tissues and removing them may require surgery. Helichrysum has anti- clotting properties that can prevent hematoma from intensifying. Just add three to four drops of Helichrysum essential oil to six ounces of water and drink for a few days until the swelling subsides.
3. Wounds and scars. Helichrysum is the only essential oil that has di-ketones that help in the accelerated healing of wounds and prevent scarring. It’s anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties are so effective that they can be used as first aid treatment for open wounds and burns. Just drop undiluted helichrysum over the bleeding area to stop the hemorrhage while waiting for the medics to arrive. For scars, dilute Helichrysum in rosehip seed oil and calendula and apply topically after the wound has closed. Apply consecutively for ten days, two to three times a day for fresh scars and apply daily for three to six months for old scars. For burns, dilute five drops of Helichrysum, lavender and chamomile into aloe vera and jojoba oil and apply on top of the burned area.
4. Mucolytic. The respiratory system overproduces mucus when we experience colds or lung infection. Helichrysum has the ability to thin out mucus through hydrolysis and facilitate its removal from the body. It also aids in relieving coughs and respiratory congestion. Helichrysum is more potent as a mucolytic when mixed with Frankincense and Eucalyptus. Just add three drops of each essential oil to two tablespoons of sweet almond oil and rub the mixture in the chest area.
5. Arthritis. Helichrysum contains anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Just dilute it with other pain reducing essential oil like Yarrow or Lavender.
7. Detox. Helichrysum act as chelators, removing heavy metals and chemicals in the body like lead, mercury and arsenic. It also works well with ledum oil to cleansing deposited fats out of the liver and heart. Cleansing the toxins enables these organs to function properly.
Since Helichrysum is a powerful essential oil, some individuals may not respond to it as a form of treatment. Below are some of the ways you can avoid the possible negative effects:
- Do a patch test. Apply a small amount of Helichrysum behind you ear to check if you have any allergic reaction. If you experience a burning sensation or if your skin starts to itch, then you may not use this essential oil. To mitigate its harshness, experts strongly recommend that you dilute Helichrysum with carrier oil.
- Do not use Helichrysum during pregnancy. The body undergoes a lot of physical changes during this period and it would be best to consult the doctor before using the essential even for topical purposes only.
- It is important that you consult your doctor when taking medication for high blood pressure. Helichrysum has blood thinning properties and this will have a significant effect on your blood circulation when ingested.