Have you ever heard of Helichrysum? It is a fresh, earthy, herbaceous medicinal plant useful in producing Helichrysum essential oils, which boasts of a myriad of health benefits. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have full-body benefits that are helpful in treating several different ailments. In various experimental research, Helichrysum essential oil, derived from the Helichrysum italicum plant, has been found to be able to effectively decrease inflammation due to the following actions: free radical scavenging capacity, inhibition of inflammatory enzymes, and corticoid-like abilities.
Helichrysum, a plant native to the Mediterranean region, is a member of the Asteraceae plant family. It is a traditional medicinal plant, used for many centuries in European countries, such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, and the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Some sources claim that dried Helichrysum was a useful offering to the Greek Gods. In the present time, the plant continues to play a vital role in the field of traditional Mediterranean medicine, and its quick spread can be seen in other countries as well.
A good number of scientific studies have been done to establish the truth about the traditional uses of the extract of Helichrysum Italicum, as well as to put a spotlight on its other potential uses capabilities. Many studies are concentrating on identifying how the plant acts as a natural source of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory capabilities.
Today’s research findings validate the traditional beliefs and practices of older natural medicine believers: The essential oil pressed from Helichrysum contains unique and exceptional properties that make it one of the best antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents there is. It can be useful in many numbers of ways to prevent diseases and improve overall health. Helichrysum essential oil is popularly used to treat infection and wounds, resolve digestive issues, support a healthy heart and nervous system, and heal many respiratory problems.
The Advantages of Helichrysum Essential Oil
Considered as a potent medicinal plant, Helichrysum Italicum has many medicinal properties. It is a natural microbial agent, as well as an effective antifungal medication. There are a lot of different species of this plant, with numbers reaching to more or less 600. Helichrysum’s more familiar names include Curry Plant, Everlasting, and Immortelle.
Helichrysum oil has been a part of traditional Mediterranean customs for thousands of years. Its leaves and flowers are the most helpful parts of the plant. Many methods are used to prepare the plant to treat any of the following disease conditions:
- Acid Reflux
- Gallbladder disorders
- Liver diseases
- Skin inflammation
- Joint and muscle inflammations
- Insomnia – even though research has not proved some of its healing capacities, studies are being conducted continually to learn and develop more uses for this plant and its different parts. The oil shows great potential regarding its healing capacity that allows for natural treatment of conditions with the need to turn to chemicals and medications. Because it is natural, there are practically no side effects to its use.
13 Benefits and Uses of Helichrysum Essential Oil
1. Natural Antifungal and Antibiotic
The University of Beira in Portugal’s Health Sciences Research Centre conducted a study and found that the terpene compounds and flavonoids found in Helichrysum were potent in fighting fungus and bacterial growth, which could cause irritations in the skin, such as delayed wound healing and infections.
To use Helichrysum essential oil for healing and soothing the skin, dilute it with almond, jojoba or coconut oil and other carrier oil, then rub the mixture on the site where irritations such as blemishes, redness, hives, rashes, and shaving irritation occur. If you are experiencing rash or reaction to poison ivy, you should apply a blend helichrysum and lavender essential oils diluted in a carrier oil to provide a cooling and soothing relief to your skin.
2. Use as Sunscreen and as Soothing Relief for Sunburn
Helichrysum helps in hydrating and providing soothing relief for sun burnt skin. It also acts to minimize the signs of skin aging, as well as block skin damages caused by exposure to UV rays, which is known to cause skin cancer. Dilute a small amount of Helichrysum essential oil in coconut oil, apply the mixture to the affected area to support the healthy restoration of the skin and to provide pain relief.
3. Treatment for Acne
A couple of medical research has shown that Helichrysum oil is a potent antibiotic that can actually heal acne and pimple breakouts. It is an excellent choice for acne solution since it does not cause any redness or dryness, as well as other unwanted side effects that are usual side effects of harsh acne medications or treatments.
4. A Natural Remedy for Candida
Acetophenones, terpenoids, and phloroglucinols are exceptional compounds found in helichrysum essential oil, which shows potent antifungal properties to fight against the growth of Candida, as shown in some clinical studies. Helichrysum has also been found to be useful in helping soothe the gastrointestinal tract, fend off inflammation in the lining of the gut, boost immunity, and hasten a person’s recovery from the Candida virus.
5. Improves Heart Health Because of Its Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Helichrysum essential oils can effectively lower blood pressure due to its ability to improve the elasticity and overall condition of the blood vessels. A study conducted by the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Durban in the year 2008 established that the oil can increase smooth muscle function and decrease inflammation, thus effectively lower the blood pressure. This observed cardiovascular effects of the use of helichrysum oil are the reason why it is helpful for use in the promotion of heart health and management of hypertension – which has already been customary in European traditional medicine for centuries.
6. Promotes Diuresis and Digestion
Helichrysum oil encourages gastric juice secretion, which is essential in the breakdown of food and the prevention of indigestion. For centuries, traditional Turkish medicine has used the oil to promote diuresis, decrease water retention, and provide relief from stomachache.
The flowers of Helichrysum Italicum is also considered a traditional medicine to provide a remedy for intestinal complaints. The flowers are given to patients to drink to cure stomach-related, digestive, intestinal and damaged gut illnesses and used to make an herbal concoction.
7. Detoxifies and Stimulates the Liver
Helichrysum is a known as an effective antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and blood purifier. For many centuries, it has also been useful in stimulating and detoxifying the liver to keep it functioning properly. In folk medicine, it has been commonly utilized to cure liver diseases, as well as help the body remove toxins such as bacteria, heavy metals, and the effects of air pollution.
8. Provides Natural Protection Against Cancer
According to clinical research, Helichrysum contains a unique antioxidant compound in flavonoids, which can inhibit oxidative stress and prevent the growth of cancer tumor. On top of this, some studies discovered that the extract of this plant is effective in protecting the cells from any damage to the DNA caused by radiation, cell mutation, and cell death, as well as tumor growth. Both acetophenones and phloroglucinol compounds provide it with photoprotective capabilities, which have been present in both human and animal studies.
9. Improves Immunity With Its Antiviral Properties
The gut holds a large part of a person’s immune system. Because of Helichrysum Italicum’s anti-inflammatory and gastrointestinal-healing characteristics, it becomes a very effective immune system booster. Clinical research shows that the phloroglucinol and flavonoid compounds in Helichrysum oil exhibited the ability to restrict the growth and spread of dangerous viruses, bacteria, and fungi. It is so powerful that it showed the capacity to decrease a person’s risk from contracting the HIV.
10. Effectively Relieves Hemorrhoid
Helichrysum oil can reduce the pain and inflammation of hemorrhoids. Just put around four drops of diluted oil on a cotton ball and apply on the affected area. Do this every few hours to relieve swelling, inflammation, and pain.
11. Prevents Kidney Stones
Lemon and other citrus oils, as well as helichrysum oil, can prevent the formation of kidney stones, through its ability to support and detoxify a person’s liver and kidneys. You can put one to two drops of lime, lemon, grapefruit or wild orange oil in your water one to two times a day. Consult a certified aromatherapist so he or she can properly advise you about ingesting oils. Alternately, you can dilute helichrysum oil in a carrier oil, and rub the mixture over the lower abdomen or flank area in the morning and evening.
12. Naturally, Thwart Mulitple Sclerosis (MS)
Frankincense and Helichrysum essential oils help support and promote a healthy nervous system. They can help fight off or improve the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Rub two drops each of the oil and add to a carrier oil, then rub the mixture three times daily for three weeks. Then take a break from one week, before repeating the cycle. Cypress and basil essential oils can also improve muscle tone and blood circulation, which can improve MS symptoms, so you can add the two oils in your blend to achieve better results.
13. Provides Pain Relief
Studies show that helichrysum essential oil can relieve muscle pain by decreasing inflammation and swelling, and improve blood circulation. Optimal blood circulation helps support body healing, including the healing of joints, nerves, and muscle tissues. Because of this, helichrysum oil is an ideal natural pain reliever that can provide comfort from pain caused by fibromyalgia, arthritis, and injuries caused by exercise. Combined with lavender essential oil, the blend can effectively provide relief from pain and emotional stress.
Research and Studies About Helichrysum Essential Oil
Many studies have been conducted in the recent years to discover a variety of Helichrysum Italicum’s pharmacological activities. In particular, these studies aim to learn more about its safety, toxicity, traditional uses, and drug interactions. As researchers discover more about the oil, they are predicting that it will eventually become an important instrument in treating a variety of diseases and health conditions.
How exactly is Helichrysum oil this beneficial to the human body? According to what experts know right now, they believe that its diverse benefits are primarily due to acetophenones and phloroglucinols, which gives the oil its high antioxidant properties. In addition to these two compounds and flavonoids, the Helichrysum plant of the Asteraceae family also produces different metabolites, including triterpenoids, pyrones, and sesquiterpenes abundantly. In studies conducted by the University of Bozok in Turkey’s Department of Biology, these compounds can be credited for their very effective antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory capabilities, on top of the plant’s anticancer activities and antiproliferative and antioxidant properties.
The protective properties of Helichrysum are similar to corticoid-like steroids, which help to decrease inflammation by inhibiting the action of arachidonic acid metabolism in different pathways.
Researchers from the University of Naples in Italy’s Department of Pharmacy also discovered that the ethanolic compounds of the extract of Helichrysum flowers could draw out antispasmodic actions in a person’s inflamed gastrointestinal system, which help reduce cramping, swelling, and pain in the gut.
DIY Recipes Using Helichrysum Oil
The essential oil of Helichrysum has a sweet and fruity scent, with hints of nectar and honey. The smell elicits feelings of comfort, warmth, and upliftment in many people. Since the scent has a grounding characteristic, it can even function to release emotional block.
The helichrysum is not physically a beautiful flower. It is a yellowish strawflower, which, when dried, retains its shape. However, its variety of uses and the soft summery smell makes it a popular essential oil for topical application, inhalation or diffusion.
Take note that it is always important to buy products of highest quality. When purchasing, you should check if the oil is 100% pure, and preferably organic. Also, remember to use only therapeutic grade essential oils. To know that you are buying high quality, therapeutic grade essential oil, check the label if it states Helichrysum Italicum.
The oil can be tough to find in therapeutic grade because the Helichrysum plant is sensitive to soil composition and climate conditions. So you should find yourself a trusted brand.
Here is how you can use Helichrysum essential oil:
- Apply two to four drops neat or undiluted oil directly to the affected area or desired location
- Add it to your bath
- Use a diffuser to diffuse the oil in any room
- Inhale the oil directly
- Find it in dietary supplement form
- It is highly discouraged to ingest the oil, so use it on the skin instead
- Helichrysum oil is usable in a variety of ways, but check out these three basic recipes to get you going.
Homemade Honey Face Wash for Clear Skin
Total Preparation Time: 2 minutes
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 20 drops helichrysum essential oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsps honey
- Two capsules of live probioticsInstructions:
Mix and blend all the ingredients using a hand blender.
Transfer into a bottle and store in cool, dry place.
Sunburn Soother Recipe
Total Preparation Time: 20-30 minutes
- 10 drops helichrysum essential oil
- 10 drops frankincense essential oil
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 tbsps shea butter
- A glass containerDirections:
- Mix all ingredients in the container.
- Place a saucepan with 2 inches water on the stove over low to medium heat.
- Place the container in the saucepan
- Stir until ingredients begin to melt.
- Once ingredients are thoroughly combined, spread on the body
- Store remainder in a cool place for later use. Anti-Inflammatory Pain Relief Rub
** Useful for fibromyalgia, arthritis, or similar conditions
Total Preparation Time: 2 minutes
- 10 drops helichrysum essential oil
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 1/2 cup carrier oil (jojoba, coconut, or sunflower oil)Directions:
Combine all ingredients together and massage into painful areas.
Pour the remaining mixture. Store it in a bottle in cool place.
Side Effects of Helichrysum Essential Oil
Regarding safety and side effects, Helichrysum Italicum exhibits little significant allergic or adverse effects in the form of genotoxicity or cytotoxicity. The oil is believed to be very well tolerated. Mild adverse effects have manifest in extraordinary cases, where people showed an allergic reaction to the plant’s extracts. To check if you are allergic to Helichrysum Italicum, do a patch test by using a minute amount of the essential oil on a small area of the skin, before applying it elsewhere.