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What is Helichrysum Essential Oil?

By Angela Williams Duea
Updated May 21, 2024
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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.

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Discussion Comments
By literally45 — On Dec 27, 2014

@serenesurface-- I don't personally use helichrysum essential oil for sciatica but I have heard of it being used for back injuries successfully. It does have anti-inflammatory compounds and I believe that a lot of the problems of sciatica are a result of inflammation. So I definitely think that you should give this oil a try. I think it might help.

Just one thing though, purchase "Helichrysum Italicum" essential oil, not "Helichrysum Gymnocephalum". These are two types of helichrysum on the market but "Italicum" is the most effective one. It works better, it's more potent. There is a price difference, italicum costs a bit more but it's worth it. And always dilute the oil with another oil to reduce risks of irritation to skin.

By serenesurface — On Dec 26, 2014

I suffer from sciatica and side effects from the condition like muscle spasms, pain, numbness and tingling in legs. Can helichrysum help with any of these problems?

I've heard that this essential oil is great for sprains and the article also mentions that it fights inflammation. But can it help more serious health conditions like sciatica? Has anyone here used it for this purpose?

By SarahGen — On Dec 26, 2014

Although some essential oils can be taken internally, it's a good idea to be careful about this. Since helichrysum has anticoagulant effects, I'm sure that those on anticoagulant medications or blood thinners should not use this. It is also not advisable for those with chronic conditions in general, especially conditions affecting the liver and kidneys to take essential oils. These oils can exacerbate these problems. It's always a good idea to check with a doctor first.

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