Botany of Helichrysum Essential Oil
From the Greek “helios” for sun and “chrysos” for gold, for the bright yellow flowers the plant produces, helichrysum essential oil is one of the world’s most luxurious and sought-after essential oils today.
Famous for its scent, which has been described as rosy, exotic, and spicy, it is used in perfumes and personal care products, but also has a variety of health and beauty benefits as well.
Helichrysum belongs to the family Asteraceae and encompasses more than 500 different species. The plant grows in the dry, rocky soil of the Mediterranean in France, Italy, and Croatia, as well in areas of South Africa and Australia, from sea level to mountainous regions above 6,000 feet. The flowers retain their bright yellow color even after drying, and were once used by the ancient Romans and Greeks to crown statues of the Gods.
Called “the sleeping giant of Mediterranean herbal medicine” for its many health benefits and potential uses in dietary supplements, helichrysum essential oil is made by steam distilling the bright, yellow, delicate flowerheads. Its yield is rather low, which makes this oil so rare and in-demand.
Global exploitation of helichrysum led Young Living to establish its own farm in Split, Croatia, for sustainable cultivation. They even imported rocks to replicate the plant’s preferred environment.
History and Traditional Uses of Helichrysum
Earliest use of helichrysum dates back to the Greco-Roman era. It was used to treat a wide variety of ailments, from burns and scars to respiratory and digestive issues due to its purported anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
Helichrysum essential oil was mixed with honey or olive oil and applied topically to treat skin conditions. The plant helichrysum was used to make herbal teas and medicinal wines that were sipped to alleviate a variety of ailments.
Popular Uses of Helichrysum Essential Oil
Scratch and Scar Treatment
With its potential antimicrobial properties, it can help injuries to the skin heal more quickly and minimize scarring from scrapes, cuts, and scratches. It can be used to treat issues like athlete's foot, and its healing properties can also help minimize stretch marks.
How to use: Apply a few drops directly to the affected area several times a day.
It’s not only great for promoting wound healing and reducing scarring, it can also help even out your skin tone and smooth fine lines, leaving you with glowing skin.
How to use: Apply directly to the skin or add a few drops to your favorite facial serum, or moisturizer. Use as a spot treatment on blemishes.
Muscle and Joint Pain and Bruises
Helichrysum essential oil can help ease muscle and joint pain and promote healing of bruises. Athletes know to reach for it when dealing with a sports injury.
How to use: Rub a few drops into the affected area daily or add to a carrier oil for an all over massage.
A few drops can possibly help soothe inflamed veins, and because it also promotes healthy circulation, it may prevent new varicose veins from developing.
How to use: Mix a few drops with a carrier oil of your choice. You can also add a few drops of other vein-soothing essential oils like cypress, thyme, rosemary, frankincense, and horse chestnut and massage into veins. For other ways to treat varicose veins, visit The Vein Treatment Forum.
Helichyrsum Essential Oil Precautions
Helichrysum essential oil is considered generally safe to apply to your skin undiluted. Make sure the oil you buy is labeled Helichrysum italicum. If it is a pure essential oil and not diluted already to about 2:5, then add 2-3 drops to one ounce of a carrier oil before applying, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
Always test for sensitivity to any essential oil before applying to large areas of your body. Do a spot test on your arm using the ratio above. If you don’t have a reaction within a day, it should be safe to use on other parts of your body.
When using helichrysum essential oil in a diffuser, be sure to take breaks, and keep pets, children, and pregnant women out of the room as the fumes can be harmful to them.
Adding Helichrysum to Your Essential Oil Collection
Helichrysum essential oil is wonderful to have on hand for your skin and health needs.
Pick up some of this healing oil today and experience its many benefits.
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