The phrase “what’s old is new again” certainly fits as a description for what the Greeks called “Gold of the Sun.” Helichrysum, from the flowers of the species Helichrysum angustifolium and Helichrysum italicum, has been used for centuries to create an oil that has cicatrisant properties to reduce scar tissue . The chemical constituents in helichrysum oil, including linalool, limonene, a-pinene, geraniol, camphene, nerol, 1,8-cineole, terpinen-4-ol, neryl acetate, vitalidone, and eugenol, also have the ability to treat arthritis, respiratory conditions such as sinus infections and coughing, and may enhance tissue regeneration .
Helichrysum italicum is a flowering plant in the daisy family Asteraceae, with small yellow flowers, woody stems, and thready leaves that exude a powerful, curry-like scent when rubbed . For this reason, helichrysum is sometimes called the curry plant, even though it is not related to the Asian curry tree, Murraya koenigii, and is not part of the curry spice mix used in Indian masalas ! However, the young leaves and shoots of the helichrysum plant are used in Mediterranean cooking to add flavor to fish, meat, and vegetable dishes. The leaves are stewed and then removed before serving, similar to bay laurel leaves .
Native to Mediterranean areas of France, Italy and few a neighboring countries, helichrysum prefers to grow in rocky or sandy soil. It is sometimes also called Corsican helichrysum because it grows abundantly on that island. Corsican helichrysum is particularly high in nerol, neryl acetate, and y-cucurmene, three compounds with excellent cell-regenerative qualities for the skin .
Most people in the U.S. aren’t familiar with this incredible oil, but other parts of the world know about helichrysum oil and its ability to relieve mental exhaustion, stress, and mild depression. Plus, it stimulates the right hemisphere of the brain, which enhances artistic and creative expression. With a strong fruity/straw scent, light yellow to red color and thin texture, this aromatic herb makes a low-key but highly effective remedy for stomach spasms, allergies, and excess water retention .
This essential oil can help heal stretch marks, skin blemishes, and scars due to wounds, boils, and rashes . Muscle aches and pains as well as digestive issues are relieved when the oil is diluted in a bath or inhaled during aromatherapy . A few drops of helichrysum oil and rose hip oil can banish acne and heal wounds with minimal scarring. Some loyal users claim it reduces signs of aging by keeping the skin smooth and wrinkle free.
One of the main constituents of this essential oil is neryl acetate, which acts as a muscle relaxant as well as an anti-spasmodic agent . A relatively rare essential oil compound, neryl acetate is found in concentration in Corsican helichrysum essential oil. It has powerful antispasmodic action that can be useful for easing stomach cramps, excessive coughing, and muscle pain . Neryl acetate also works in tandem with the eugenol, linalool, and limonene in helichrysum oil to produce skin-healing effects and aid tissue regeneration in internal organs .
A few drops of the oil on burns as soon after the incident as possible will speed up the healing process. When impact injuries occur, apply the oil as quickly as possible to reduce swelling and reduce the healing time. Helichrysum oil is the only essential oil that contains di-ketones, which play a major role in scar tissue reduction and skin healing .
Some wounds heal with no scarring, especially when helichrysum oil is combined with sea buckthorn oil or rosemary verbenone oil. Calendula oil also has excellent wound-healing properties and can be combined with helichrysum oil along with lavender.
The subconscious benefits of this wonder oil should not be discounted. Helichrysum oil is an effective energy releaser, which means it has an impact on emotional blockages. It can restore emotional freedom and stability when those elements are buried in stressful thoughts and perceptions. Open up your heart and senses by blending helichrysum essential oil with pure essences of rose, lime, sage, neroli, orange, petitgrain, and ylang ylang oil.
1. Dawn, Julie. 2011. “Helichrysum italicum Properties”. Helichrysum italicum.com. http://www.helichrysum-italicum.com/properties.html.
2. “Helichrysum italicum”. Wikipedia. Last modified July 12th, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helichrysum_italicum.
3. Butje, Andrea. “Helichrysum Species”. The Aromahead Blog: Aromatherapy Education and Resources. Last modified June 27th, 2008. http://www.aromahead.com/blog/2008/06/27/helichrysum-species/.
4. “Health Benefits of Helichrysum Essential Oil”. Organic Facts. Accessed July 25th, 2014. http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-helichrysum-essential-oil.html.