All About Helichrysum Essential Oil: Origins and Uses of Immortelle

All About Helichrysum Essential Oil: Origins and Uses of Immortelle
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Believed to heal both the physical body as well as emotional wounds, the essence of helichrysum flowers makes one of the more remarkable, rare, (and expensive) of the aromatherapy oils. Steam-distilled from the Mediterranean yellow flowering shrub, Helichrysum italicum, the concentrated extraction is specifically renowned for its skin healing and rejuvenation properties. The oil is usually produced in France, Italy, or Madagascar. Helichrysum essential oil is also known as Immortelle or Everlasting.

Basic Characteristics and Constituents

This essential oil is made from the helichrysum flowers. The resulting aroma is remarkably warming and rich, with earthy, spicy, and slightly fruity tones. It blends very well with other floral and warm oils such as rose, sandalwood, patchouli and lavender. Unlike other essential oils which lose their potency while sitting on the shelf, helichrysum oil can last for years.

Its medicinal properties are due to its phytochemical content. This plant contains curcumenes, which are beneficial in cases of inflammation and for detoxification, and di-ketones. Helichrysum is the only essential oil that contains di-ketones. It is these compounds that are believed to be responsible for the flower’s use for healing and tissue regeneration. Other constituents include nerol, geraniol, linalool and eugenol.

Healing Properties

The following are the medicinal properties of this therapeutic oil:

  • Anti-inflammatory, relieving inflammation due to infections as well as the external inflammation of tissue

  • Anti-bacterial, like most essential oils, helichrysum destroys harmful microbes and protects the body from bacterial and viral infections

  • Anti-spasmodic, great in cases of cramped muscles or menstrual cramps

    helichrysum essential oil

  • Nervine, helichrysum has a calming, nurturing effect on the nervous system, helpful in cases of stress, nervousness, excitability, anxiety, and tension

  • Expectorant, warming, it helps to loosen and expel mucous from the respiratory system

  • Cicatrisant, this essential oil is great for promoting the healing of minor wounds and scar tissue

  • Emollient, it also helps the skin retain moisture and suppleness

  • Hepatic, helichrysum is a liver tonic

So who would benefit from using helichrysum oil? People with arthritis, general aches and pains, especially those due to tension, anyone with stress, anxiety, or tension, anyone who wants a natural remedy for healing minor wounds, burns, acne scars, etc. It can also be used as a general beneficial tonic as it supports the liver, protects the body from infection, and helps to detoxify the body. For those interested in healing the emotional body, using this oil is believed to unblock trapped life energy or Chi. This is beneficial for working through past emotional trauma and rekindling a connection with compassion.

How to Use

To use helichrysum essential oil you have several options. You can dilute it in a carrier oil such as jojoba, sweet almond, or avocado oil, and apply to the skin. To make a facial oil use six drops for one ounce of oil. For a body oil use twenty drops for every two ounces of oil. You can bathe in the essential oil, great for pain relief and stress relief. Add ten drops to a cup of water or milk and add to warm bath water. You can also use in an essential oil diffuser, keeping in mind that aromatherapy oils shouldn’t be constantly inhaled. Use for about twenty minutes at a time.

As with all plant-derived medicine, it is important to be cautious. Test a small amount on the skin before use to make sure you are not allergic to the flower. Irritation is unlikely, but do not overuse. If pregnant or if you have a serious medical condition, talk to your doctor before using aromatherapy.


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Balch, Phyllis, CNC. “Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition.” (The Penguin Group, 2006).

photo by: Stephi 2006 <CC/flickr)

photo by: Ittinerandtrader (CC/Wiki)


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