Latin Binomial:Helichrysum italicum, Helichrysum angustifolium
Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Other Common Names: Immortelle, St. John’s herb
Part Used: Flowering tops
Production Method:steam distillation (an absolute may be produced by solvent extraction.)
Countries of Origin: Helichrysum is native to the Mediterranean. It is cultivated in Italy, the Balkans, Spain and France.
Typical Constituents: a-pinene, camphene, myrcenc, limonene,1,8 cineole, linalool, terpinen-4-ol, Neryl acetate, nerol, geraniol, eugenol, italidone
Description of Oil: Everlasting has an intense, rich, honey-like scent with delicate tea like undertones. It is a liquid and ranges in color from pale yellow to red.
Description of Plant: This plant has daisy-like brightly colored flowers and is generally about 60 cm’s in height. This is a strongly aromatic herb.
History, Folklore and Myth: Helichrysum has a long history of medicinal use and those uses mirror today’s use of this essential oil. Prior to the early 1980’s helichrysum was not found in essential oil catalogs. Pierre Franchomme and Daniel Penoel are credited with popularizing this oil in the United States.
Precautions and Contraindications: This oil is non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing.
Properties and Uses: Helichrysum has cicatrisant properties which reduce presence of scar tissue.
It is anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic making it useful for inflamed skin, eczema or dermatitis. It is also excellent in preventing formation of bruises following an injury.
This oil is also beneficial for treatment of respiratory conditions. It is mucolytic, expectorant and antispasmodic, making it useful for conditions such as sinus infections, bronchitis and spasmodic coughing.
Helichrysum is appropriate as a first-aid oil. It may be applied neat to injuries until further treatment can be sought. It reduces swelling, disinfects the wound and promotes healing through tissue regeneration.
From an emotional perspective helichrysum is helpful when dealing with issues of depression, stress, lethargy and mental exhaustion. It is thought to stimulate the right side of the brain thus being useful for stimulating art and creativity.
Helichrysum is a grounding oil and brings warmth to one dealing with emotional coldness.
Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis may be treated with helichrysum as it has anti-inflammatory properties.
This essential oil supports us through a number of physical afflictions such as colds with fever, the flu, bronchitis, asthma, colitis, liver and spleen congestion, gallbladder disorders, headaches, migraines, and rheumatoid arthritis. It is said to have an anticoagulant action which can help with haematomas and thrombophlebitis.
Helichrysum italicum is one of the cell-regenerating essential oils, meaning it is useful in supporting the healing of scars, boils, abscesses, acne, and dermatitis.
Because of Helichrysum’s ability to help in dissolving blood clots and regulating blood stagnation, it can, on a subtle level, support us through stuck, dark emotions such as stubborn negativity, anger, resentment, and bitterness. Deep wounds may be healed. Operating at the highest level, it can assist in untying the toughest of knots within the deep, dark human psyche thereby opening us to compassion for ourselves and others.
Sources: Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit by Gabriel Mojay; The Directory of Essential Oils by Wanda Sellar