"I must admit I was skeptical about those things, but having read the literature that you so kindly supplied, I decided to give it a try. I tried it first on my knee which had been giving me literally heck all day and in about five minutes I found I was walking without the pain. I put it down to mind over matter, so I tried it on my back, where i experience a stiffness whenever I bend over, even ever so slightly. I was told that I would experience this for a while until the muscles were completely healed. The stiffness went away. My wife was experiencing backaches from a pulled muscle obtained from bending over to clean the kitchen garbage bin. Without telling her about what I experienced, I told her to let me try something on her back, I rubbed it in - and hey presto - the stiffness went...I have become such a disciple that I have recommended it to others at work. I [also] recommended it this morning to someone in church who is suffering from back pains due to progressive degenerative disc problems."
Un-initiated users are often surprised at its efficacy. The reason the oil does so much is that it has a very complex chemistry (see: The Chemistry of Helichrysum), which has anti-inflammatory, regenerative, and muscle-relaxant properties.
Now, there are over 500 species of Helichrysum, and it is Helichrysum italicum which has this particular chemical makeup. The anti-inflammatory components are crucial to pain relief, as it is anti-inflammatory medicines and natural therapeutic products that address pain by reducing inflammation (ibuprofen and aspirin, for example). Inflammation reduction is known to speed the healing process, as this allows the flow of damaged or "waste" material "out", and healthy nutrients and materials "in".
A major part of the inflammation reduction from Helichrysum is considered to be an action of the curcuminoids in the oil -- Curcumin, an extract of the spice Turmeric, which has become a very popular dietary supplement for inflammation reduction throughout the body. In the oil form, these pass readily through the skin to the location of the pain or injury.
Helichrysum is also the only oil known to have specific types of ketones, called 'Italidiones', which stimulate regeneration of tissues. While other oils contain ketones, many of these are considered unsafe for long-term use, yet these in Helichrysum italicum are safe for regular application in high concentrations (Helichrysum can be used "neat", if desired -- at 100% concentration, undiluted in a carrier oil).
Helichrysum also contains "neryl acetate", a constituent considered to be a muscle and tissue relaxant, working at the cellular level. This can assist tight or stiff areas to loosen up, further speeding the healing process. The highest quality of this oil has neryl acetate levels of over 20%, and the oil carried by Ananda has a concentration of over 30%.
While the oil is somewhat costly, because it's distilled from the tiny yellow flowers of the plant -- which contain a relatively small amount of essential oil (meaning a lot of the flowers are needed to produce the essential oil, relative to other plants which naturally contain higher amounts of essential oil) it seems everyone who's tried it for their aches and pains, as well as skin healing, has found it effective. It can also be blended with other anti-inflammatory essential oils such as Ginger, Plai, and Frankincense, and used in a carrier oil which also has anti-inflammatory properties. This can reduce the total amount of Helichrysum needed for certain needs (particularly muscle and joint pain and stiffness).
So if you're looking for an oil that is almost certain to address challenging painful conditions, Helichrysum is certainly worth trying. An example recipe might be this:
For each one ounce of blend:
- 10 - 20% Helichrysum (3 to 6 milliliters)
- 1 ml Frankincense CO2
- .5 ml Ginger CO2
- 1 ml Plai