Helichrysum (Corsica) Essential Oil
- Distillation Method:
- Country of Origin:
- France (Corsica)
- Plant Part:
- Latin Name:
- Helichrysum italicum
- Wild Grown
About the Oil: Helichrysum essential oil is known as one of the best natural remedies for the skin by decreasing inflammation and regenerating cells.
Drops per mlBlending Tips
ABOUT THE PLANT
A strongly aromatic shrub with many branched stems tat are woody at the base and grows up to 0.6 meters high. When dried the brightly colored, daisy-like flowers retain their color and shape; – hence the name “Everlasting” or “Immortelle”. The plant grows wild and is cultivated in the south of France, Italy, former Yugoslavia and other Mediterranean countries.
There are over 600 species in the Helichrysum genus occurring in temperate regions throughout the world. The genus includes annuals, herbaceous perennials and shrubs. Helichrysum species thrive in sunshine, and enjoy growing in arid, sandy, stony areas and along mountainsides. Over 250 different species of helichrysum reside in South Africa. The name Helichrysum is derived from the Greek “helios” meaning sun and “chrysos” meaning gold, referring to the color of many of the flowers of species in this genus. The reason that Helichrsyum essential oil is expensive is because one ton of hand-harvested helichrysum flowering tops yields about one kilogram of essential oil.
ABOUT THE OIL
There are many species of Helichrysum, though it is only the 'italicum' species that is true 'Immortelle' or 'Everlasting' with the regenerative actions attributed to this wonderful oil. Further, the Corsican variety is actually considered a sub-species, noted as Helichrysum italicum spp. serotinum. The island is known for producing oils with consistently high levels of neryl acetate, which adds a floral note to the oil. Neryl acetate is an 'ester', considered strongly antispasmodic. Note that ALL sources from the Mediterranean are used for their therapeutic activity.
The unique natural molecular components of these Helichrysum italicum oils include anti-inflammatory alpha, beta and gamma-curcumenes (think 'curcumin', the anti-inflammatory extract from turmeric), and high amounts of regenerative di-ketones. While ketone-containing essential oils are generally to be avoided, the di-ketones (specifically 'Italidiones' in Helichrysum) are perfectly safe.
Helichrysum's curcumenes, found in Ginger essential oil as well, are also chelators of metals from the body (some users will massage a diluted formula into their feet to support removal of metals from the body). The specific di-ketones are not found in any other essential oil (hence the name 'Italidiones', from Helichrysum italicum). They are thought to be potent aids in stimulating tissue regeneration. This is one of the reasons you'll frequently find Helichrysum in scar-reduction and wound healing formulas.
The Balkan variety has the highest levels of potentially anti-inflammatory curcumenes, with an aroma very similar to the Corsican.
The French variety (a 'reserve', of which we also have a very limited stock) has the highest levels of neryl acetate at 41%.
Our other Corsican variety has similar – and very balanced – chemistry, and its aroma will continue to get better with age.
THERAPEUTICS DESCRIBED BY AROMATHERAPY SPECIALISTS
From Carol & David Schiller’s The Aromatherapy Encyclopedia1:
From Miriam Kinai’s The Essentials of Aromatherapy Essential Oils2:
- Manages acne & oily skin
- Aids skin regeneration from burns, cuts, and scars
- Analgesic for rheumatism & muscle pain
- Expectorant for respiratory problems
From Peter & Kate Damian’s Aromatherapy: Scent and Psyche3:
- Anti-inflammatory – similar to its relative chamomile
- Relieves fatigue
- Soothes stress
PROPERTIES OF HELICHRYSUM REPORTED IN PEER-REVIEWED RESEARCH
SUMMARY OF RESEARCH STUDIES
- A study on the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of helichrysum found that these activities have multiple courses of action, including "inflammatory enzyme inhibition, free-radical scavenging activity and corticoid-like effects."4
- Helichrysum was shown to have strong radical scavenging activity in vitro.5
- Diethyl ether extract from Helichrysum italicum ehibited strong antiviral activity against herpes virus-1 in vitro.6
- Ethanolic extract of helichrysum produced an antispasmodic effect in the inflamed intestinal tract of rats.7
- Helichrysum essential oil was found to significantly reduce the resistance of multi-drug resistant bacteria to antibiotics. This suggests that it could be a potential option to help fight "super bugs" that don't respond to prescription antibiotics.8
- A review of the scientific studies on helichrysum reported the finings of numerous studies that emphasize its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antioxidant activities. They propose that helichrysum exhibits remarkable "biological activities that seem to be due to the large diversity of its chemical contents".9
1 Schiller, Carol, and David Schiller. The Aromatherapy Encyclopedia: A Concise Guide to Over 385 Plant Oils. Basic Health Publications, Inc., 2008.
2 Kinai, Miriam. The Essentials of Aromatherapy Essential Oils. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013.
3 Damian, Peter, and Kate Damian. Aromatherapy: Scent and Psyche. Inner Traditions/Bear & Co, 1995.
4 Sala, Araceli, et al. “Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties of Helichrysum Italicum.” Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, vol. 54, no. 3, 2002, pp. 365–371., doi:10.1211/0022357021778600.
5 Poli, Ferruccio, et al. “Antioxidant Activity of Supercritical CO2 Extracts of Helichrysum Italicum.” Pharmaceutical Biology, vol. 41, no. 5, 2003, pp. 379–383., doi:10.1076/phbi.41.5.379.15934.
6 Nostro, A., et al. “Evaluation of Antiherpesvirus-1 and Genotoxic Activities of Helichrysum Italicum Extract.” The New Microbiologica, vol. 26, no. 1, Jan. 2003, pp. 125–128.
7 Rigano, Daniela, et al. “Intestinal Antispasmodic Effects of Helichrysum Italicum (Roth) Don Ssp. Italicum and Chemical Identification of the Active Ingredients.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol. 150, no. 3, 12 Dec. 2013, pp. 901–906., doi:10.1016/j.jep.2013.09.034.
8 Lorenzi, V., et al. “Geraniol Restores Antibiotic Activities against Multidrug-Resistant Isolates from Gram-Negative Species.” Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, vol. 53, no. 5, May 2009, pp. 2209–2211., doi:10.1128/aac.00919-08.
9 Guinoiseau, Elodie. “Biological Properties and Resistance Reversal Effect of Helichrysum Italicum (Roth) G. Don.” Microbial Pathogens and Strategies for Combating Them: Science, Technology and Education, edited by A. Méndez-Vilas, Formatex, 2013, pp. 1073–1080.
- direct inhalation, diffuser, oil vaporizer
- massage, compress, bath, ointment, skincare
- For burns, apply undiluted as soon as possible for immediate relief – only 1-3 drops are necessary.
- Helichrysum is the only essential oil found to contain certain di-ketones, which may support wound healing and scar reduction. It is suitable for wound healing and for scars, resulting either from accidents, surgery or acne. It may be especially effective when combined with Rose Hip Seed Oil. The triple unsaturated fatty acids may strengthen the cell membranes and, combined with the regenerative qualities of Everlasting, can heal wounds with little or no scarring. Do not apply to open wounds.
- This essential oil contains anti-inflammatory sesquiterpene hydrocarbons – these compounds act by dissipating free radicals. Helichrysum essential oil's other major components include neryl acetate, a monoterpenoid ester with distinct, relaxing effects that may reduce tension of the tissues in the area of the injury.
- For impact injuries, apply undiluted immediately to reduce initial swelling and reduce healing time; use enough to cover the area in a thin layer (this is often only a few drops). The same goes for 'twists' (an ankle, for example). Repeat application again in 30 minutes if you deem necessary.
- For older injuries (more than a few hours) it has been suggested to use diluted in any carrier oil. We personally use Jojoba most of the time, though any carrier will work. The dilution is a matter of personal preference, though we keep a bottle of 20% Helichrysum on hand (this is 6mL in 24mL carrier oil, which fills a one ounce glass bottle). We use this for sports injuries and pain like backaches, stiff joints and the like. For neck pain, we sometimes use at full strength. For many users, relief is reported as nearly immediate (though this depends on how deep within the body the damaged tissues are and how old the injury might be). For further support for inflamed areas, 1% German Chamomile can be included.
- The oil is also thought to be a strong chelator, supporting liver function and potentially drawing heavy metals and toxins out of the body. It is noted as one of, if not THE, most effective detoxification supporting essential oils by Battaglia in 'The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy'. A strong dilution can be used (1:1 in coconut oil, for example) and massaged twice per day into the feet. The reflex points of the feet corresponding to the liver may be of greatest help in this process.
- As a liver stimulant, Everlasting essential oil can be taken orally in small doses: 1 drop twice daily.
Helichrysum's perfumery note is base-middle. Sweet, herbaceous, rosy with spicy, hay, honey and woody nuances.
Blends well with: lavender essential oil, clary sage essential oil, chamomile essential oil, clove bud essential oil, geranium essential oil, citrus oils.
Non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing. Always test a small amount first for sensitivity or allergic reaction.
If pregnant consult with a physician prior to use internally.