Helichrysum oil comes from the Helichrysum italicum plant, which is considered a medicinal plant with many promising pharmacological activities because it operates as a natural antibiotic, antifungal and antimicrobial. The helichrysum italicum plant is also commonly referred to by other names, such as curry plant, immortelle, or Italian strawflower.
It’s a perennial herb commonly found in southern Europe and in the Mediterranean. Countries like Italy, Spain, Turkey, and Portugal are known to have used Helichrysum for centuries in their folk medicine. It has records of use dating back since the time of ancient Greece. The flowers are small and yellow and the oil is typically extracted from these flowers using a steam distillation process.
It has been said that the plant was a gift from the gods of Greece, claims which have merits due to its very important role in the Mediterranean and ancient Greek medicine. Various studies have proven the many health benefits that make Helichrysum essential oil special. These include its antioxidant effects, antibacterial and antifungal properties, as well as its anti-inflammatory compounds.
Let's talk a little bit in more detail about a few of those benefits:
1. Anti-inflammatory and Antimicrobial Benefits for Skincare
Helichrysum’s flavonoids and terpene compounds were found in a recent study to be effective against dangerous bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus that can cause a multitude of health concerns from minor skin irritations to serious, life-threatening complications. The main property of its use in traditional medicine is its ability to address inflammation and effectively lower it. It has a direct interaction with free radicals and elicits an anti-inflammatory effect by mimicking the actions of steroids in the body.
Many people opt for Helichrysum oil for many skin ailments. It has been proven to be a potent treatment for acne because of the oil's antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. People also like to use helichrysum essential oil for scars to discourage inflammation and encourage optimal and fast healing. (1) Combining it with carrier oils such as coconut or jojoba can produce wondrous results when the mixture is applied directly onto the irritated area. This oil is among the few essential oils that can be applied safely directly to the skin without having to be diluted with a carrier oil like so many other essential oils, and this is one of the reasons why it’s ideal for skincare.
2. Antiviral Properties for Increased Immunity
Since a large portion of the immune system is actually situated within the gut, the gut-healing and anti-inflammatory capability of helichrysum can help effectively boost immunity. In recent studies, the flavonoids of Helichrysum essential oil showed inhibition of harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi, even powerful enough to fight off herpes simplex virus type 1. The helichrysum compound that gets most of the credit for fighting off these viruses and other nasty invaders is known as galangin. (2, 3)
3. Natural Digestive and Diuretic
Helichrysum stimulates the production of gastric juices that are necessary to break down food and prevent indigestion. For thousands of years in folk medicine, the oil has been used as a diuretic, helping to decrease bloating by eliminating excess water from the body, and for relieving stomach aches. Scientific research confirms the use of Helichrysum italicum as a remedy for digestive and intestinal diseases due to the antispasmodic qualities. (4)
The flowers of Helichrysum italicum are known as a traditional remedy for the treatment of various intestinal complaints and are used as an herbal tea for curing digestive issues some of which include leaky gut and intestinal diseases. You can also take helichrysum essential oil internally as long as it’s USDA certified organic.
4. Heart Health Booster
The hypotensive action of helichrysum improves the condition of blood vessels by lowering inflammation, increasing smooth muscle function, and lowering high blood pressure, according to a 2008 study done by the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Durban. During the in vivo/in vitro animal study, the observed cardiovascular effects of using helichrysum oil support the basis for its possible use in the management of high blood pressure and the protection of heart health — just like it’s been traditionally used for many years in European folkloric medicine. (5)
Helichrysum oil acts as an anticoagulant and can be a blessing for those who run the risk of heart attacks due to the blood thickening effects of high cholesterol. It can immediately provide relief in these cases by liquefying or thinning the blood. There’s extensive research currently being made on how to derive anticoagulants from natural substances since heart diseases and cases of heart attacks are growing at a very rapid rate.
5. Mucolytic Properties
Mucus helps keep all the internal tracts ( pharynx, trachea, food pipe, intestines, etc.) moist thereby protecting them from irritations and infections. Mucus is essential for the body and without it, these tracts may suffer from wounds. However, mucus can become a problem when it starts thickening and depositing in the respiratory system subsequent to infection. The same mucus results in coughs, congestion, and flu-like symptoms. Being a mucolytic, Helichrysum essential oil promotes the thinning of hardened or excess mucus through hydrolysis and its removal from the body. This can efficiently reduce congestion and coughs resulting from cold and other ailments. (6)
6. Spasms Reliever
A spasm is an unwanted or excessive contraction in the body. It may occur in the respiratory tract, lungs, nerves, muscles, or intestines and may result in severe breathlessness, cramps, convulsions, and abdominal pains. In very extreme cases, spasms can even be fatal. Therefore, it’s always advisable to help correct it immediately. Helichrysum essential oil is ideal for helping these types of conditions because it's an antispasmodic and can give you quick relief in case a spasm begins, and it can also work as a preventative measure if inhaled regularly. (7)
7. Pain Reliever
Helichrysum does not simply treat the visible signs of aging but can be an effective pain reliever. It’s no secret that our bodies start to ache more as we age, and thankfully, the power of the everlasting flower can be an effective, natural solution.
When used topically, the oil can provide relief from muscle cramps. The anti-inflammatory capabilities in helichrysum are responsible for the relief this oil provides. It increases circulation while lowering swelling, which allows the joints and muscle tissue to heal.
You can add Helichrysum to massage oil, and apply topically to the affected area, or alternatively, add a few drops of this oil to a bath to help soak the pain away while relaxing in the tub. (8)
8. Potential Natural Cancer Protector
Interestingly, research published in BMC highlights the anticancer properties of helichrysum. The study reveals the antitumor properties of extracts from the Helichrysum plant. The anticancer ability of the helichrysum extracts on cancer lines were very dose-dependent, but the research is one of the multiple studies that highlight the potential for helichrysum to be applied in the natural fight against cancer. (9)
9. Stress Reducer
The earthy, and piney scent of helichrysum can be grounding. The aroma promotes a sense of calm and can be proactive in emotional healing. Using Helichrysum oil in a massage or in the bath is known to reduce stress and support a positive mindset.
To use helichrysum essential oil for natural stress-relief simply diffuse at home or enjoy the benefits, furthermore, you can mix Helichrysum oil with other others like lavender, frankincense, and myrrh for health benefits and relaxation. Simply inhale deeply and exhale your worries away. Massaging it on the temples and the back of the neck can prove to be very useful.
Other uses for Helichrysum Oil
- Allergy Relief: since the oil is a known anti-inflammatory it can easily address most basic allergic reactions by addressing the inflammatory symptoms, making it a great natural remedy for hives. It can also be used in common colds and coughs.
- Candida: Helichrysum is a very potent antifungal and can eliminate the fungus and treat other mouth infections. According to studies, the compounds in helichrysum oil seem to demonstrate antifungal actions against harmful Candida albicans growth. (10) Candida is a common type of yeast infection, and it can occur in the mouth, intestinal tract, or vagina, and it may also affect the skin and other mucous membranes.
- Kidney Stones: Helichrysum oil may reduce the risk of kidney stones by supporting and detoxifying the liver and kidneys. The flowers were also found to be helpful for urinary tract stones or urolithiasis. (11) I recommend rubbing the helichrysum oil topically over the lower abdomen two times daily for the best results.
- Fights Malaria: Helichrysum Oil is reported to have anti-malarial properties. It can, therefore, help in fighting parasite-causing malaria. (12)
- Helps in fixing gall-bladder: In many European countries, people use Helichrysum oil to treat gall-bladder related health issues. The inflammation and the pain that can be primary symptoms from gall-bladder dysfunctions can be relieved by the use of this oil. (13)
There are multiple ways to use Helichrysum essential oil to enjoy its many health and skin benefits, and whether it's used as an ointment or as an air diffuser, please remember to always choose USDA Organic oils to avoid the artificial fertilizers & pesticides sprayed on all non-organic crops; otherwise, you’re defeating their health benefits.
Below are a few recipes we like that you may want to try for yourself. They could be very handy when you need them.
Anti-inflammatory Massage Oil
- 4 drops USDA Organic Helichrysum essential oil
- 2 drops USDA Organic Myrrh essential oil
- 6 drops USDA Organic Ginger essential oil
- 7 drops USDA Organic Patchouli essential oil
- 7 drops USDA Organic Ylang-Ylang essential oil
- 2 ounces carrier oil of your choice, such as coconut oil, grapeseed or avocado oil
Directions: In a clean, dry pump bottle, add together all of the essential oils. Mix and blend by gently shaking. Then add in the carrier oil in portions, shaking the bottle gently after each addition. Once you’ve mixed in the carrier oil, you can now use this blend by massaging onto inflamed muscles, joints, or other swollen, painful areas.
Migraine Relief Diffuser Blend
- 3 drops USDA Organic Helichrysum Essential Oil
- 3 drops USDA Organic Peppermint Essential Oil
- 2 drops USDA Organic Basil Essential Oil
- 2 drops USDA Organic Lavender Essential Oil
Directions: In a small glass jar, blend all of the essential oils. Place drop by drop into your diffuser. Diffuse it whenever a bad headache strikes to get some relief.
Other simple tips for usage
- Add a drop or two to your favorite toner to fight off blemishes and sagging skin.
- Place 10-20 drops in a carrier oil and then add to running bath water and soak in it to relieve muscle pain. This also helps you relax and decrease any anxiety and negativity.
- Rub gently 2 drops of the oil directly onto scars.
- Diffuse Helichrysum to ease anger, sadness, or other negative emotions
When it comes to oils' safety and adverse reactions, Helichrysum italicum doesn’t display a significant amount of allergic reactions or side effects.
If you're considering starting a therapeutic regimen using Helichrysum Essential Oil, it's better to consult a doctor first. Some skin types can showcase allergic reactions, so before using this oil any of its forms, it's recommended to do a skin test first, which you can do at home if you prefer by applying 2 drops of the oil on your wrist and wait for 24 hours to see if any irritation occurs. If the skin patch you tested is clear, then you’ll be safe to use it.
And finally, try to use the exact amounts of the oil as per prescriptions or recipes above, otherwise, it could be toxic and cause irritation, allergies, and other major problems.
Enjoy these wonderful recipes and let us know which ones you tried and how they worked for you. We’d love to hear it!
Tip: you may want to pin this image to your Immune Support board so you can refer to this blog post later ;)