Helichrysum essential oil is a floral oil that is often overshadowed by other flower powerhouses like lavender and rose oil. However, in recent years, this oil has become more popular as scientific studies and research unearth more about its potential benefits and uses. Read on to discover more about helichrysum oil and how you can use it in your everyday life.
What Is Helichrysum Essential Oil?
Helichrysum oil is made from the yellow flowers of the helichrysum plant known by the botanical name Helichrysum italicum. The plant is native to the Mediterranean and also commonly known as Immortelle, curry plant, and everlasting flower. The plant belongs to the Asteraceae family which includes other flowering plants like daisies, sunflowers, and chrysanthemums. Helichrysum derives its name from two Greek words: helios — meaning sun —and chrysos, which means gold.
The essential oil is extracted from the helichrysum flowers through a process known as steam distillation. The temperature and steam cause the flowers to emit oils, which are transferred to a condenser and separated from water particles. The oil can be packaged as a stand-alone product but is also commonly mixed with other essential oils to create unique essential oil blends.
Helichrysum essential oil boasts a warm, herbaceous, and earthy aroma with a mildly sweet base tone. The oil blends well with other floral oils such as lavender essential oil, chamomile oil, and geranium oil as well as citrusy and spiced oils like myrrh, bergamot, and frankincense. Helichrysum essential oil uses include diffusing and topical application and it’s widely used in skincare products. Read on to find out more about the uses and benefits of this floral oil.
Health Benefits of Helichrysum Essential Oil
Helichrysum oil may help to soothe stress and improve relaxation thanks to its delicate floral scent. Research published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine examined the effects of an essential oil blend using peppermint oil, helichrysum oil, and basil oil on mental exhaustion.
The study consisted of 13 women and one man who used a personal inhaler with the oil blend or a placebo at home three times a day for three weeks. Researchers found that the group that inhaled the essential oil blend had significant decreases in mental exhaustion and burnout (1).
To boost relaxation, add a few drops of helichrysum oil to a diffuser. Alternatively, you can mix a few drops of helichrysum oil and carrier oil and dab it on the inside of your wrist. Inhale the sweet fragrance any time you start to feel stressed out throughout the day.
Fight Off Infections
Helichrysum oil boasts antibacterial properties that may help the immune system to prevent infections from attacking the body. In addition, helichrysum oil offers anti-inflammatory properties that may help to prevent oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that helichrysum oil was effective in fighting off infections caused by common pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus mutans in laboratory studies (2). More research is needed to determine if these benefits translate to human trials as well.
Helichrysum oil is a popular ingredient in herbalist skincare products, particularly those created for wound healing. The oil helps to maintain healthy skin thanks to a concentration of antibacterial properties. The oil also works to encourage the regeneration of skin and can help fend off infections that slow down wound healing or cause blemishes and blackheads (3).
Side Effects of Helichrysum Essential Oil
Like many essential oils, undiluted helichrysum oil may cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction in certain individuals. Never apply helichrysum oil directly to the skin. Instead, dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil before applying topically. Test the oil on a small patch of skin and wait 24 hours before applying on larger areas.
If you use helichrysum oil in a diffuser, limit your aromatherapy sessions to around an hour. Keep in mind that some oils may cause allergic reactions for children or pets when diffused into the air. Use sparingly and in a well-ventilated area.
The United States Food and Drug Administration does not approve the use of helichrysum essential oil in the treatment of any ailments. Always seek medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional before using essential oils. Ingesting essential oil may cause negative side effects and should only be done under the careful supervision of a physician or a qualified aromatherapist. Always use the highest quality therapeutic grade essential oils to prevent side effects caused by fillers and additives.
Soothe Stress and Support Immune Function With Helichrysum Essential Oil
Helichrysum essential oil offers a floral bouquet fragrance that can help to boost relaxation and induce feelings of mental exhaustion. The oil also has mild antibacterial properties in lab tests that show it may help to boost immunity and fight infections. Add a few drops of this floral oil to your diffuser or mix it with a carrier oil and apply topically for a relaxing evening.