Everlasting, Immortelle, Helichrysum, Curry plant
There are over 600 species of flowering plants in the sunflower family (Asteraceae). The type species is Helichrysum orientale. The name is derived from Greek words (helisso, to turn around) and (chrysos, gold).
It should be noted over 244 different species reside in South Africa, Madagascar, Australasia, and Eurasia.
Plant Part Used and Aroma
Helichrysum essential oil used in aromatherapy (commonly known as immortelle) is steam distilled from the helichrysum plant (flowering petals) growing often in the mountains of Corsica, France. The oil is pale yellow, with a rich aroma similar to maple, and a mild undertone resembling a cup of steeping tea.
My Introduction to Helichrysum
With a little imagination and some stretched geography one would think Rivendell Aromatics in Ojai, California
was in Provence, with all the rolling hills of lavender. Thankful and grateful for an invitation, my journey to Rivendell led me to my introduction to helichrysum. While showing me the lavender farm, her home, and amicable landscape, the owner Sandy Messori also picked some helichrysum and gave me some of the plant and essential oil for my travels back to Los Angeles. I always like to smell an essential oil before I read about it. That makes it organic. I remember being excited to read more about it, to touch it and to let it touch me, and to reminisce the sensation of movement much like the rhythm of my favorite black dress dancing in the evening wind. When I do workshops on essential oils, I always ask the attendees to open the bottle of essential oil, and write down their first impression of the oil that makes it more natural to the senses. Helichrysum is exquisite and powerful. The smell is redolent, somewhat like maple. After reading about it, the spirit of this oil certainly stands up to its meaning, “gold of the sun.”
In aromatherapy, Helichrysum italicum is the preferred essential oil for its effectiveness in skin care. Helichrysum is often used to prevent signs of aging and referred to as “The Everlasting Flower” because of its rejuvenating benefits for the skin and ability to improve the complexion instantly. The oil contains components that fight germs on the surface; therefore it helps skin stay clear and smooth. My skin has never looked better, a few drops in my hand with jojoba oil and my skin feels amazing. A mask of helichrysum essential oil and myrrh powder is my secret instant facelift. When it comes to skin care there is nothing like helichrysum and rose absolute, and what I find so valuable about both of these oils, is they both have feminine energy; nurturing the spirit, promoting inner calm, and they bring out natural beauty inside and out.
Research has found that helichrysum reduces muscle and joint pain by improving circulation and reduces inflammation and swelling. Its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties make it an effective pain reliever for symptoms of exercise-related injuries, and arthritis. Feeling stressed-out? Helichrysum with lavender oil can reduce emotional stress – mix this combination with a carrier oil such as jojoba oil, and it will improve your mood. Helichrysum is also thought to block UV-light damage and help relieve pain after sunburn. All around, you can’t go wrong with picking up a bottle of helichrysum.
Blends Well With
This warm, grounding bottom note blends well with rose, clary sage, geranium, lavender, and citrus oils, but helichrysum alone will certainly make your soul flutter.
12 drops of helichrysum essential oil
2 Tablespoon jojoba oil
1 Tablespoon of aloe vera gel
1 small 2 ounce glass bottle (amber or blue) with a dropper top
– Apply this mixture on the skin in the morning or at night. This serum will soothe and heal the skin at the same time.
Helichrysum splendidum (common name cape gold) occurs naturally in the summer rainfall areas of South Africa, from Swathberg and Outeniqua mountains in the south Cape through eastern Cape, KwaZula-Natal, Free State, Swaziland, Lesotho to tropical Africa.
It should be noted helichrysum is costly and well worth the price. You don’t need a lot of this oil,
so it will last a very long time. A 5-milliliter bottle (top quality) is about $70.00.
- Do not take any essential oils internally.
- Do not use essential oils undiluted on skin.
- Test diluted essential oils on skin area before general use.
- Use photosensitizing essential oils cautiously. (i.e. lemon, lime, grapefruit)
- Consult with a health practitioner before use if pregnant, nursing or suffering from any
medical condition, or taking medication.
- Keep essential oils out of reach of children
- Do not use essential oils internally.
- Less is more – don’t overuse essential oils.
Aromatherapy Thymes, Introducing Bergamot, Summer 2012