Healing with Helichrysum Essential Oil

Benefits of this aromatherapy oil, sourced from a plant in the sunflower family

helichrysum plant
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Helichrysum essential oil, also known as Immortelle, is a type of essential oil commonly used in aromatherapy. Sourced from a plant in the sunflower family, helichrysum essential oil is touted for the healing effects of its fragrant compounds.

Why Do People Use Helichrysum Essential Oil?

When used in aromatherapy, the scent of helichrysum essential oil is said to fight conditions such as allergies, arthritis, eczema, and anxiety.

In addition, helichrysum is said to reduce inflammation, promote the healing of wounds and burns, stimulate digestion, boost the immune system, and soothe body and mind.

Does Helichrysum Essential Oil Really Offer Benefits?

Despite its long history of use, the research on essential oils is often limited and helichrysum oil is no exception. However, there's some early research suggesting that helichrysum essential oil may offer benefits.

For instance, a 2012 study published in Natural Product Communications found that helichrysum essential oil may possess antibacterial and antifungal properties. However, due to the lack of clinical trials testing the effects of helichrysum essential oil, it's too soon to recommend this oil in the treatment of bacterial or fungal infections.

In a small pilot study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2013, researchers determined that a mixture of peppermint, basil, and helichrysum essential oils was more effective than a placebo at reducing the perceived level of mental fatigue and burnout.

How Is the Oil Typically Used?

Whether you are interested in learning how to use essential oils at home or would like to get an aromatherapy treatment, there are a couple of options:

  • Topical application. When a very small amount is combined with a carrier oil (such as jojoba, sweet almond, or avocado oil), helichrysum essential oil can be applied to the skin during a massage or added to baths.
  • Inhalation. Helichrysum essential oil also can be inhaled after sprinkling a drop of the oil onto a cloth or tissue (or by using an aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer).

According to aromatherapists, helichrysum essential oil blends well with a number of other essential oils like bergamot, chamomile, lavender, rose, and tea tree oils.

Helichrysum essential oil should not be ingested or taken internally.

Possible Side Effects and Safety

As with all essential oils, helichrysum essential oil is potent and shouldn't be used undiluted or in large amounts on your skin. Be sure to dilute the oil in a carrier oil before using it to avoid skin irritation, inflammation, and toxicity (the oils are absorbed through the skin).

You should also do a skin patch test on a small area before using it topically. Some oils can cause allergic skin reactions, which may be caused by allergies to the flower or to other ingredients and additives in the oil. If you experience itchiness, rashes, or red areas, don't use it.

While brief periods of aromatherapy may be helpful, avoid long exposures (over an hour) to essential oils. If mixing essential oils at home, make sure you're in a well-ventilated area.

If you're pregnant, consult your health care provider before using essential oils.

Where To Find Helichrysum Essential Oil

Widely available for purchase online, helichrysum essential oil is sold in many natural-foods stores and in stores specializing in self-care products.

The Takeaway

Although helichrysum essential oil may have some intriguing effects on the body and mind, there isn't enough research to support its use as a primary treatment for any condition. While it may not be a first-lime treatment, the soothing scent might still be helpful when used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Just remember that a little goes a long way, and the oil should always be used sparingly and diluted in a carrier oil.

In addition to helichrysum, several other types of essential oils have been found to offer certain benefits. For example, lavender essential oil may help reduce anxiety and relieve insomnia, while rose essential oil may ease menstrual cramps and reduce stress. In addition, both orange essential oil and lemon essential oil may help enhance mood.

Sources:

Oji KA, Shafaghat A. Constituents and antimicrobial activity of the essential oils from flower, leaf and stem of Helichrysum armenium. Nat Prod Commun. 2012 May;7(5):671-4.

Varney E, Buckle J. Effect of inhaled essential oils on mental exhaustion and moderate burnout: a small pilot study. J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Jan;19(1):69-71. doi: 10.1089/acm.2012.0089. Epub 2012 Nov 9.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

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