Essential Oil of the Day: Helichrysum

Latin Name: Helichrysum angustifolium DC or H italicum.

Family: Compositae/Asteraceae

Botany: A strongly aromatic shrub with many branched liked stems. The flowers are daisy like - as the flowers retain their colour and shape when dried they were given the name Everlasting/Immortelle. Native to France, Italy, and other Mediterranean countries.

Extraction: Steam-distilled from the flowering tops.

Characteristics: The essential oil is pale-yellow is a powerful sweet-fruity and tea-like odour. The scent has the ability to overwhelm a blend and can end up with an overpoweringly sweet, soda like, scent.

The name Helichrysum comes from the Greek word helios (sun) and chrysos(gold) because in full bloom the flowers look like a cluster of small golden suns.

Anti-inflammatory is the main therapeutic action for Helichrysum. Used to treat severe bruising and is a wonderful oil to add to rheumatoid arthritis blends. I use Helichrysum in my salt scrub as well my body oil as it helps with lymphatic drainage and detoxification as it is known to be a stimulant to the liver, gall bladder, kidneys, spleen and pancreas - the organs responsible for detoxifying the body.

Helichrysum can also be added to blends for sinus infections, bronchitis, and coughs as it is mucolytic and antispasmodic. I have successfully used helichrysum in blends for scarring - the blend was specially used for deep acne scarring and when used daily, in combination with lavender, rosewood, carrot seed, rose otto, jojoba and roseship seed oil, the client observed a decrease in the size and colour of the keloid scars.

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