Helichrysum italicum is a flowering plant of the daisy family Asteraceae. It is sometimes called the curry plant because of the scent of its leaves. It grows on dry, rocky or sandy ground around the Mediterranean. The stems are woody at the base and can reach 60 cm or more in height. The clusters of yellow flowers are produced in summer, they retain their color after picking and are used in dried flower arrangements.
The plant produces an oil from its blossoms which is used for medicinal purposes. It is anti-inflammatory, fungicidal and astringent. It soothes burns and raw chapped skin, and is used as a fixative in perfumes as it has an intense fragrance.
- Skin – May be used for scars, acne, wrinkles, bruises, burns, hives, eczema and psoriasis.
- Candida – is often considered the root cause of persistent fatigue and digestive problems, the unique compounds of Helichrysum (terpenoids, phloroglucinols and acetophenones) demonstrated antifungal effects against candida in various clinical studies.
- Tinnitus – Also known as ringing in the ears, may be alleviated by regular use of Helichrysum (see “How to Use” below).
- Heart Health – A study published in Cardiovascular Journal of Africa in 2008 suggests that the hypotensive effect of Helichrysum improved blood vessel function by lowering high blood pressure, increasing smooth muscle function, and reducing inflammation.
- Liver – Helichrysum has been used for liver detoxification and stimulation for centuries. Excellent for helping to cleanse the body of heavy metals and other toxins.
- Digestive Health – Used for the release of bile, thereby improving digestion and, used to decrease gut swelling, digestive pain and cramping.
- Immune Booster – Studies have found that the phloroclucinols and flavonoids in Helichrysum oil can inhibit harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi which makes it useful for respiratory conditions such as colds, coughs, asthma, sinusitis and bronchitis.
- Pain Relief – used to reduce muscle, joint and nerve pain by improving circulation and lowering inflammation and swelling. Ideal for fibromyalgia and arthritis.
- Multiple Sclerosis – Used to provide support of the neurological system, and to potentially alleviate symptoms of multiple sclerosis such as loss of balance, deep fatigue, impaired speech and numbness or weakness of the limbs.
- Wounds, Scrapes – Helichrysum oil aids to both protect and regenerate skin cells which can help reduce the appearance of scars. In addition, Helichrysum oil helps blood flow. It is imperative that blood flow to the wound as quickly as possible in order to begin the healing process.
How to Use
- For the skin, Helichrysum works best when combined with coconut oil, apply to the skin for relief or protection.
- Tinnitus – dilute equal parts of Helichrysum and Juniper Berry with a carrier oil and massage the outside of the ear. Regular application may help to restrict blood vessels that press on nerves, which is one possible cause of tinnitus. (Dilution is one part essential oils to 2 parts of carrier oil).
- Reduce Pain and Stress – Combine a few drops of Helichrysum with Lavender and massage onto the back of the neck and affected areas. If you find your skin is sensitive, then combine the blend with a carrier oil.
- Bath – Add 5 – 10 drops with 1 cup of milk (the milk helps to disperse the oil) to a warm bath and soak.
- Massage – Add 8 – 10 drops of oil per 1 ounce of carrier oil, massage onto affected areas.
- Inhalation – Use in your Ultrasonic Diffuser, inhale from the bottle or cloth, or add to a mister bottle of water and spritz on the body, linen etc.
Pain Relief Recipe:
- 10 drops of Lavender essential oil
- 10 drops of Helichrysum essential oil
- 1/2 cup of coconut or other carrier oil
Mix all ingredients together and massage onto painful areas. Once finished, with the mixture, pour into a jar or bottle and store in a cool dark place.
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