The Healing Help of Helichrysum

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We've all been there.  You're walking through the room and *WHAM!*  you just landed your hip right into the edge of the table.  Or you see a kid come flying around the corner, so excited that he doesn't seem to notice that wall before his head slams into it and he lets loose his infamous death scream.  Or you start chopping onions for dinner, but the onion juice has compromised your vision... aaaand now there's blood in the onions because you sliced your hand when you were blinking back the tears.

If that sounds at all familiar, then I think we might be related... I mean, skills of this caliber are genetic, right?  

But seriously, these everyday mishaps happen to the best of us.  And wouldn't it be nice if there was something you could just rub on that bruise or cut to make it go away faster?  And if there was something that wouldn't just help relieve the pain, but would actually regenerate the damaged skin and tissue?  Something that would assist the body in the rebuild process?

If you are nodding along, then this is your day!  I've got some good news for you.  You gotta check out this stellar wonder-oil called "Helichrysum."



Helichrysum is listed in The Basic Care Kit for Children as one of “the twelve most useful essential oils to have in the home.” (1)  The helichrysum plant has lots of different varieties, but only the honey-sweet smelling H. italicum is used to make essential oil.  The “Everlasting flowers”  that produce helichrysum essential oil are popular among floral arrangers, and the oil is sometimes used in soaps and cosmetics because of it's sweet aroma. (2)

Helichrysum is most active and gives the best therapeutic benefits when used in conjunction with other oils.  It blends well with chamomile, citrus oils, clary sage, clove, frankincense, geranium and lavender, to name a few.  It can be used in blends to treat acne, allergic reactions such as hives, and several other skin conditions. (3)



It is also non-toxic and safe to use even on sensitive skin, so it is awesome for kids!  Which is nice since they tend to get bumps and bruises more than the rest of us. ;-) (2)  Have you ever wondered what to use for your little one’s asthma, cough, bronchitis or even whooping cough?  Then you are going to want to go with helichrysum, lavender and mandarin!  (3)

Have achy joints or muscles?  Use helichrysum in a bath or as massage oil.  It may even relieve pain from arthritis and rheumatism.  95% eucalyptus with 5% helichrysum, diluted in carrier oil should do the trick.  

Looking for non-irritant skin-care?  Helichrysum has that covered too. (2)

Its anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antiseptic properties make it useful for all of these things and more.  Shock, phobia, lethargy and stress can also all be positively affected by this oil’s antidepressant qualities. (3)

But the thing helichrysum is probably most widely used for is its regenerative qualities.  It increases your body's ability to heal itself (2), earning the nickname "liquid stitching."  Because helichrysum is a cell regenerator that rejuvenates the skin (5), it is ideal for treating a broad spectrum of injuries and skin conditions. These range from minor things like small cuts and bruises, to more severe issues such as sprains and hematomas. (4)

If you have small wounds, like scratches or scrapes from shaving, you can use helichrysum to staunch the bleeding.  If you allow it to bleed for 30 seconds or so before applying the oil, it can help push unwanted dirt and bacteria out of the wound before it closes up.  Helichrysum is a strong hemostatic, and relatively non-irritant so it can be applied directly to the wound.  Only use this method for minor injuries though... if you have a deep cut or blood is spurting, you should probably seek medical help... let's not get crazy. ;-) 


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Here's a little guide for applying helichrysum essential oil to an open wound:

What you'll need: Helichrysum essential oil & Lavender essential oil

1.  Using a dropper, drip the helichrysum essential oil directly into the wound, using enough to cover the wound.  Do not rub.

2.  After the bleeding stops, using a dropper, drip the lavender essential oil over the helichrysum to help prevent infection.

3.  Repeat the application of the lavender essential oil 1 or 2 times a day until the wound heals. 

*If you don't have helichrysum on hand, you can substitute cypress oil in this recipe. (6)

Dropping this oil into a bleeding wound sanitizes the wound, speeds its closure, and effectively stops the pain.  Using it undiluted on wounds avoids bringing other, less suited substances, such as fatty base oils, into the wound.
— Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph.D.

Unless it is being used for open wounds, it is usually best to dilute Helichrysum italicum in a low concentration.  For muscle strains, bruises, hematomas, etc., use helichrysum in a base oil.  It is highly effective even at a low dilution ratio. (7)

Damaged tissue can be healed rapidly by this oil as it improves the skin's elasticity, which makes it super effective for getting rid of unwanted stretch marks.  If you can catch them early, you might be able to eliminate stretch marks entirely by just rubbing helichrysum on the affected area once a day. (8)  The University of Nigeria did a study that showed that even old scars and stretch marks can fade quite a bit using the same method. (4)

This info just scratches the surface of all that helichrysum can be used for.  But for now, I'll leave you with this handy pain-relief recipe. (9)

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  1. Worwood, Valerie.  Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child, pg. 33,35
  2. Davis, Patricia.  Aromatherapy An A-Z, pg. 140-141
  3. Purchon, Nerys and Cantele, Lora.  The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness, pg. 64
  4. Althea Press, Essential Oils The Complete A-Z Reference of Essential Oils for Health and Healing, pg. 338-339
  5. Price, Shirley and Len.  Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, pg. 212
  6. Althea Press, Essential Oils The Complete A-Z Reference of Essential Oils for Health and Healing, pg. 84
  7. Schnaubelt, Kurt, Ph.D.  The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy, pg. 152, 155
  8. Althea Press, Essential Oils The Complete A-Z Reference of Essential Oils for Health and Healing, pg. 248
Elyse Theriac