When visiting the summertime Sequim Lavender Festival, I found more than just lavender – helichrysum was in bloom, too. Several farms grew both plants together in a good relationship. Although the smells are quite different, they complement each other and both belong in an aromatherapy medicine kit. I spoke about lavender before, so now I will discuss helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum).
Helichrysum, also known as everlasting for its blooms that keep forever without withering, is not my favorite smelling essential oil. In fact, the first time I took a whiff it made me nauseous. I’ve come to terms with its funky smell because it is a very potent and useful oil. It is used in a variety of skin conditions.
The oil, whose name comes from the Greek words for ‘sun’ and ‘gold,’ is seen in formulations for wrinkles and scars. Per Kurt Schnaubelt in his book Advanced Aromatherapy “Helichrysum italicum can give spectacular results for healing wounds or promoting the generation of new tissue. For this reason, everlasting oil often is used in regenerative skin care … It is especially effective when used together with rose hip seed oil.”
There have been studies done to confirm helichrysum’s other tissue healing properties. In one such study they concluded that “the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of the aerial part of Helichrysum italicum extracts have been established.” This explains why it can be used in just about any case of skin trauma or irritation.
A client came to me for assistance with a scar that wasn’t healing properly and was causing intense pain. For a year he had been trying many things but wasn’t getting better, so I prepared a blend for him. After using my preparation for a month, he reported that the pain reduced immediately and the scar was healed. The blend included several essential oils and base oils including helichrysum essential oil and rose hip seed oil. A simpler version is as follows:
4 drops frankincense (Boswellia carteri)
5 drops helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)
3 drops lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
1 ounce rose hip seed oil (Rosa canina)
The everlasting flowers of helichrysum make an essential oil you can reach for the next time you need a spectacular result with a skin problem.