Helichrysum – A Worthy Addition to Your Herbal Medicine Cabinet

Even though I have been using essential oils for over 20 years I only recently started collecting them for therapeutic use. Like many people (maybe even you) I dislike the side effects of most drugstore medications. I am not anti-prescription drugs or anti-western medicine but I am a huge believer that there are natural solutions available for the majority of what ails us.  I am not a doctor and I am not offering medical advice. Today, I would like to share my experience with one of my new favorite essential oils, Helichrysum.

You may have read in a prior post that I recently sprained my ankle trail running.  Even though it is considered a level 3 sprain, aside from the first day, I haven’t used over the counter anti-inflammatory or pain medication. My immediate instinct after the accident was to reach for an NSAID due to years of habit; however, as I was sitting on the couch with my leg elevated and ice on my ankle I remembered that I had recently purchased a set of essential oils for just this type of occasion. I had armed myself with a variety of oils so I would be prepared for a situation like this and for any other circumstance that arose with symptoms such as coughs, nasal congestion, headaches, cramps, etc.

Enter in Helichrysum… I did not think of using this oil on my own. In fact, I had not yet researched which oils to use when it was suggested to me by no fewer than four people to use Helichrysum on my ankle.  Helichrysum comes in a small bottle, 5ml, and I had not used it yet because I had considered it too precious to use on something as trivial as an ankle….  then  I remembered that my feet take me everywhere I want to go. The nagging discomfort wasn’t unbearable but I thought, “hey, just try a little bit and see if it actually makes a difference or not.” I added 2-3 drops of Helichrysum to fractionated coconut oil as a carrier oil and lightly massaged it directly onto the injury.  Within a few moments, my discomfort was gone.  Since then, I have used it sparingly whenever my ankle starts aching – sometimes with a few drops of Frankincense- and it has continued to relieve my physical symptoms. Based on my level of discomfort and the intensity of the injury I only apply the Helichrysum 2 -3 times per day. I typically use upon waking, after work and before bed. Some people don’t like the smell but I don’t mind it. I find it to be deep and earthy. I also used Lemongrass and Cypress to assist with inflammation and Lavender on the bruising and those oils all smell devine.

Most people have heard of Lavender, many have experienced the soothing effect of using this aromatic oil, but fewer people are familiar with Helichrysum. Therapeutic grade Helichrysum can be used topically, aromatically and internally. The oil is distilled from the flower using steam distillation. Recent studies suggest that the herbal infusions of the flower of the plant have more antioxidants than both green tea and rooibos. [1] Helichrysum is native to the Mediterranean and has been used historically as an antispasmodic in relation to the digestive and intestinal systems.  [2]

In addition, Helichrysum is primarily known for its recuperative benefits to the skin including helping to reduce the appearance of blemishes and wrinkles as well as promoting a healthy complexion. [3] Because the skin is our body’s largest organ, what we put on our skin can be significant to the overall health of our body; therefore, it is vital to use only therapeutic grade oils that have been thoroughly tested for quality.

How does Helichrysum work? According to the DoTerra science blog, “The biochemistry of Helichrysum essential oil is not similar to other plants in the region. Even among regions of the island of Corsica, the molecules can change according to whether the essential oil comes from the north, the center, or the south of the island. The most interesting molecules are Neryl Acetate (a terpenic ester) and the italidones I, II, III (terpenic ketones) as well as 60 other various and diverse molecules.”[4]

Have you used Helichrysum? Do you have any questions? Please comment below about your experience with this wonderful oil.

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[1] J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2017 Oct 25;145:593-603. doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2017.07.007. Epub 2017 Jul 18.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28787672

[2]See comment in PubMed Commons belowJ Ethnopharmacol. 2013 Dec 12;150(3):901-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2013.09.034. Epub 2013 Oct 16. Intestinal antispasmodic effects of Helichrysum italicum (Roth) Don ssp. italicum and chemical identification of the active ingredients.https://www.ncbi.nlm.gov/pubmed/24140587

[3] https://www.doterra.com/US/en/p/helichrysum-oil

[4] https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/science-research-news-chemistry-helichrysum-essential-oil and https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/spotlight-helichrysum-oil

 

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