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Helichrysum Essential Oil

Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects & More

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Updated August 02, 2013

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Helichrysum essential oil is a type of essential oil commonly used in aromatherapy. Sourced from a plant in the sunflower family, helichrysum essential oil is said to offer a variety of health benefits.

Helichrysum essential oil is sometimes referred to as "immortelle."

Health Benefits of Helichrysum Essential Oil:

Despite its long history of use in aromatherapy, helichrysum essential oil and its health effects have been tested in very few scientific studies.

Still, some preliminary research suggests that helichrysum essential oil may offer certain health benefits. For instance, a 2012 study published in Natural Product Communications found that helichrysum essential oil may possess antibacterial and antifungal properties. However, due to the lack of clinical trials testing the effects of helichrysum essential oil, it's too soon to recommend this oil in treatment of bacterial or fungal infections.

Several other preliminary studies indicate that helichrysum essential oil may offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Uses for Helichrysum Essential Oil

Helichrysum essential oil is typically used to treat the following conditions:

In addition, helichrysum is said to reduce inflammation, promote the healing of wounds and burns, stimulate digestion, promote detox, boost the immune system, reverse signs of aging in the skin, and fight fungal infections.

How To Use Helichrysum Essential Oil

When combined with a carrier oil (such as jojoba, sweet almond, or avocado), helichrysum essential oil can be applied directly to the skin or added to baths.

Helichrysum essential oil also can be inhaled after sprinkling a few drops of the oil onto a cloth or tissue (or by using an aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer).

According to aromatherapists, helichrysum essential oil blends well with a number of other essential oils (including bergamot, chamomile, lavender, rose, and tea tree oils).

Please note that helichrysum essential oil should not be taken internally without the supervision of a health professional.

Safety

Although there are no known safety concerns or side effects associated with aromatherapeutic use of helichrysum essential oil, it's crucial to note that helichrysum essential oil can be toxic when used internally.

Essential oils should be diluted in a carrier oil before being used topically. When using essential oils, there is always the risk of contact sensitivity. A skin patch test is recommended prior to using any new essential oil.

Pregnant women and children should consult their primary health care providers prior to using essential oils.

Alternative Essential Oils

Although there is currently a lack of scientific support for the health effects of helichrysum essential oil, several other types of essential oils have been found to offer certain health benefits.

For example, lavender essential oil may help alleviate anxiety and relieve insomnia, while rose essential oil may ease menstrual cramps and reduce stress. In addition, both orange essential oil and lemon essential oil may help enhance mood.

Where To Find Helichrysum Essential Oil

Widely available for purchase online, helichrysum essential oil is sold in many natural-foods stores and in stores specializing in self-care products.

Sources

Afoulous S, Ferhout H, Raoelison EG, Valentin A, Moukarzel B, Couderc F, Bouajila J. "Helichrysum gymnocephalum essential oil: chemical composition and cytotoxic, antimalarial and antioxidant activities, attribution of the activity origin by correlations." Molecules. 2011 Sep 29;16(10):8273-91. doi: 10.3390/molecules16108273.

Bougatsos C, Ngassapa O, Runyoro DK, Chinou IB. "Chemical composition and in vitro antimicrobial activity of the essential oils of two Helichrysum species from Tanzania." Z Naturforsch C. 2004 May-Jun;59(5-6):368-72.

Chalchat JC, Ozcan MM. "Composition of the essential oil of Helichrysum chasmolycicum growing wild in Turkey." J Med Food. 2006 Summer;9(2):287-9.

Formisano C, Mignola E, Rigano D, Senatore F, Arnold NA, Bruno M, Rosselli S. "Constituents of leaves and flowers essential oils of Helichrysum pallasii (Spreng.) Ledeb. growing wild in Lebanon." J Med Food. 2009 Feb;12(1):203-7. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2008.0103.

Lourens AC, Reddy D, Başer KH, Viljoen AM, Van Vuuren SF. "In vitro biological activity and essential oil composition of four indigenous South African Helichrysum species." J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Dec;95(2-3):253-8.

Oji KA, Shafaghat A. "Constituents and antimicrobial activity of the essential oils from flower, leaf and stem of Helichrysum armenium." Nat Prod Commun. 2012 May;7(5):671-4.

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