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Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)


Helichrysum italicum

Helichrysum is a member of the Asteraceae family. There are more than three hundred herbaceous or shrub species. The yellow flowers dry and keep a beautiful appearance for a long time, which leads to the name of helichrysum combining sun (helios) and gold (chrysos).
It is found all over the Mediterranean area, especially in Spain, Italy and Corsica. Helichrysum italicum should not be confused with its different sisters from Italy, the Balkans or Madagascar.

Main aromatic molecules: Terpene esters including neryl acetate, sesquiterpenes (γ-curcumene), β-diones (italidiones), monoterpenols (nerol).
Family: Asteraceae.
Producing organs: Flowering tops.
Yield: 200g of essential oil per 100kg of plants.
Equivalence: 1ml → 32 drops (dosage calculated for a calibrated dropper European Pharmacopoeia)

  • Bath Bath
  • Skin application Skin application
  • Respiratory route Respiratory route

Main properties

Essential oil of helichrysum is the most potent anti-haematoma known. Ensuring the health and beauty of the skin, it treats those who wish that the traces of plastic or cosmetic surgery, acne rosacea and fissures disappear as quickly as possible. It regularises circulation disorders, phlebitis, varicose veins and haemorrhoids. As effective against the bruising of the soul as those of the body, it helps control resentment and anger.

Find all the virtues and uses of essential oils in our tips section.


Bruising, lump
Apply gently 2 to 3 drops of pure helichrysum on the bruise and repeat the application two to three times every ten minutes. For children, dilute the mixture with equal parts of arnica carried oil.

Mix 2 drop of essential oil of helichrysum in 20 drops of wheat germ or St. John's wort oil. Massage the areas concerned.

Skin disorders: acne rosacea, fissures, plastic or cosmetic surgery recovery.
Apply 2 or 3 drops of essential oil of helichrysum on injured or infected skin, pure on a small surface or diluted in 20 or 30 drops of essential oil of arnica if the surface is larger.


In Corsica, the harvest of the best quality helichrysum, muredda in Corsican, takes place in July-August. A tooth sickle is still used sometimes, and the precious flowers are transported in jute tarpaulins.


The intense and intoxicating scent, between hay and honey, is characteristic of the Corsican scrub land.


One tonne of flowering tops of Helichrysum italicum gives less than two litres of essential oil with a yield of only 0.2%.


Helichrysum italicum is the only plant containing neryl acetate (23%), which provides it with all the properties absent in the other species. Its active ingredients are principally sesquiterpenes, monoterpenols, double ketones, diones (7% to 14%) as well as ketones (1.5% to 3%).

Precautions for use

Essential oil of helichrysum contains ketones which may be neurotoxic and abortive. It should only used sparingly and with caution, on prescription by a specialist.

Do not use in: pregnant or breast-feeding women, children under the age of six years, persons allergic to one of the components (limonene), subjects with asthma without the advice of an allergologist before the first use. in case of anticoagulant treatment, abundant menstruation or in haemophiliacs.


Helichrysum stoechas.

The long lasting radiant beauty of helichrysum, impressed the Greeks so much that they crowned the images and statues of Apollo with it. The plant symbolised love. This is why in an ode by Theocritus, a chivalrous goat keeper gives his beloved a "branch of ivy strewn with helichrysum flowers". This is also why the solar gold of the everlasting was used for a long time to make bridal flower crowns. The ancients used the plant in a decoction to clear respiratory tract, and assigned it diuretic properties. However, they praised specially for its capacity to heal wounds and cure injuries that were frequently provoked by sword and sling fights! Nowadays, essential oil of everlasting, an incredibly effective extremely fast acting anti-haematoma, has traded the battle fields for gymnasiums, where it is referred to as "boxer's oil" and playgrounds where it erases bruises and treats minor injuries.


Extracts from the book 'Aromatherapia - All about essential oils', by Isabelle Pacchioni, watercolors by Patrick MORIN, Aroma Thera Editions . Extracts from the book '41 essential oils essential for treating yourself differently' and '48 essential oils which every home needs to be healthy' by Isabelle Delaleu and Isabelle Pacchioni, Publications of the Mandadori France group. Botanical illustrations by Agathe Haevermans.

The properties, benefits and method of use are given for information; they cannot in any case constitute or replace medical information that only health professionals can provide. For any use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes, please consult your GP or pharmacist.
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