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Helichrysum "Immortelle"

 Like so many others I enjoy seeing so many beautiful flowers. I always appreciated their beauty without really knowing there was so much more to them until I started studying holistic medicine. Even traditional medicine uses plants to produce medications.

 

Helichrysum has over six hundred different species from all over the world but it is native to the Mediterranean area. It has been used to treat several conditions such as digestive, respiratory, heart and nervous conditions. It’s even used for treating infections and wound care. Currently, it is considered to have age-reversing capabilities.

 

Helichrysum’s combination of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory power is that it’s rich in antioxidants at very low concentrations. This is important because out of two hundred forty-eight essential oils tested only seventeen have this amount concentration.

 

Throughout history, this flower was often called “immortelle” or “everlasting” due to its “fountain of youth” capabilities.  Calling Helichrysum the fountain of youth wasn’t just about appearance but the whole aging process.

 

So how does helichrysum benefit us? We know that oxidative stress (cellular breakdown) is due to free radicals damaging our bodies. This brings on cancer, heart disease, loss of collagen and so forth. When our body produces enough antioxidants the breakdown is halted and the cells are able to be repaired. Not only for skin health but the organs throughout your entire body.

 

Here is what research has found helichrysum essential oil was able to do. In 2001, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents reported that the terpenes and flavonoids in helichrysum were effective against fungus and bacteria that delayed healing wounds, skin infections, and rashes. It’s believed to be able to block out UV-light that can lead to skin cancer and relieve sunburn pain. It works on bruises, scars, wrinkles, burns, psoriasis, eczema, hives, sunburns, etc. To use on the skin you must use a carrier oil such as coconut.

 

In 2000, the Journal of Ethnopharmacology published how helichrysums’ antioxidant properties protect the liver with detoxifying and choleretic effects. It’s commonly used as a liver disease treatment and cleanses the body from heavy metals and other toxins.

 

In 2008, the Cardiovascular Journal of Africa published that the hypotensive effect of helichrysum essential oil lowered blood pressure, increased smooth muscle function and reduced inflammation. With these cardiovascular effects, it supports heart conditions such as hypertension.

 

In 2009, the journal of Cytotechnology published that helichrysum may protect against cancerous tumor growth, cell mutation, and death as well as radiation-induced damage in both human and animal studies.

 

In 2013, the Journal of Ethnopharmacology reported the antispasmodic effects of helichrysum inside of an inflamed digestive system decreased gut swelling, digestive pain, and cramping.

 

In 2014, the Journal of Ethnopharmacology also reported the terpenoids, phloroglucinols, and acetophenones found in helichrysum oil established antifungal effects against candida overgrowth in several studies. Candida albicans is thought to be the root cause of persistent fatigue and digestive issues that affect many people daily.

 

There have been many other studies that prove helichrysum oil aids with weight loss, kidney stones, multiple sclerosis, emotional stress, acne, tinnitus, varicose veins, boost the immune system and much more.

 Helichrysum can be inhaled directly or through a diffuser or even added to your bath water. When applied to the skin it should always be diluted with a carrier oil or in a salve. Essential oils of any kind should never be ingested unless under the care of a physician.

 

Helichrysum also has anticoagulant properties and should not be used by those who have undergone surgery or are at risk of internal hemorrhaging or have bleeding disorders. Always seek professional advice when using essential oils just as you would any other pharmaceutical.

 

To learn more about Helichrysum and the studies mentioned above please check out these references below:

http://ghqscul.ishib.org/ED/journal/20-1s1/ethn-20-01s1-78.pdf

http://www.ijaaonline.com/article/S0924-8579(01)00336-3/abstract

http://www.academia.edu/14403143/In_vitro_antioxidant_properties_of_Helichrysum_arenarium_L._Moench

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18997985

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18997985

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874113006818

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S037887411300799X

 

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