Family: Asteraceae (Compositae – daisy family)
Latin Binomial: Helichrysum italicum
Synonyms: Helichrysum angustifolium
Other Species: Helichrysum bracteiferum, Helichrysum gymnocephalum
Common Names: Everlasting, immortelle, curry plant, Elicriso, St. John’s Herb (different from St. John’s Wort)
Source of Extraction:
Helichrysum italicum essential oil is extracted through steam distillation of the flowers and flower tops. An absolute (and concrete) is also derived from the plant through solvent extraction.
Type: An essential oil and absolute is extracted from the plant.
Substitute Essential Oils: Possible substitutes of helichrysum italicum essential oil includes frankincense, cistus, and cypress
Aroma Intensity: Medium
Perfumery Note: Heart to Base (Medium-Base)
Aroma Description: Sweet, honey-like aroma. Helichrysum italicum essential oil wears a woody-earthy richness. It’s also warm and dry, with a floral, tea-like fragrance.
Ideal Blends: Helichrysum italicum essential oil blends well with German and Roman Chamomile, lavender, bergamot, clary sage, mimosa, geranium, vetiver, ylang-ylang, cypress, frankincense, clove, Peru balsam, sweet orange, grapefruit.
Reported Therapeutic Properties/Benefits of Helichrysum Italicum Essential Oil
- Mental exhaustion & slight burnout
- Reduces skin inflammation
- Effective in killing some bacteria and fungi, namely Candida albicans
- Strong potential as a wound healing and bruising agent (especially the absolute)
- May aid skin regeneration in scars after surgery
- Possibly antiaging
- May contain antioxidant properties
- Toxic against the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus larvae)
- Exhibits insect repellent action against the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes Aegypti).
- May provide relief in those with contact dermatitis, especially as a study showed that it inhibited “contact dermatitis in different animal models” (Sala, 2001; Ríoset al., 2005).
Activities of Helichrysum Italicum Essential Oil:
Helichrysum italicum essential oil is said to be:
- Antimicrobial (antifungal & anti-bacterial)
- Skin regenerator (collagen stimulant)
- Dermal restorative
Key Chemical Compounds of Helichrysum Italicum Essential Oil
Major chemical compounds found in helichrysum italicum essential oil includes nerol, neryl acetate, α–Cedrene, Geranyl acetate, α-Curcumene, Limonene, α-Pinene, geraniol
Associated Hazard: No known hazard associated with helichrysum italicum essential oil. The oil is said to be non-irritating and non-toxic. In fact, research suggests that helichrysum italicum essential oil is well-tolerated, even after extensive use.
Topical Maximum Use: Helichrysum italicum essential oil did not show genotoxic reaction when used up to 0.3% (Idaomar et al., 2002). Tisserand & Young suggest using the essential oil at a dermal maximum of 0.5% (Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals)
Safety Notes: There’s not enough research to suggests that helichrysum italicum essential oil cannot be used in individuals with certain comorbidities or may interact with certain drugs.