History and Benefits of Helichrysum Italicum Essential Oil


Helichrysum

Helichrysum essential oil comes from the Helichrysum italicum plant, which is a member of the Asteraceae plant family, originating in the Mediterranean region. The plant is a small perennial herb with silver, hairy leaves and yellow, ball shaped flowers. It has been used for medicinal purposes for literally thousands of years, especially in countries such as Herzegovina, Bosnia, Turkey, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Helichrysum has a pungent, full bodied aroma that as been described as smelling, “herbal.” Because of its strength, its aroma can overpower more floral fragrances.

History

Historical information about helichrysum is scant, although the oil does appear to enjoy a history of medicinal and culinary usage in more than one culture.Helichrysum comes from the Greek term, “Helios,” which signifies the sun, and the word, “chrysos,” which means gold.

This refers to the bright color of the flowers. In Africa, it is called, “swewjaartjie,” which is based on the belief that the flower heads last “sewe” (seven) years (jaar).The essential oil of the helichrysum plant is extracted via steam distillation of the flower petals.

What is Steam Distillation?

Steam distillation is a specific type of a separation process or distillation that is used for temperature sensitive compounds, such as natural aromatic materials. At one time, it was used by scientists to purify organic compounds, but because of the invention of vacuum distillation, it is no longer used for this purpose.Extracting essential oils by steam distillation takes place three different ways:

  • Straight steam
  • Water distillation
  • Steam/water distillation

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Extracting essential oils using straight steam entails forcing steam through the plant material, then collecting the oil.

Water distillation is the method used when plant material is submerged into boiling water. The oils and steam are physically captured, then separated. Essential oils are the result.

The steam/water distillation method of essential oil extraction take place when water and steam are pushed through and around the plant material. As the oils and steam are collected, they are separated to produce the essential oil.

Uses for Helichrysum Essential Oil

Helichrysum essential oil can be effectively used in the following ways:

  • Antispasmodic
  • Anticoagulant
  • Antiallergenic
  • Anti-hemanic
  • ​Anti-plogiastic
  • ​Anti-inflammatory
  • ​Antitussive
  • ​Nervine
  • ​Febrifuge
  • ​Cicatrisant
  • Expectorant
  • Cholagogue
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antiseptic
  • Emollient
  • Mucolytic
  • Diuretic
  • Splenic
  • Soap Making
  • ​Cytophylactic
  • Hepatic
  • Fungicidal

According to Organic Facts, helichrysum essential oil can be used to both treat and prevent unwanted or excessive body contractions. In cases where people have high cholesterol and blood that is coagulated, it can be used as an anticoagulant to provide immediate relief by liquifying or thinning the blood.

As an anti-hematic, helichrysum essential oil can be used to clear accumulated blood, or blood clots, which appear as the aftermath of hemorrhaging. It works by simulating the enzymes produced by the body that melt away clots. It can also be used in case of an allergenic emergency.

Fever is a symptom that indicates when the immune system is combating an infection or unwanted substance. It accompanies viral infections, colds, baacterial infections and infections from wounds, biols, pox, arthritis or allergic reactions.

Helichrysum essential oil helps to both cure the root cause of the fever, but also works to reduce the fever itself.

As an anti-phlogistic, helichrysum oil can be used to reduce inflammation that sometimes results from a fever. It also helps combat the fatigue that is sometimes associated with fevers. Helichrysum's anti-inflammatory properties work to provide relief from inflammation due to a number of causes, including fever.

People who have a continuous cough can benefit by using helichrysum essential oil, because it is an antitussive. It works best on the types of coughs stimulated by phlegm found in the respiratory tract, as well as those coughs generated by an itchy sensation in the throat. The latter type of cough is caused by infections.

As an expectorant, the oil provides warmth to the respiratory system to loosen phlegm deposits, and prevents new phlegm from being deposited, providing relief from congestion that shows as a sign of illness or infection, or from continuous coughs.

Helichrysum essential oil can help keep the human nervous system in check by strengthening and protecting it from disorders. Its regular use can protect against the types of nervous disorders that occur as people age, and can help reduce anxiety and stress levels.

When cuts and wounds occur on the human body, helichrysum essential oil not only works to heal the wounds quickly. It also helps to heal scars. As an antimicrobial, the oil inhibits the growth of microbes, and protects the body against infection.

It works as an antiseptic to prevent wounds from becoming septic.

As a cholagogue, the essential oil of helichrysum helps neutralize stomach acids, and promotes the release of bile into the stomach. This works to promote digestion and to reduce the symptoms of acidosis.

People who have dry, itchy skin can help make it smooth by using helichrysum essential oil. Its emollient properties helps keep the skin soft and smooth as it helps it to retain moisture.

The oil prevents cracking of the skin and other symptoms of dehydration.

As a fungicidal, helichrysum oil prohibits fungal infections.

As a diuretic, helichrysum oil acts to facilitate urination, both in quantity and in frequency. This help remove toxic substances from the blood. It can also lower the blood pressure, help with weight loss, eliminate fat and aid in digestion. The oil also works as a splenic, to help keep the spleen healthy, and is especially beneficial for those suffering from anemia.

Cell health is enhanced through the use of helichrysum essential oil, which encourages the recycling of dead cells, and the stimulation of new cell production. As a hepatic, it soothes the liver, regulates its discharges, reduces inflammation and protects it from infections.

Helichrysum Essential Oil is often blended with the Following Oils:

  • Ylang Ylang
  • Geranium
  • Petit Grain
  • Sage
  • Rose
  • Neroli
  • Lavender
  • Orange

Allergens and Precautions

There have been no effects concerning Helichrysum essential oil's toxicity or irritating effects. However, since it is an anticoagulant, people who risk chances of internal hemorrhaging (surgery patients) should avoid its use.

People who have a continuous cough can benefit by using helichrysum essential oil, because it is an antitussive. It works best on the types of coughs stimulated by phlegm found in the respiratory tract, as well as those coughs generated by an itchy sensation in the throat…

What Blends Well With Eucalyptus Essential Oil


Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus​ comes from tall evergreen trees, called Eucalyptus radiata, also called Tasmanian Blue Gum Trees, are native to Australia. These trees are the primary food source of koala bears. The primary chemical components of the oil are alpha-terpineol, and eucalyptol. These components make eucalyptus essential oil the ideal oil to promote clear breathing and to open airways. It is also used to create soothing massage experiences.

Eucalyptus is known for its strong, pleasant aroma, and for its purifying properties that can be beneficial for cleansing surfaces and the air, and also for treating skin ailments. 

The Aborigines have used eucalyptus, otherwise known as “kino,” for centuries, to heal most wounds. Studies have shown that Eucalyptus is also effective in helping people relax and relieve tension. Among its many uses, eucalyptus oil can be found in mouth washes used to freshen breath and to promote good oral health.

History

The first noted botanical collections of eucalyptus was historically recorded to have been made by Joseph Banks, Daniel Solander, and James Cook at Botany Bay, New south Wales, Australia, in 1770. Between 1788 and the start of the 19th century, a number of other species of Eucalyptus were named and published by botanist James Smith. 

Today, the eucalyptus oil industry remains an important part of Australian history. It started in 1852, and by the turn of the century was already well established. During the next half century the Australian industry was the major supplier of eucalyptus oil to all major world markets. The production of eucalyptus essential oil has the potential to be both an important rural industry and an interesting tourist attraction.
Today, eucalyptus, ranging from the dwarfed forms, called, “Mallees” to the largest trees, which can be found in Australia's mountainous and coastal regions are classified into more than 600 species. Eucalyptus trees are considered valuable sources of hardwood, as well as valued for their oil. It is distilled using the steam distillation method.

Distillation of Eucalyptus Essential Oil

It takes as much as twelve pounds of eucalyptus twigs and leaves to produce a 50m bottle of eucalyptus essential oil. After harvest, the material is placed into mobile stills and sealed with distillery lids, which are clamped on to assure a proper seal. Steam is connected at the base of the stills, which is used to vaporize the oil.

After being transferred to modern stainless steel condensers, the vapors are condensed into a mixture of water and oil. This mixture is collected and separated. Since the oil of eucalyptus is lighter than water, it floats to the top and is decanted off. The oil yield, on average, is approximately 1% of the harvested materials.


The last step in the distillation process is a re-distillation process that removed impurities and results in an entirely natural, organic product. There is no need for artificial flavorings, aromas or additives, and no pesticides or fertilizers are used in the oil's manufacture. 

Uses for Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Originally referred by to as “eucalyptol” by scientists, the health benefits of eucalyptus oil come from an organic compound called, “cineole”, which has widespread medicinal effects. According to Dr. Axe, of Food is Medicine, eucalyptus essential oil can be used for the following purposes:

  • Flu and colds
  • Nourishment for hair
  • Hand cleaner
  • Treatment of allergies and sinus infections
  • all-natural cleaning products
  • Odor remover
  • Air cleanser
  • Treatment of respiratory problems
  • Treatment of wounds
  • Soap making

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According to Dr. Axe, eucalyptus essential oil can be used as an expectorant to help cleanse the body of harmful microorganisms and toxins.

A few drops mixed with a carrier oil also acts as an excellent moisturizer for the hair, which effectively treats dandruff and itchy scalp. It can also be used to treat lice, if chemical treatments are found to be undesirable.

Eucalyptus essential oil is excellent for removing grease and grimes from hands and feet, and can help rejuvenate them when mixed into an epsom salt bath.

According to research conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center, eucalyptus oil is effective in the treatment of coughs and colds, plaque and gum disease. Further research, conducted by Salari, et al, (2006), found eucalyptus effective for the treatment of respiratory tract disorders.

Natural Living Ideas reports that Eucalyptus Oil is an anti-microbial, which makes it perfect for preventing the spread of viral and bacterial infections. It also works well for general cleaning purposes to clean countertops, floors, cabinets, bathroom fixtures, pet areas, diaper pails and more.In its list of beneficial uses for eucalyptus essential oil, the online medical publication, Healthline, mentions using the oil to clear the chest, to silence a cough, as an insect repellent, to disinfect wounds, to treat asthma and sinusitis, to control blood sugar as a potential treatment for diabetes, to soothe cold sores, to freshen the breath and to ease joint pain.

Healthline further notes that many best selling, over-the- counter creams that are used to soothe pain from conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis contain eucalyptus essential oil. It works by reducing the inflammation and pain that are associated with many related conditions. It is also used for people who experiene back pain, although one should consult a doctor prior to using it.

Eucalyptus essential oil is often blended with the following oils:

  • Chamomile
  • Cedarwood
  • Cypress
  • Geranium
  • Thyme
  • Pine
  • Rosemary
  • Grapefruit
  • Ginger
  • Lavender
  • Juniper
  • Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Marjoram

Allergic Reactions and Precautions

People who have skin sensitivity should avoid using eucalyptus essential oil, and it should be kept out of reach of children. Consult a physician before use if you are under a doctor's care, are pregnant or nursing.  Avoid contact with sensitive body areas, the eyes and inner ears. Do not use internally.

The Aborigines have used eucalyptus, otherwise known as “kino,” for centuries, to heal most wounds. Studies have shown that Eucalyptus is also effective in helping people relax and relieve tension. Among its many uses, eucalyptus oil can be found in mouth washes used to freshen breath and to promote good oral health.