Immortelle (Helichrysum italicum)

Immortelle, Helichrysum arenarium.jpg

First time I heard about Immortelle during my trip to Provence at the L’Occetane factory’s Museum - the had new products line presentation that days with main active ingredient as Immortelle essential oil. All products were presented as anti-aging, hypoallergenic, tonic, skin repairer regenerator.

Helichrysum is native to Mediterranean region, especially the eastern part of North Africa. At present time cultivated in Italy, Spain, Croatia and France. 

 

There are several species are used for essential oil, including Helichrysum stoechas, Helichrysum orientale, and most popular Helichrysum italicum. It is perennial plant, growing to 0,5 m hight with evergreen silvery-green foliage, flowering from July to August with small bright yellow flower heads in domes clusters, which color is staying same even after harvesting giving its name as everlasting. 

 

Immortelle prefers neutral PH (6,5-7), sandy, loamy soil with good drainage, full sun, tolerates strong winds, but doesn’t like maritime (salty) breeze drought resistant. 

Can be grown from seeds and cuttings, preferably from cutting for commercial use. Propagated by rooting semi-hardwood cuttings in summer or during winter in frost-protected place, rooting within 4 weeks.  Generally pest free, in wet climate prone to powdery mildews.

 

Flowers after harvested during August, and helichrysum oil is extracted from dried and freshly harvested flowering head clusters by steam distillation. 

 

Helichrysum oil is pale yellow to red oily liquid with strong, straw like, fruity with honey-like scent with delicate tea-like undertone. The main chemical components of the helichrysum oil is enroll and nearly acetate (30-50%), geraniol, pinene, linalol, isovaleric aldehyde, sesquiterpenes, furfural, eugenol, camphene, cineole, terpinen-4-ol, among others.

 

Aromatherapy uses:

Skin Care: abscess, acne, allergic reactions, burns, cuts, dermatitis, eczema, inflammation, spots, wound etc.

Circulation, Muscles and Joints: muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, sprains, strained muscles.

Respiratory System: Asthma, bronchitis, chronic coughs, whooping cough.

Digestive System: Liver congestion, spleen congestion.

Immune System: Bacterial infections, colds, flu, fever.

Nervous System: Depression, debility, lethargy, neuralgia, stress-related conditions.

 

Main actions of the Helichrysum Essential Oil:

  • anti-allergic,

  • anti-inflammatory,

  • antimicrobial,

  • antitussive,

  • antiseptic,

  • astringent,

  • diuretic,

  • expectorant,

  • fungicidal,

  • hepatic,

  • nervine.