Helichrysum is one of the hydrosols I’ll turn to first for cases of bruising and inflammatory skin conditions. It is one of the hydrosols I always have on hand. I always seem to be moving around quickly, and quite often find a new bruise to admire. For simple knocks I’ll spray the areawith my Helichrysum Hydrosol, although I’ll turn to the essential oils for larger and more spectacular ones. It is also one of the hydrosols I like to use in my morning facial toner.
If you are interested in reading more about the essential oil there is my article Helichrysum, as well as the more recent blogs Helichrysum Reviewed and Research on Helichrysum. It is also one of the essential oils featured in the First Aid for Bruises and Protocol for Sprains. There is also a blog on Helichrysum Hydrosol.
Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Plant Description: An aromatic shrub with silver-grey lanceolate leaves and clusters of small bright-yellow flowers.
History/Folklore: The name helichrysum is said to be derived from the Greek words for sun (helios) and gold (chrysos) because the flowers resemble small golden suns. Its common name: Immortelle, or Life Everlasting, derives from the fact that the flowers do not wither. Perhaps for this reason, it was considered to have magical powers. It was once known as herba Jovis, meaning Jove’s herb (Jove is an alternate name for Jupiter, the Roman supreme god). The Roman historian Pliny reports that, during the time of Ptolemy’s rule, the Egyptians wove helichrysum flowers into floral crowns for various deities. Helichrysum flowers are still often included in Midsummer Day bouquets as a symbol of eternal love. When the plant is dried it keeps its shape and the flowers remain the same bright yellow.
Aroma and Taste: Suzanne Catty describes this as unusual. She says: “For some it is like honey on warm toast, for others, dusty old clothes!” She goes on to say that the flavor is strongly bitter, almost soapy with no hint of the sweetness evident in its scent.
Stability and Shelf Life: Stable – usually lasts around two years.
pH: 3.5 -3.8
Helichrysum hydrosol has analgesic, anticoagulant, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, calming, cicatrizant, digestive, expectorant, lipolytic, mucolytic, sedative and stimulant properties.
Jeanne Rose recommends using Helichrysum hydrosol for skin care. She says it heals and soothes irritations, depleted and inflamed conditions and is helpful in reducing scarring when used on fresh wounds. When used for mental care it can help soothe the heart.
Suzanne Catty recommends using this hydrosol applied in a compress for bangs and bumps or old aches. It has even brought subcutaneous bruises to the surface. Because of it’s powerful anti-inflammatory and mild analgesic properties, it is one of the hydrosols she recommends using in an ‘after sports’ rub. She also recommends this hydrosol for any surgery aftercare. It can help speed the healing of incisions and needle wounds, as well as reduce swelling and bruises.
Len and Shirley Price tell us that Viaud (1983) recommended using this hydrosol for diabetes, nervous depression and aerophagy, saying it is also a pulmonary depurative. According to their book, Understanding Hydrolats; Henri Viaud spent many years of his life distilling both essential oils and hydrolats and researching their effects; he was in the middle of writing a book when they visited him at his still and workshop in Provence. Sadly, he dies before the book was completed. (pg 94). Unfortunately, they don’t share any information on how he suggested this hydrosol should be used. A search on Google brings up information on a book written in French by him. Huiles essentielles, hydrolats, Viaud Henri, distillateur (ISBN 2‑901696‑33‑3, 1983‑Éditions Présence, Sisteron). I tried looking for this book, as well as for more information on how he might have used the hydrosols, but I wasn’t able to find anything more.
Suzanne Fischer-Rizzi recommends using a 50:50 spritzer of Helichrysum and Melissa Hydrosols for the treatment of herpes, saying it has been found to be very effective.
Lydia Bosson says, “It helps us to remain rooted in reality and overcomepsychological wounds. Blockages are not able to resist this master of energy purification….Treatment with this hydrosol is particularly useful for people who want to overcome a difficult childhood.”
In Dr. Bruce Berkowsky’s Spiritual PhytoEssencing, Helichrysum has the themes of clinging to life, the quest for immortality and the need to surrender to the natural order of the cycle of life and death. The turning wheel of the world. It can help to support a cancer patient’s will to live, well as supporting the deeper spiritual instinct of knowing when it is time to let go of life and move on to the next stage of existence.
You can view other posts written on individual hydrosols here.
Another general article on Floral Waters/Hydrosols/Hydrolats.
Reference Steffen Arctander, Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin, 1960 Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils ©1998-2018 Joseph Ben Hil-Meyer Research, Inc. Lydia Bosson, Hydrosol Therapy, a Handbook for Aromatherapists & Other Practitioners, Singing Dragon, 2019 Suzanne Catty, Hydrosols, The Next Aromatherapy, Healing Arts Press, 2001 Susanne Fischer-Rizzi, Das Grosse Buch der Pflanzenwaesser, Atverlag, 2020 Ernst Guenther, The Essential Oil, Vol V, 1948 reprinted 1972 Ann Harman, Harvest to Hydrosol, IAG Botanics LLC dba botanicals, 2015 Beverley Hawkins, Essential Oils and Carriers, Aromatherapy 101, Aromatherapy 201, Aromatherapy 301, 1999-2018 Amy Kreydin, Aromatic Waters, Therapeutic, Cosmetic, and Culinary Hydrosol Applications, The Barefoot Dragon, 2017 Bettina Malle & Helge Schmickl, The Essential Oil Maker’s Handbook, Spikehorn Press, 2012, 2015 Len and Shirley Price, Understanding Hydrolats Churchill Livingstone, 2004 Jeanne Rose, 374 Essential Oils and Hydrosols, Frog Ltd, 1999