Commonly nicknamed immortal , because its wonderful flowers, even once picked, do not wither, the helichrysum ( Helichrysum italicum ) is a plant native to the Mediterranean basin.
Its name derives from the Greek which means “sun” and “golden”, always in reference to its pretty flowers that adorn it with many small suns.
In addition to being very beautiful and fragrant, the flowers of the helichrysum are a concentrate of active ingredients and essential oils that are beneficial for our body and in particular for our skin .
One of the most effective ways to exploit the properties of these flowers is through the preparation and use of the oleolite .
What is helichrysum oil?
Helichrysum oleolite is a herbal preparation which is obtained by letting the helichrysum flowers soak in a cold maceration for a certain period of time in a solvent composed of vegetable oil. Sunflower oil is generally used, but any other type of vegetable oil is fine.
Through this procedure the vegetable oil absorbs the fat-soluble active ingredients of the plant, becoming in fact a medicinal oil.
This oleolite has numerous properties and benefits. Let’s see which ones.
Properties and benefits of helichrysum oil
Helichrysum contains active ingredients such as: flavonoids, essential oil (mainly composed of eugenol, nerol, neryl acetate and gerianiol), triterpenes, phytosterols, tannins, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid
The oleolite prepared with helichrysum flowers boasts anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, soothing, decongestant, anti-erythematous properties . For this reason it is an extremely useful natural remedy in many dermatological disorders.
Here are some of its main uses:
- Sun protection: the presence of flavonoids gives the helichrysum oleolyte photo protective properties; in fact, it provides minimal protection from ultraviolet rays, allowing to prevent damage caused by long exposure to the sun, such as erythema and burns. In addition, the helichrysum oil improves your tan!
- Reactivates circulation : thanks to its ability to reactivate blood circulation, helichrysum oil is highly recommended as a treatment for chilblains on the hands and feet, but also for problems such as fragile capillaries and varicose veins.
- Skin irritation of various kinds : helichrysum oil is a natural remedy indicated for the treatment of inflammations and irritations that affect the skin and which can be caused by various factors; in particular, natural medicine considers it effective as an adjunct in the treatment of psoriasis, but also of eczema, herpes, skin rash due to allergic reactions, hives, dermatitis, sunburn and in all those situations in which the skin is particularly red or itchy .
- Natural antiallergic : one of the peculiarities of helichrysum is that of possessing antihistamine properties, so it can be very useful in skin rashes and itching generated by allergic reactions, such as allergy to nickel, pollen, grasses, foods, dust, or animal hair.
How to prepare the Helichrysum oil
Having a small helichrysum cultivation, or knowing where the plant grows, the helichrysum oil can easily be prepared at home and now I’ll explain how to do it.
To obtain a product rich in active ingredients, the flowers should be harvested during the balsamic period of the plant, ie in the months of June-July , a period that can however vary according to the cultivation area. In addition, the collection should be done during peak hours , between 11:00 and 15:00.
In fact, it is precisely when the sun is high that the flowers contain the maximum concentration of active ingredients .
Helichrysum flowers can be used both fresh and dried. The ideal would be to use them fresh , as they contain more active ingredients. However, as they also contain a lot of water, they are more prone to mold growth. So if you choose to use fresh flowers, take care to follow the directions I will give you to the letter
If, on the other hand, you want to dry them, remember that drying must be done in the shade (not in the sun), collecting the flowers in bunches and hanging them upside down in a sheltered and airy place.
Here is the “recipe” to properly prepare the helichrysum oil :
- Take a glass jar and add the helichrysum flowers until it is completely filled;
- Add vegetable oil until the flowers are completely covered. In general, sunflower oil is used, both because it keeps well and because it has a neutral smell, but you can choose any vegetable oil of your preference (almond oil, extra virgin olive oil, etc.);
- Close the jar tightly and place it in an area in full sun.
- The flowers will be left to macerate for at least 30-40 days, taking care to turn the jar every day to avoid the formation of mold.
- After this period, the oil will be filtered. For filtering you can use a light cloth, or gauze. To avoid residues remaining (which over time can form molds), the advice I give you is to operate a second filtering, using a cotton gauze, so that the fibers capture the last impurities.
The oil obtained in this way can be kept for at least 2 years in a glass bottle (preferably dark), in a cool, dark place and possibly indoors.
Where to buy the Helichrysum oil
Of course, not everyone has the opportunity, the time, or the desire to prepare oleolites at home. We are there for these. The Erbe di Mauro farm cultivates numerous medicinal plants and with them it handcrafted different types of oleolites, including the helichrysum oil.
For more information on our product click here .
NB : All the information published on this site is for informational purposes and should not be considered as advice, or medical prescriptions, or of any other nature.