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Edition 86: Mabon 21 March 2016

Edition 86: Mabon 21 March 2016

Essential Oil
Everlasting

Immortal golden flower
Exquisite oil dubbed skin care royalty
ONLY A FEW varieties of helichrysum produce essential oils for distillation.
Helichrysum italicum, or everlasting as we will call it, is one of the most valued species used in aromatherapy and grown on the island of Corsica, where its bright golden flowers flourish under the glorious island sun, contributing to the gorgeous aroma of the Corsican “maquis”.
True Corsican everlasting is one of the strongest anti-inflammatory oils, which is so highly efficacious due to the soil composition and climate; (the plant has adapted to the intense heat and light that raises the levels of the active neryl acetate).
The areas of the former Yugoslavia do produce good oils that have a slightly different chemical composition compared to the highly valued Corsican variety. Oil from these various Baltic countries is much more affordable in price, some of which is shipped to France and distilled to be sold as French immortelle.
It is actually illegal to harvest the plant in mainland France, so one should be suspicious of any so-called French oil, which could often be cut with other oils or be a blend of imported oils that are much lower in price than true Corsican oil.
The “immortelle” seems indeed immortal – a grand claim for such a tiny flower but well justified upon learning of its potential.
Yes, everlasting oil is very expensive, but here is an essential oil that works superbly in high dilution, gently and effectively.

European strewing herb
In early times the everlasting plant was a valued medicinal listed in many texts.  It was used to treat “scrofula” – a disease of the lymph system.
The herb was used by the Romans to repel moths from their homes and it was an often-used strewing herb in Europe.
A large amount of everlasting oil was produced in Yugoslavia before the 1992 war.
The French perfume industry in Grasse used the bulk of the oil in perfumes as well as to flavour and scent pipe tobacco.
It took a while for the aromatherapy world to register its remarkable healing powers, which unfortunately coincided with the Balkan supply drying up due to the war.
Corsica was providing the only supply and consequently as demand exceeded supply, the price steadily grew.
Production resumed in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which, sadly, did not decrease rising prices. Everlasting oil became the subject of a seller’s market.

Holistic allergy relief
Everlasting oil stimulates the whole endocrine system, particularly the glands that secrete gastric juices, use it in combination with chamomile oil to treat stomach and intestinal inflammations.
For those with allergies, including food allergies that cause eczemas, rashes and psoriasis, this essential oil works both externally and holistically by detoxifying the blood and helping to drain the lymph glands.
It is very good for lymph draining massage, which is a gentle method of manipulating the glands and lymph nodes.
This anti-inflammatory oil effectively fights infection while rebuilding a weakened immune system.
The oil if included in cough elixirs, or chest rubs makes an excellent expectorant for coughs and treats respiratory problems such as bronchitis.
For sinus infections it may be used as an inhalant or applied in a salve.
The aches and pains such of arthritis, rheumatism or Dupuytren’s disease are soothed when everlasting is used directly on the inflamed site and there are enough case histories to say that it also eases the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Everlasting is used for disorders of the liver, gallbladder or pancreas, whereby it significantly improves liver function; this means it can be an aid in treating ‘substance’ withdrawal.
In fact for any disorder of these vital organs this oil can be taken internally.
Take one drop twice daily, or combine with rosemary in a warm compresses applied to the liver region.
It strengthens detoxification and increases drainage of the liver and kidneys.
Everlasting essential oil is useful in treating coronary insufficiency, circulatory disorders, heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat and risk of stroke. Blended with ylang-ylang it is useful in treating high blood pressure.
It activates blood circulation and microcirculation. Everlasting oil works very well on hematoma, even those that are very old.
A hematoma (or haematoma) is a localised collection of blood outside the blood vessels, usually in liquid form within the tissue.
You can apply the essential oil directly on the hematoma (neat) or diluted with a ratio of 5 to 10 per cent in vegetable oil. Similarly it can treat phlebitis, which is the inflammation of a vein, usually in the leg, that most commonly occurs in superficial (spider) veins.
It has been shown that everlasting oil is effective treatment for the swelling of edema, which is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the interstitium, which lies beneath the skin or in one or more cavities of the body.
The same massage blend with everlasting is excellent to relieve menstrual cramps and for cold feet.
Everlasting oil is a valued help in tooth extraction, where a preparation a few drops is added with cistus oil (one drop) and tea tree (three drops) into a base of St John’s Wort oil and applied several times a day.

Elite oil for the Skin
Everlasting oil is ‘oil royalty’, sitting rightfully amongst the small elite group of the most powerful skin healers that reign supreme in all skincare, both as wound healers and as an anti-ageing agent.
The essential oil is antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal and treats skin conditions such as eczema, boils, cuts, and burns.
It is so mild that it may be used neat immediately on bleeding wounds, bruises, bumps, scars, and acne whereby it will sanitise, close skin tissue quickly, healing the wound with little scarring, redness and no infection.
This avoids having to introduce fatty base oils and other unsuitable substances into the wound.
Mostly, however, it behaves at its most effective when well diluted at low concentrations.
Everlasting can fade bruises almost overnight by reabsorbing the blood into the tissue, reducing discoloration and the pain caused by pressure on the nerves.
Everlasting in a base of rose hip seed oil is very effective to fade scars and it is extremely useful after surgery to prevent hematomas, improve healing and prevent keloid scars as well as preventing fibrous bands following abdominal surgeries.
Cosmetically, everlasting is used in beauty products for its ability to stimulate the production of new skin cells, which is especially beneficial for mature skin or those whose skin is dry and weathered.
The oil increases the production of collagen, reducing the appearance of fine lines, age spots, sun over-exposure and wrinkles.
It is highly recommended to include everlasting oil in anti-acne and rosacea blends, as well as useful in any rash or skin irritation.
The everlasting hydrosol is also a very gentle option for all skin prone to redness, rosacea or hypersensitivities; it gently cleanses and soothes irritation, healing skin blemishes.
Being healing and antiseptic, everlasting has proven to help prevent UV damage and melanoma and works wonders on sunburn if blended with lavender, St John’s Wort oil and rosehip oil. This is the oil of choice for eczema, especially for babies.

Untie the Inner Knot
On the psyche, everlasting has a grounding effect without being heavy.
 This earthy smell warms the pelvis - the region of the base chakra - grounding those people who tend to be so cerebral they have lost contact with the earth.
The immortelle plant thrives in hot, dry places and it seems that this warmth has been transferred to the plant which, in turn, transfers warmth to people - especially those who feel cold and who received little warmth and affection as children.
This oil is appropriate for those fearful of a project with the proverbial ‘cold feet’ and who are unable to move ahead while opening the right side of the brain and improving creativity.
Everlasting serves as a good buffering companion, helping people accept inevitable changes.
Enhancing the inner journey, warm and calming everlasting oil is very supportive and comforting by encouraging us to take a really good look at ourselves emotionally and get in touch with unresolved feelings, emotions that have been denied and/or buried.
It offers comfort in processing emotional trauma and it is also helpful in restoring memories that have been buried deep in the past by releasing our defense mechanisms.

Profoundly spiritual
Everlasting is a profoundly spiritual oil that could be described as ‘sacred’ and perfectly suited for anointing as it empowers the journey of self-discovery.
It lets us move closer to our true spiritual nature, and enhances our ability to see all sides of an experience.
The scent helps us access esoteric knowledge buried in the unconscious, which is revealed to us in dreams, or meditation.
One can dab some on a tissue and put under the nose before sleep to promote lucid dreaming, where dreams become easier to remember and their inherent messages become clear to us.
Everlasting supports deep abdominal breathing, so anoint the pineal gland with it to use in meditation to deepen the internalisation process and untie the inner knot.
This sweet scent assists in lifting the veils held over consciousness, promoting spiritual evolution as we gain ability to see the truth of experience.
 

Benefits to last forever
The first well-known benefit of helichrysum is its wound-healing properties. It is appropriate as a first-aid oil and can be applied to wounds to reduce swelling, disinfect and promote healing through tissue regeneration.
Studies have shown that the oil has strong antibacterial properties, active against all types of bacteria tested, including Staphylococcus.
This property can also help those with acne-prone skin to reduce breakouts.
In addition to helping heal wounds, helichrysum also helps to fade scars, heal stretch marks and reduce the appearance of surgical scars and skin blemishes.
It is one of the few essential oils that contain ‘diketones,’ which help reduce scar tissue and stimulate the growth of new skin tissue. In fact, a study published in 2001 found that helichrysum oil was exceptionally high in tissue-regenerating diketones that help stimulate regrowth.
Helichrysum is touted as the perfect addition to skin care formulations for those with sensitive skin, since it’s so calming and soothing.
Those with rosacea and dermatitis can use this oil without worry, as it won’t exacerbate the condition, but will help fade redness and soothe dryness.
It is so gentle that it’s even recommended for children suffering from inflammation and dermatitis. In fact, it’s often compared to chamomile because of these properties.
Of course, like most oils, helichrysum is moisturising and will help prevent dryness and cracking of the skin.
One of the most exciting newer discoveries with this oil, however, is its anti-ageing property.
Because it helps to regenerate skin tissue and relieve inflammation at the same time - say nothing of its antioxidant properties which protect the skin from damaging free radicals - it’s perfect for helping to make skin look more firm, youthful, and vibrant.
According to one study published in 2002, helichrysum has multiple effects that occur at the same time—inhibiting inflammatory enzymes, scavenging free radicals and a third effect that resembles how corticosteroids work in taming inflammation.
That’s a three-pronged approach in helping to calm, protect and heal skin that is inflamed, damaged or stressed.
 


Fact File
Name: Everlasting
Botanical name: Helichrysum italicum, other varieties: helichrysum angustifoliun, helichrysum gymnocephalum
Family: Asteraceae (sunflower)
Common Names: Everlasting flower, immortal, immortelle, sun gold, Italian Straw Flower, curry plant
The Plant: Helichrysum italicum is a flowering plant of the daisy family to which there are an estimated 600 species. It is a typical plant of the Mediterranean where it grows on dry, rocky or sandy ground. In fact it seems to thrive in the most deprived soil. The stems are woody at the base and can reach 60cm or more in height with delicate lance-shaped leaves. The flowering plant when dried retains its shape, colour after picking and often used in dried flower arrangements. The scent of the crushed leaves is surprisingly strong, not dissimilar to curry.
Country of Origin: Mediterranean region, mostly France especially Corsica, produce the essential oil from both wild and cultivated plants. It is also produced in the Balkan states of Eastern Europe and Madagascar.
The Oil: Steam distilled from the flowers. A liquid absolute and a solid concrete are also made with solvents for the perfume industry
Scent: A base to middle note, the fragrance of everlasting is earthy and bittersweet, with gentle spicy and slight fruity notes. Its rich honey like smell is somewhat buttery with touches of wood like warm oak bark. This oil is multi-layered and complex with unexpected notes that unfold on the dry-out.
Blends well with: : Rose, chamomile, frankincense, sandalwood, palmarosa, grapefruit, lavender, carrot seed.
Indications: Cicatrizing (wound healing), anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-coagulant, anti-phlebitis, anti-hematoma, mucolytic, antispasmodic, antiviral, expectorant, blood purifier, lymphatic and spasmolytic: cardiovascular spasm, circulatory enhancer, disinfectant, detoxifier, pain reliever.
Precautions: non-toxic and non-irritant.

 

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