My first experience with Helichrysum essential oil (aka Everlasting and Immortale essential oil), arrived in the year of the Fire Monkey. We were in transition on many levels. It was stressful, but we were doing okay…then our landlord called to say that we had 60 days to buy our house or move. I’d been counting on the stability of my address to see me through so many other changes I was facing in my life, and the ground suddenly crumbled under my feet. My emotions rocketed from one extreme to the other. Grief, Anger, Joy, Hope, Sorrow, Happiness, Contentment, Despair…I experienced shifts between all of them and more hourly. It was frustrating, but it called my attention to areas of my life where I’d repressed frustrations and resentments that were ultimately limiting my growth. Helichrysum helped me open, clear, and heal those places.
Helichrysum was once a common European herbal remedy, used almost as a panacea for everything ranging from bruises and blood clots to itchy skin and digestive symptoms that would probably be diagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) today. It faded from use as modern medicine’s roots took hold and was nearly forgotten until 1960, just a decade or so before I was born, when French aromatherapists first distilled this member of the daisy family. They discovered that as an essential oil, Helichrysum is a powerful ally for healing physical and emotional-mental strife with a particular affinity for getting at deeply rooted frustrations, resentments, and injustices that have caused sever and often overlooked or half-forgotten injury.
In first working with Helichrysum, I was aiming to heal resentment that stemmed from communication challenges rooted in my ability to see connections others often don’t. Just because I perceive the nature of a situation doesn’t mean I can communicate that to others, or that I’ll get the message across fast enough to ensure we take right action in the matter. Many, many times in my life I’ve been frustrated with the fall-out from my inability to communicate effectively and the inability of my team, partner, or person with whom I’m working to trust me. We live in a time when we’re only just remembering that the world we perceive with our five basic senses (hearing, sight, touch, taste, and smell) is only the tip of the iceberg. I think Helichrysum resurfaced in our herbal community in it’s distilled form precisely because of that.
Helichrysum has particular affinity for the Sixth chakra, also known as the Third Eye. In our modern culture, second sight or perception connected with the Third Eye and the Sixth Chakra is coming out of the closet, so to speak. Over the past two thousand years, we’ve seen human cultures move from a place of trust for those perceptions that come from sources we can’t track directly to one of the five basic senses. Men and women alike have been heavily persecuted, tortured, and murdered for those perceptions. Over the past century or so, we’ve seen our culture growing gradually more tolerant of what has been dubbed extrasensory perception. In the past fifty years, we’ve seen a significant percentage of our population not only accept but embrace and seek to grow and explore those regions once considered taboo. It seems likely that Helichrysum has returned at this time precisely to help us release the deep resentments we as a whole feel for having let ourselves be cut off from such a large swath of knowledge and Divine energy. I think we’re being called to integrate scientific, logical, rooted-in-the-material perception with the inspired thinking that comes from a strong and healthy connection with that which extends beyond the physical. Helichrysum is perfectly equipped to help us do just that.
On my own personal level, Helichrysum was a ready and powerful partner in helping me move out of a place of severe emotional distress where my ability to make sense of my experiences was too clouded to let me move to a place of healing and growth. I drew on Bergamot and Atlas Cedarwood as partners in healing with Helichrysum. Bergamot helped me aim for a sunnier view of my situation while staying present with each moment. Atlas Cedarwood helped me keep my core strong, preventing me from being too overwhelmed to function. Helichrysum helped me ease the dramatic emotional swings I was experiencing enough to see the places where the true healing needed to happen. Helichrysum in particular inspired me to not only see where healing needed to happen, it helped me to find the energy and direction I needed to move beyond basic healing into a place of growth and renewed confidence in myself and my world.
Folks who are trying to recover from trauma, be it the kind of trauma I felt when it looked like I was losing my home or the kind that comes from a life-threatening experience like a car accident or even a seemingly minor trauma that leaves what seems like unreasonable emotional fall-out in its wake, can benefit from Helichrysum essential oil. Helichrysum has a particular affinity for helping heal those who experience mood swings, particularly those that tend toward the negative or pessimistic range. Anxiety, depression, irritability and bouts of anger, as well as severe internal conflicts between thinking and feeling all point to Helichrysum’s medicine. Whether you’re fully aware of the shock or trauma that precipitated your current condition or not, you can call on Helichrysum for help when you need to uncover and heal the hidden roots where rage, resentment, or pain have created instability in your emotional complex. Three to 10 drops per ounce in your favorite spray or massage oil formula or 1-3 drops in your nebulizer or essential oil burner will do just fine.
Be aware, though, that once you’ve found the wound, you’ll need to take steps of some sort to help heal it. Therapy, acupunture, Journey work, or other alternative therapies are all potential tools you can use to redirect the energy you’ll free as you work with Helichrysum. For me, a combination of divination, meditation, journey and dreamwork helped show me how to change…and plain old re-arranging of my space and redirecting of my daily activity helped me enact the changes I needed to let the Universe shift the world around me to accommodate my further growth. Whatever you choose, be sure to ask for the help and support you need.
Other Helichrysum ideas:
- Healing spray for topical wounds, especially bruising: Lavender or Thyme, Clary sage, and Helichrsum
- Aromatherapy blend for soothing anxiety: Clary Sage, Helichrysum, and Atlas Cedarwood or Ginger
- Incense blend for healing a space or place where trauma has occurred, such as a death in a home or an altercation: Helichrysum essential oil with frankincence resin, palo santo wood, and yarrow flowers
- Personal Perfume to ease emotional extremes: Geranium or Bergamot essential oil, Helichrysum essential oil, and Sandalwood or Atlas Cedarwod in a light alcohol or oil base. Or, to heal a particularly deep wound, try this blend using a Rose Hydrasol base.
- Scented journal for Recovery: Add several drops Helichrysum essential oil to a cotton ball and seal it in an air-tight container with your journal for several weeks taking care to not let the essential oil touch the journal (as it may leave a stain on the paper if it’s not entirely pure). You can take the journal out of the container to write in it and replace it as you work through your healing process, or you can let the journal absorb the scent fully before using it. You may need to reapply the essential oil to the cotton balls once or twice if you opt to write in the journal at intervals while it’s absorbing the scent. A second option is to scent the pages with a mixture of water and essential oils and spray the cover and pages with the mixture very lightly so the water doesn’t cause the paper to warp.