The radiant golden flower pictured here is our resident herbalist, Brenda Igler :), next to the lovely helichrysum plant, in our beautiful Medicine Garden.
Helichrysum is commonly used as an essential oil, or infused into a carrier oil. Very few oils can boast such a broad spectrum of effective uses, offering alleviation of pain and suffering. Aromatic oil of helichrysum eases the pain of trauma, reduces inflammation, speeds the healing of wounds, and calms emotional disturbances. Helichrysum is a great ally for those on the path of yoga, as it provides an amazing remedy for treating injuries from exuberant effort in asana practice, with similar benefits experienced by hikers, dancers, and athletes of all descriptions. Helichrysum also benefits the nervous and respiratory systems.
The very name of helichrysum reveals it’s divine nature: derived from the Greek helios, meaning “sun,” and chrysos, meaning “gold,” the name refers to the golden-yellow color of many of the flowers in this genus. Its other common names, “immortelle,” and “everlasting,” refer to the “everlasting” yellow color of the flowers once they are dried.
Helichrysum flourishes on the sunny hillsides of many regions in the world. There are about six hundred species of helichrysum, many of which are grown as garden ornamentals. Although the unknowing passerby might not even notice this small shrub, immortelle gives us one of the most potent, safe, effective, and versatile of all the therapeutic oils. In this sense, immortelle is a perfect example of beneficent power residing in lowly places.
Perhaps helichrysum would be a wonderful addition to your own garden?
By Marisa Laursen, C.A.S., P.K.S., A.Y.T., Faculty at the California College of Ayurveda