Immortelle oil Health Benefits, Uses, Quality & Best Products Compared

Author: Dr. Michael Tyler
Date: 01.10.2020
Reading time: 8:45 min

The Immortelle was dubbed “the immortal” due to its incredible durability - and anti-ageing properties. The flowers of the medicinal plant retain their colour long after picking, even if they have already dried.

Name Immortelle
Lat. Name Helichrysum (italicum). Gnaphalium italicum.
Synonyms Immortelle Everlasting, Curry plant, Muredda, Elicriso, Gnaphalium angustifolium Lam., Gnaphalium italicum Roth
Origin Mediterranean
Price per 10ml 40-250

Immortelle was considered a powerful plant by the Romans and the statues of gods were crowned with wreaths of the immortal flower. But it's not only their longevity that is unique. No other medicinal plant is as effective in treating bruising and haematomas, as the Immortelle.

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Psychological effects

In aromatherapy, immortelle oil is often used to relieve stress, exhaustion or nervousness. The muscle relaxant properties of the ingredient nerylacetate as well as the calming effect of italidion have balancing and relaxing properties.

Physical effect

Immortelle oil has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Its broad antiseptic effects are due to the unique chemical composition of sesquiterpenes (including α-curcumen and ß-curcumen), monoterpenes (eg limonene), monoterpene alcohols (especially nerol and borneol), the α-pyrone arzanol and the ester nerylacetate. A joint study by Spanish and Algerian researchers demonstrated the effect of immortelles against many types of bacteria, viruses and fungi, including Candida albicans. Researchers at the University of Messina were also able to find that the flavonoids and terpenes contained in immortelle oil inhibit the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium.

The investigations of the antiviral properties of the immortelle are also very promising. Scientists at the University of Tübingen found that the ingredient Arzanol interferes in the bio-synthesis of HIV-1 viruses, suppressing their replication process within T cells. Further research results also confirm an inhibitory effect on herpes simplex pathogens.

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For bruising and clotting

Immortelle oil is best known for its rapid healing properties for sports injuries. Especially in cases of bruises, sprains or strains, rubbing or wrapping with immortelle oil can be astonishingly therapeutic. The oil supports the breakdown of haematomas (bruises, bruises) and swelling, which effectively reduces healing times. As the strongest natural anticoagulant (blood thinner), immortelle oil is also used for thrombosis therapy (to reduce dangerous blood clots).

Italidion is responsible for accelerated bruise breakdown. This biological ingredient has a haemolytic effect, which means that it dissolves the red blood cells (erythrocytes). This also stimulates lymph flow and promotes the regeneration of the damaged tissue. In addition, the substances Arzanol, Limonene and Nerylacetate contained in Immortelle Oil have a beneficial effect on the healing process with their anti-inflammatory properties.

Due to its lymph-stimulating and circulation-promoting properties, immortelle oil is also well suited for detoxification and resolution of congestion in the liver and spleen.

Skin

Due to its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, cell-renewing and decongestant effects, immortelle oil can be used successfully for cuts, eczema and skin diseases such as psoriasis (itchy, scaly patches) or rosacea. According to recent research, it is even effective against herpes simplex.

The powerful essential oil of this medicinal herb has made a name for itself. Mainly, as an effective treatment of blemished skin and acne. For some years now, immortelle oil has been gaining more and more attention within the cosmetics industry - it is now popular as an active ingredient in cosmetic products for impure skin and acne. The Arzanol contained in it is both anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant, as scientists from the University of Valencia have discovered. It can therefore help prevent skin ageing.

Immortelle oil's potential for skin regeneration has been known for at least a millennium. Homer mentions the oil of the immortal flower in his odyssey (approx. 8th-7th century BC) as a beauty treatment for the Nausikaa, a mythical princess of the Phaiaken seafaring people. According to legend, Nausikaa was as beautiful as a goddess and lived on an island called Scheria, which historians correlate with today's Corfu. Even the battered Odysseus, who, according to Homer, had been shipwrecked to Scheria, is said to have given Nausicaa a freshness and beauty.

Light burns and sunburn

Another important field of application for immortelle oil is burns. The skin-regenerating and anti-inflammatory properties of the medicinal plant have a positive effect on the healing process of acute burns and sunburns. The medicinal herb is also ideal for the subsequent treatment of burns of all degrees, but a doctor should always be consulted for the initial treatment of severe burns.

For scars

Italidion, contained in immortelle oil accelerates the wound healing process and thereby helps prevent scars. Immortelle oil is also ideal for the regeneration of existing scars. A combination with rose hip seed oil (wild rose oil) is recommended for scar treatment.

For joint pain and arthritis

Immortelle oil is a natural analgesic (pain reliever) that is very well suited for the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis. The medicinal plant owes its anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects to the ingredient Arzanol. This active ingredient prevents the production of prostaglandins - tissue hormones - which are responsible for the development of pain and inflammation. Arzanol intervenes in prostaglandin synthesis by inhibiting the enzymes required - cyclooxygenases (COX) and arachidonate-5-lipoxygenases (5-LOX).

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as diclofenac or ibuprofen, are usually used to relieve pain and inflammatory reactions in rheumatism and arthritis. These NSAIDs act on the same principle as Arzanol as COX and 5-LOX inhibitors.

Against bacterial infections

The ingredients of Immortelle have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties. The oil is ideal for bacterial infections such as cough, bronchitis and sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses). The sesquiterpene ketone - italidione - also supports these properties with its expectorant effect. This means it makes it easier for the lungs to clear mucous build up, and therefore allows for easier breathing.

Side effects

No side effects of the immortelle have been documented with external use and application. Ingestion, however, can cause stomach cramps. If you use immortelle twigs as a spice in your food when cooking, you should therefore remove them before eating.

Application | Uses

Ingestion and internal use

For the treatment of a cough, bronchitis or sinusitis, you can make an infusion from dried immortelle flowers. To do this, pour hot water over a tablespoon of the flowers and let the brew steep for 10 minutes.

External use

Immortelle oil is one of the few essential oils that do not irritate the skin undiluted. Therefore, you can apply it pure to treat acute injuries or burns. Despite the high levels of skin tolerance, a diluted mixture is recommended for a long-term therapeutic use of immortelle oil.

For the treatment of sports injuries, massaging in the oil has proven to be best. To make a suitable mix, put 1-2 drops of immortelle oil in a carrier oil such as almond oil or olive oil. In cases of injuries or skin diseases, compresses are particularly suitable, which are soaked either with a solution of approx. 20 drops of the essential oil in 250 ml of water or with immortelle tea.

As part of aromatherapy, you can put the immortelle oil in the fragrance lamp or a diffuser and inhale the steam. Alternatively, you can add the essential oil to the bath water or add a massage oil to benefit from its healing fragrance.

Manufacturing

Immortelle oil is extracted from the flowers and the entire herb by steam distillation. Because this process is very complex, it can take up to 3 hours. The yield of essential oil is also extremely low: To get 1 litre of immortelle oil you need about half a ton of the natural product. The market price for immortelle oil is therefore relatively high.

Chemical composition

The quality of immortelle oil depends on the origin of the plants. Depending on the soil conditions and climatic influences, the chemical composition can vary greatly and so can its effects.

The main active ingredient in immortelle oil is nerylacetate. Its percentage in the extracted end-product can vary between 20% and 62%. Other effective ingredients are sesquiterpenes (up to 10%), the sesquiterpene ketone italidione (approx. 10-20%) and Arzanol. In addition, monoterpenes (especially limonene, ß-pinene), the monoterpene alcohols nerol and borneol and bitter substances also occur in the oil of the immortelle.

History

The meaning of the botanical name of the Immortelle ("Helichrysum") goes back to the ancient Greek words "helios" (sun) and "chrysos" (gold) and is translated as "gold of the sun". The plant received this name due to the bright yellow gold of its flowers.

The use of the immortelle as a medicinal plant has a long tradition. Homer described the nourishing and skin-regenerating properties of the "Helichryson". According to the traditions of ancient authors and scientists, the immortelle was a popular remedy with a broad spectrum of action in antiquity. Theoprast (371-287 BC), the Greek philosopher and author of the "Historia plantarum", recommended the medicinal plant mixed with honey for burns as well as animal bites and insect bites.

The doctor Dioskurides ("De materia medica"), practicing with the Romans in the 1st century AD, also used the Immortelle to treat snake bites. Furthermore, he treated groin hernias and diseases of the urinary tract with the healing drug dissolved in wine. We also learn from his contemporary, the historian Pliny (23 / 24-79 AD), that the Romans highly valued the "heliochryson" as a cure for these diseases. In the 21st book of his natural history (Naturalis historia) Plinius praises the Immortelle especially for its anti-inflammatory and clotting properties. In addition, he specifically points to the effective of the medicinal plant for the removal of coagulated blood.

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Medieval and modern times

In the Middle Ages and in modern times, the immortelle was still used as a medicinal plant, but surprisingly it lost a lot of its former prominence. The doctor and botanist Matthioli (1501-1507) recommends the medicinal plant mixed with wine as a medicine for snake bites, diseases of the urinary tract and women's diseases.

Botany and cultivation

The Immortelle is an evergreen shrub with many small golden yellow flowers that can grow up to 60 centimetres. Their natural home is the Mediterranean region and some Greek islands in the northern Aegean. It thrives particularly well in dry locations with stony or sandy soils and needs a lot of sun. The scent of the Immortelle leaves is reminiscent of curry, which is why the medicinal plant is also called curry herb.

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