Helichrysum Essential Oil
So you are considering buying some helichrysum? Buyer please beware! There are so many fake helichrysum oils out there. Be especially wary of ridiculously low prices for this oil (and any other oil for that matter), on sites like Amazon and Ebay. There are tons of scam artists trying to profit on the ignorance of the general public, especially when it comes to expensive oils like helichrysum. Take for example this scam oil being sold on Amazon at a price of $13.50 for one ounce!
I want people to know that this is an impossible price and companies who are selling these fake “pure essential oils” are hurting the industry in general. When people buy this junk and it doesn’t work they have a bad opinion of aromatherapy and essential oils in general and this is why I call out these scam artists.
The best helichrysum to use therapeutically comes from the botanical species Helichrysum italicum, typically grown in places like Corisica, Italy, France and the various Balkan countries. Many regard Corsican as the best of the best but there are very good qualities now also being produced in the Balkan regions.
The Balkan helichrysum is typically higher in alpha-pinene and lower in neryl acetate than the Corisican material and these are the two components that most people focus on.
However the most important components to me (Dr. Pappos) are the di-ketones, also often referred to as the italidiones and many of the latest Balkan distilleries are producing material that is even higher in italidiones than some of the Corsican productions.
The Corsican material still typically has the advantage from an odor standpoint according to many perfumers.
It should also be noted that some companies are offering other species of Helichrysum oil that are COMPLETELY UNRELATED chemically to the italicum oil and would not have the same therapeutic use as the oil from Helichrysum italicum. Some of the other species are things like Helichrysum gymnocephalum and Helichrysum bracteiferum which are high 1,8-cineole oils with no neryl acetate and no italidiones. These oils are also WAY cheaper than italicum and sometimes companies will sell these oils just calling them “Helichrysum oil” hoping to fool people into thinking they are getting the more commonly known and more expensive italicum oil.
If your oil has a eucalyptus odor to it, then its definitely not italicum.
So how cheap is too cheap for Helichrysum italicum? Well, based on current bulk prices at source for even the cheapest Balkan material it would be highly improbable that any company would sell this oil for less than $100/ounce. Certainly $13.50 for an ounce or anything close to that is well within the realm of physical impossibility as the distilleries cannot even produce the oil anywhere close to that cost. If anyone has a bottle of the linked oil from above being sold on Amazon (Dr. Pappos) would be happy to test it for you for free to prove that its not true Helichrysum italicum oil as stated on the bottle and I’ll post the results on his site as well.
Buyer beware, you get what you pay for in this business, you cannot get a Rolls Royce for the price of a Ford!
When it comes to its safety and adverse effects, helichrysum italicum does not display significant levels of allergic reactions or side effects (in the form of cytotoxicity or genotoxicity*). It’s believed to be well tolerated and mild side effects have occurred only in rare cases, where certain people experienced an allergic reaction to its extracts. To test for any reactions, always try using a small amount of any essential oil on a patch of skin before applying it elsewhere. For example on the inside of the elbow or behind the ear.
I have only ever used the YL Helichrysum essential oil – (helichrysum italicum of course!) and have had amazing results with it. In my experience it reduces swelling and bleeding almost immediately (after a knock or fall for example).
* Genotoxicity is a word in genetics defined as a destructive effect on a cell’s genetic material (DNA, RNA) affecting its integrity. Genotoxins are mutagens; they can cause mutations. Genotoxins include both radiation and chemical genotoxins. A substance that has the property of genotoxicity is known as a genotoxin.
Article Adapted from an original post by Dr. Robert S Pappas from the Essential Oil University – November, 2016 and added to by Suzanne Le Quesne – Clinical Aromatherapist – August, 2017.