This flower, sometimes called "everlast" or "immortelle," is native to the Mediterranean and North Africa and is cultivated in Spain, Italy and Yugoslavia. A related species, H. orientale, is also grown for oil, while H. stoechas is sold as an absolute.
Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Extraction: Distilled from flowers. The French H. stoechas oil has an orange hue. Absolute and concrete are both brown-red. The pleasant fragrance is spicy, sweet, almost fruity.
Medicinal Action: Helichrysum treats infection and inflammation of chronic cough, bronchitis, fever, muscle pain, arthritis, phlebitis and liver problems, and counters allergic reactions such as asthma.
Cosmetic/Skin Use: Helichrysum stimulates the production of new cells, so it is used on acne, scar tissue, bruises, couperose skin, mature skin and burns. It is used as a fixative in cosmetics and perfume. Extracts are added to sunscreens to protect skin from ultraviolet rays.
Emotional Attribute: The scent helps lift one from depression, lethargy, nervous exhaustion and stress. Some aromatherapists say it helps drug detoxification, including nicotine.