The Science of Helichrysum

Article at a Glance

The aromatic plant of the Asteraceae family is found in its wild state in the dry, rocky, and sunny regions of the Mediterranean. Helichrysum is characterized by its bright yellow flowers that have a distinct curry powder-like smell and its long history of use. Greco-Roman treatises from as far back as the 3rd century BCE note the use of sun gold (“Helichrysum” is derived from the Greek “helios” meaning sun and “chrysos” meaning gold) and its aromatics for a variety of health needs1. Modern research has validated some of those historical uses and provided evidence that Helichrysum may have additional benefits that the Greeks and Romans never considered.


The composition of Helichrysum essential oil is not dominated by monoterpene alcohols like most florals. Its very distinct and diverse composition includes γ-curcumene, neryl acetate (a monoterpene ester), alpha-pinene, the italidones I, II, III (ketones), and over 60 other terpene compounds. While in isolation, there is not much current research on several of these compounds. When combined, they comprise an essential oil that has amazing rejuvenating properties.

Benefits and Uses

Helichrysum is widely known for its benefits when applied topically to the skin. Commercially, Helichrysum is highly valued in anti-aging products. Like other essential oils that contain alpha-pinene, it may have a protective effect on the skin when applied topically and may help keep it looing young and healthy2-3. Other experimental research suggests that helichrysum may be soothing and aid in skin rejuvenation4. Helichrysum is also a popular essential oil to use aromatically during meditation.

Looking for other ways to implement Helichrysum into your life? Try something from the list below!

  1. Add 1–2 drops to your skin cleanser to boost its effectiveness and help promote a youthful complexion.
  2. Diffuse for an uplifting environment
  3. Take advantage of its surface cleansing properties by adding several drops to a DIY all-purpose cleaner


Reverence for the aromatic compounds from the immortal flower stretch well past the boundaries of the Mediterranean. No age-fighting skin care routine is complete without Helichrysum essential oil, and don’t forget to try it aromatically to experience its woody, earthy aroma.



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