Helichrysum, helichrysum italicum

We consider ourselves very lucky to be living in a place where helichrysum italicum grows abundantly in the wild. Having said that, it is one of the most difficult essential oils to produce, mainly due to its particularly low yield. A view of a hillside full of Helichrysum may be a sight for sore eyes, but it can be painstaking to completely unprofitable to pick it. This is why we are starting a cultivation of Helichrysum in “wild conditions”, in land that we rent and is in the heart of its flourishing area. Apart from giving extra water to the young plants for the first few years only and keeping it clean from other invasive plants, there will be no other intervention to the cultivation. This can ensure that will be getting the same quality essential oil as from the wild plants

Until our cultivation has reached its maturity though, we keep picking small quantities from the wild in order to make this precious essential oil and hydrosol. Helichrysum blossoms at the end of May through mid June. At the right moment we pick the flowers along with a small part of the stalks (new soft growth only). Extra special care is needed when loading the distiller in order to obtain the maximum essential oil from this low yield plant.

The distillation time for Helicrysum must be kept over a minimum amount of hours in order to get all terpenes and especially its precious β-diketones. This means that the micro quantities of essential oil that are extracted after the first hours, are very important to the completeness of its chemical composition and thus to its therapeutic power.

Known for its cell regeneration properties, Helichrysum Italicum essential oil has become the holy grail for health practitioners. Also its hydrosol is a remedy, among others, for many skin conditions.

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