When I decided to add a blog on my site, there was no doubt that the first blogs would be dedicated to the plants which are at the core of my entire collection. The first blog is therefore dedicated to Immortelle and the second to Marula.
Let’s start with Immortelle …
Latin name: Helichrysum Italicum
Family: Asteraceae (aster)
Description and origin:
Immortelle is a low aromatic shrub that grows up to 60 cm, has yellow/golden inflorescences and small leaves with silver hairs.
The name Helicrysum is derived from the Greek terms helios, which denotes the sun, and chrysos, which denotes gold. The way this shrub blooms really gives the impression of a little golden sun. A popular name for this typical Mediterranean aromatic plant is also immortele or immortal. This is probably because the dried flowers retain a golden yellow colour and aromatic scent for a very long time.
The plant can grow wild or cultivated in the Mediterranean area. The main producers of its essential oil are Croatia and Corsica.
There are about 500 different types of Immortelle, but many do not contain essential oil.
The main types used for the production of essential oil are:
Helichrysum italicum (Corsica and the Balkans)
Helichrysum stoeshas (France)
Helichrysum gymnocephalum (Madagascar)
Helichrysum patulum (South Africa)
In traditional herbal medicine, Immortelle has been used as expectorant, choleretic (promoting the production and flow of bile), diuretic, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic agent. It has also been used for bronchitis, asthma, pertussis, psoriasis, burns, rheumatism, headache, migraines, allergies and liver problems. It was usually used as infusion.
The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the flowering tips of the plants. Its cultivation requires a lot of knowledge. The plant must be distilled within 24 hours of harvesting.
The plant itself contains very little essential oils (0.6%); for a liter of essential oil we need more than 1 ton of fresh plants. This is why this oil is quite expensive.
The first production of essential oil started in Dalmatia in 1908, however, today it is also produced in Italy and France.
Essential Oil Characteristics:
- colour and scent: The essential oil of Immortelle is of a light-yellow colour and has a quite unique scent: it is a full, long-lasting, sweet, herbal smell of hay, some also associate it with a curry smell
- odour intensity: 3-5,
- note: Medium,
- It mixes well with essential oil of carrot seeds, German and Roman chamomile, rosemary ct. verbenone, sage, lavender, lavandin, cistus…
Chemical Composition of Essential Oils:
The differences in chemical composition depend on the country of origin. Corsica-derived essential oil contains more esters, while Croatian essential oil contains more sesquiterpenes. The activity of italdione ketones is also crucial for the activity. The main components of the essential oil from Dalmatia, which I use myself, are:
- monoterpenes (alpha-pinene, limonene),
- esters (neryl acetate),
- sesquiterpenes (italicene, beta-caryophyllene, selinene, turmeric), and
- ketones (italidions).
I chose the oil from Dalmatia because it is easily accessible and has a very appealing scent.
Essential Oil Safety:
Essential oil is safe to use, there are no known contraindications. It is recommended to be used in up to 5% dilution (15 drops of essential oil per 10 ml).
Therapeutic Action of Essential Oil:
It is an analgesic, has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antidepressant, and mucolytic function. It is ideal for cellular regeneration and wound healing, it also effectively eliminates hematomas.
First Aid – it is an excellent first aid for bruises, sprains, injuries.
Circulatory system – varicose veins, bruises, broken capillaries.
Digestive system – haemorrhoids, rectal ulcers.
Musculoskeletal system – joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal syndrome.
Respiratory system – sinus infections, bronchitis, cough.
Nervous system – neuralgia, pain, inflammation.
Skin – acne, chronic dermatitis, eczema, scars, burns, skin inflammation, cuts and wounds, bruises, herpes simplex, broken capillaries, stretch marks, dry itchy skin, varicose veins, rosacea, psoriasis, mature skin.
Psyche/ emotions – mental distress, irritability, sadness, distress, emotional traumas, old emotional wounds, anxiety, agitation, acute fear or anger, burnout.
The essential oil of Immortelle is ideal for people who are often cold, even for those who received too little warmth in their childhood. The scent of essential oil is believed to stress the liveliness of our dreams and to stimulate the functioning of our right brain hemisphere (visualisation, creativity and dreaming).
Local use –massage oil, compressesions, bath, skin care ointment…
Inhalations – direct inhalation, diffuser.
Hydrosol is produced in the distillation of flower tips, has a strong anti-inflammatory action, is an analgesic, carminative and digestive. It regenerates the skin (stimulates blood circulation, reduces redness and has an astringent effect) and the liver (in this case, drink it for 3 weeks, ingesting 30ml daily in a litter of water). Cold hydrosol works as an effective remedy against bumps and bruises. In case of painful or bleeding haemorrhoids, the irritation can be eased by a hydrosol-soaked compress or a sitting bath, to which we add 1 dl of hydrosol. Fresh, pristine hydrosol is also suitable for wound care and wound cleaning – after surgery or tooth extraction.
Nicotinamide or vitamin B3 is also included in the group of skin lightening agents. With aging, pigment irregularities on the skin become more common, which is related to photoaging of the skin or the harmful effects of excessive sun exposure. As a result, the demand for skin lightening cosmetic products has been on the rise in recent years.
Vitamin B3 reduces pigment spots as well as fine wrinkles, improves the surface structure of mature skin, and increases skin elasticity. It also stimulates the formation of collagen, which is why it makes sense to use this vitamin in products for mature skin, such as the Mayarula natural rejuvenating cosmetic line.
Nicotinamide is the main vitamin in Flower Moisturizing Serum.
Retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A and belong to the group of agents that stimulate the formation of connective tissue. Retinoids include many different compounds. Retinol and retinol esters (retinyl palmitate) are most often used in cosmetics.
Retinoids are lipophilic compounds that easily penetrate the epidermis. They prevent the breakdown of collagen and stimulate its synthesis. The use of retinol on the skin increases the thickness of the epidermis and the formation of collagen. It is used to reduce facial wrinkles and to improve skin elasticity and maintain a youthful appearance, which is why cosmetic products with retinol are suitable for the care of dry and mature skin. Retinol is very unstable and loses its biological activity when exposed to UV light and oxygen. Retinyl esters are more stable, so they are found more often in cosmetic products.
In the Mayarula skincare line, it is found in the Vitamin Oil Serum, where vitamins A and E provide antioxidant care for mature skin, improve skin elasticity and reduce wrinkles.
The serum deeply nourishes and nourishes the skin throughout the year. It is intended for intensive night care and skin regeneration. It’s a great evening pampering oil that I recommend applying to damp skin. The feeling after application is soft, silky and nourishing, and the skin is ready for a new day in the morning.
Immortelle extracts have lately become a concept of prestigious rejuvenating cosmetics, which is fully justified given the exceptional restorative abilities of essential oil.
Essential oil of Immortelle is suitable for all skin types and is indispensable in anti-wrinkle care. It prevents and softens the appearance of age spots, tones facial muscles, smooths wrinkles and strongly promotes skin cell renewal. Infusion from the fresh Immortelle flower petals is also excellent. Personally, I prefer to soak them in organic cold pressed olive oil. In doing so, I make sure that the entire surface of the flowers is always covered with oil. After four weeks, I get a persistent infusion, to which I add 0.1% tocopherol for stability. I use it to massage my entire body right after a shower, when my skin is still damp. I use it on its own but occasionally I experiment with the addition of some special essential oil. I like to include laurel, lavender, rosemary and sweet orange.
I would like to share with you three recipes that I have successfully tested on myself or my family:
1. Joint Pain Relief Oil (100 ml)
45 drops of pine essential oil (EO)
30 drops of rosemary cineol EO
30 drops of broadleaf lavender EO
30 drops of geranium EO
15 drops of Immortelle EO
20 ml of almond oil and
Up to 100 ml of St John’s wort oil
The concentration of essential oils in the product is 5%. I recommend a massage of the diseased joints twice a day.
2. Oil for broken capillaries (100 ml)
30 drops of lemon essential oil (EO)
20 drops of cypress EO
15 drops of lavender EO
15 drops of geranium EO
10 drops of Immortelle EO
50 ml of wheat germ oil and
up to 100 ml of macerated Immortelle
The concentration of essential oils in the product is 3 %. I recommend a gentle massage of the oil to the area with broken capillaries.
3. Scar Ointment (100 g)
4 g of candelilla wax
32 g of avocado oil
20 g of mango butter
30 g of marigold macerate in olive oil
10 g of rosehip oil and
1 g of vitamin E
3g of essential oil (40 drops of lavender, 25 drops of Immortelle, 15 drops of palmarosa, 10 drops of Boswellia)
- First weigh the Phase A components into the paten and heat them on a water bath to approx. 70̊ C. When Phase A is completely melted, move it away from the heat and allow it to cool below 40̊ C. Then add the components of Phase B, mix well, and add the essential oils. Mix thoroughly and pour it into a crucible, which can be covered when the ointment is completely solidified.
- Candelilla is a plant wax that works as an excellent replacement for bee wax. In comparison to bee wax, it takes approx. half less natural wax to produce this ointment. This makes the ointment also suitable for vegans. Selected natural oils and butter are suitable for wound healing, rosehip oil and other essential oils are appropriate for the treatment of scars.
- I recommend massageing the scar twice a day for a few minutes over a longer period (3 – 6 months).
- For children under 2 years of age, I would choose a 1% concentration of essential oils.
Sources and literature:
- Jade Shutes: Helichrysum Monograph, New York Institute of Aromatic Studies, Chapel Hill, NC 2018
- Salvatore Battaglia: The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 2nd Edition, 2003
- Stribor Marković: Fitoaromaterapija, Centar Cedrus, Zagreb 2005
- Damjan Janeš in Nina Kočevar Glavač: Sodobna kozmetika, 1. Izdaja, Širimo dobro besedo d.o.o., Velenje 2015
- Nataša Špiranec Maurer: Aromaterapija, Vita založba, 2015
- Slobodanka Poštić: A kot Aromaterapija, Založba Meander, 2006.