Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bug Bites, Bruises and Helichrysum

I love the summer.  I particularly love sitting outdoors at night and reading.  I find the muggy, humidity reassuring and soothing.  I am though, a nipping post for anything that bites.  Usually, they itch a little and then disappear. This time something vicious got its teeth into me, in a few areas around my ankle.  The bites were weepy and my ankle swelled to double its size, most unattractive.  The glands near the bottom of my foot began to swell and the area was hot and red and very inflammed. So inflammed, I couldn't walk.

I spent hours with my foot elevated.  I sprinkled tea tree and lavender directly on the bites.  I soaked a soft cotton wash cloth in a basin of lavender and tea tree and applied it to my ankle.  It didn't help. I took advil.  I used over the counter anti-itch cream and and calamine lotion.  My ankle continued to swell, became more and more tender to the touch, and the skin surrounding the bites became hotter and redder.  Finally, I remembered Helichrysum, which I know, is excellent for bruising and inflammation.  It is an expensive oil running about $15 a ml. In my refidgerator I keep a selection of hydrosols - the water steamed from the flowers, herbs and plants during the distillation process of essential oils.  Hydrosols contain about 0.5% of essential oils. 

I sprayed the the icy helichrysum hydrosol on my ankle and immediately the bites began to cool down. Within minutes, I felt complete relief from pain, and it lasted several hours.  So how does this work? 

Helichrysum chemical structure sets it apart from other essential oils. It contains di-ketones which is excellent for fading brusies and regenerating the skin.  Helichrysum italicum, which is a herb also known as everlasting or immortelle has a strong analgesic effect due to its high content of sesquiterpenes and esters.

A woman in her mid 30's consulted me about her hormonal acne which was leaving bluish, greenish bruises on her jaw line.  I blended helichrysum withaloe vera and these bruises disappeared. 

Helichrysum is more anti-inflammatory than chamomile and is probably the most effective skin rejuvenator.  Here is how you can incorporate helichrysum into your life:

Skincare:  Wounds, antiaging, rejuvenation, bruising, under eye circles.
Emotions;  Used to unblock emotions. High content of esters relax the nervous system.
Spirtiual: Helichrysum connects the body with spirit.
Detoxifying:  In a 1:1 ratio add helichrysum to a carrier oil such as jojoba and blend on the reflex points of the feet that correspond to the liver.

They hydrosol has a unique aroma which can only be described as toasted coffee.  It i s quite pleasant and relaxing.  Do not use helichrysum if you are pregnant or nursing or under 12 years old.

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