My husband and I took a little getaway to Callaway Gardens this past weekend. It was our first time there and WOW what a treat! I definitely think (despite the tornado-like weather on our second day) this place is our new favorite local getaway spot. I remembered to bring the insect repellent I made from the essential oils of Citronella, Spearmint, Eucalyptus radiata, Cedarwood and Lemongrass and as we listened to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Friday evening its ability to protect us proved to be really effective.
One of my favorite parts of the trip was a stroll through the herb garden where many medicinal plants were growing. It was so wonderful to be able to see and touch the plants whose oils have become so close to my heart because of how they have benefited me as well as my clients. Bay Laurel or Laurel Leaf (Laurus nobilis), Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and Basil (Ocimum basilicum) were just a few I was lucky enough to observe.
The big surprise however, was coming across Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum). I have a serious love affair with its essential oil and it was such an unexpected treat to be able to see how it grew. It is often referred to as the Curry Plant because of its somewhat spicey aroma but has nothing to do with the actual spices used in making curry seasoning. Unfortunately Helichrysum’s yellow flowers fully bloom in the Summer so I was unable to see it in all of it’s glory. I think a Summer trip to the gardens is now in order.
The preferred essential oil used in the practice of professional aromatherapy comes from Croatia or Corsica and is distilled from the plants little yellow flowers (which, as you can see in my photo, are white buds this time of year) and at about $115.00 for a half ounce it seems very pricey at first. But when one considers that a very tiny amount in a blend is more effective than a lot, it’s a bit more cost-effective in the end. I usually use no more than 1-2 drops per ounce in a blend.
I have found Helichrysum to be simply one of the most special essential oils out there. No other oil helps to heal bruises, injuries, wounds, scars or rashes (such as eczema or psoriasis) faster and it is even more effective when blended in a carrier of Arnica oil. It is also one of the most effective oils for healing wounds on a traumatic, emotional level as well. Helichrysum is a very strong antispasmodic due to its high percentage of Esters and is crucial in a PMS blend for someone who complains about cramping or backache that may come along with it. As a tonic for the nervous system, 1 drop in an evening bath is guaranteed to ease exhaustion and stress.
Honestly, I am not quite sure what I would do without Helichrysum in my life and am really looking forward to revisiting the plant again in the Summer – when it’s yellow flowers that provide the world with such an amazing essential oil are in bloom!