Researchers are beginning to use scientific testing to evaluate the claims made for helichrysum.
In many cases, however, the research samples are small, and so scientists need to do more investigative work to establish conclusive evidence.
The possible benefits of helichrysum include:
1. Preventing infections
Researchers who looked at existing evidence about helichrysum found that it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. These mean it may help kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi that can cause infections.
The anti-inflammatory properties of helichrysum could reduce symptoms related to an infection, such as swelling, pain, and redness.
Studies identified by the researchers found helichrysum to be effective against the following specific microorganisms:
- Staphylococcus aureus, or staph, a common bacteria that can cause skin infections, abscesses, and pneumonia.
- Candida albicans, a common form of fungal infection known as a yeast infection when it develops in the vagina or thrush when it develops in the mouth or throat.
- Streptococcus mutans, a bacteria in the mouth that can cause cavities and gum infections.
2. Fighting malaria
ResearchTrusted Source into the uses of Helichrysum gymnocephalum essential oil, which comes from one type of helichrysum plant, found antimalarial activity.
This means that in a test tube, at least, it could help fight the parasite that causes malaria.
More research is necessary to determine what protective effects it could have in people.
3. Reducing burnout and exhaustion
Helichrysum essential oil may help treat exhaustion.
In 2013, researchers did a small study on whether a combination of essential oils could help reduce feelings of mental exhaustion and burnout.
They used a mixture of basil, peppermint, and helichrysum essential oils.
The study gave one group of participants the essential oil combination while the other had a placebo.
Both groups experienced a reduction in perceived mental exhaustion and burnout, but the essential oils group had more significant results.
4. Preventing weight gain
In a small animal study, researchers looked at the impact of a helichrysum extract on overweight, insulin-resistant rats.
The study showed that rats receiving the helichrysum gained less weight, had lower insulin levels, healthier levels of inflammation markers, and reduced insulin resistance.
5. Healing wounds
Some herbalists say helichrysum essential oil can be a key ingredient in a “holistic first aid kit,” because they believe the oil is a useful treatment for:
- ear infections
- inflammation of the kidneys
These claims come from traditional use, and scientific evidence may not be supportive.