How to make helichrysum oil at home

In this post, we’re going to show you how to make Helichrysum oil at home. We’ll use fresh Immortelle flowers and quality carrier oil, following an old, traditional Dalmatian procedure to make a Helichrysum macerate for home use.

Helichrysum oil, often called Immortelle oil or Everlasting, is one of the most sought-after oils due to its healing properties and use in the beauty industry and aromatherapy.


Uses of Helichrysum oil

The name Helichrysum comes from the Greek words “helios” and “chryos,” which means golden sun. Helichrysum grows mostly in dry, stony, or sandy soils of the Mediterranean, South Africa and Australia. 

We can recognize it by its golden yellow flowers and curry-like smell. It’s called »Immortelle« in French and »Everlasting« in English. The Greeks used it to decorate temples dedicated to the gods. Even then, it was already given names like »amaranthus « or »forever young«.

The usage of Helichrysum has been evidenced since ancient times.

Helichrysum is mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey in the 8th century BC as the secret of the extraordinary beauty of the Phoenician princess Nausicaa.

The earliest recorded method of Helichrysum medicinal use is recorded in the »Historia Plantarum« by the Greek scientist and philosopher Theophrastus (2-3 century BC). He stated that “Heleiochrysos” can be used to treat burns, mixed with honey, and in cases of poisonous animal stings.

Pliny the Elder, the author of Natural History, mentions Helichrysum and claims that bruised leaves macerated in white wine prevent blood clotting.

A Dutch botanic, Herman Boerhaave, noted in 1727 that Immortelle is useful in the treatment of nervousness and hysteria.

Although it became popular worldwide in the early 2000s, largely due to the cosmetic industry, it has been used in the wider Mediterranean region since ancient times.

Helichrysum growing in it's natural environment

Helichrysum is associated with many customs on the Croatian islands, coasts, and Dalmatian hinterland.

Croatian folk medicine is rich in recipes and customs related to the Helichrysum plant. In the Dalmatian hinterland, women used water in which Helichrysum flowers were briefly boiled. A bottle of Helichrysum macerate was used to treat skin injuries, burns, problems with heavy legs and thrombosis.

Immortelle flowers were used to dye cotton and wool and, because of their beautiful yellow color, were used for painting as well.

Based on a belief that helichrysum absorbs sunrays, pillows and blankets from its fluffy flowers were made to protect from cold winds and keep them warm. Dried bouquets were placed in closets along with lavender to protect clothes.

The warm and strong scents of the Helichrysum give the Mediterranean region a characteristic and recognizable identity. Napoleon once declared that he smelled his land of Corsica before he set foot on it, referring to the intense smell of the Immortelle. In Corsica, Immortelle is still called the plant of St. Ivan. It was used as a bactericide and air freshener during the famous Spanish flu epidemic.

Helichrysum growing in it's natural mediterranean environmet

Benefits of Helichrysum oil


Helichrysum is well known for its antibacterial activity, reducing the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans and Streptococcus mutans. It also shows inhibiting properties against Enterobacter aerogenes, Escherichia coli, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans, and Herpes simplex virus.

Insect repellent and antimalarial activity

Immortelle was used as a repellent that was very effective against mosquitos. Helichrysum extract shows antimalarial properties by killing the larvae of mosquitos.

Helichrysum oil for the skin

  • It acts against free radicals
  • Flavonoids in Helichrysum act as a natural protective UV factor, making it a perfect and powerful sunscreen
  • It significantly affects collagen production. Its Neryl acetate prevents the breakdown of collagen and elastane in tissues by blocking the action of two enzymes, collagenase and elastase. That way, it regenerates the skin and reduces the visibility of wrinkles
  • it helps with chronic inflammation of the skin
  • it’s used in treating wounds, burns and scars; it helps treat stretch marks  
  • it helps with the healing of diabetic wounds
  • it’s effective against acne, fighting the bacterium that causes acne
  • it prevents the formation of spots
  • it prevents hyperpigmentation
  • it reduces dark circles under the eyes
  • is effective against eczema
  • it promotes skin cell renewal and alleviates skin reactions from allergies

Other Helichrysum plant benefits

In folk medicine, it was used to stop bleeding from the nose and mouth. It’s an excellent remedy for bronchitis and cough, acts as a sedative, lowers blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, prevents blood clots, relieves pain, and strengthens the whole organism.

It treats hematoma, inflamed veins, thrombosis, ruptured capillaries, sports injuries, and rheumatoid arthritis. It stimulates liver function

Immortelle essential oil is also excellent for muscle inflammation and pain, sciatica and spasms.

Helichrysum tea regulates digestion, lowers blood pressure, helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and strengthens the entire body.

Psychological effects of Helichrysum

Helichrysum is a mild antidepressant, and it helps with mental and emotional exhaustion. It works against mental restlessness, irritability, sadness, and distress; it helps heal emotional trauma, mental exhaustion, anxiety, acute fear or anger and helps to fight burnout.

Image of a bottle of homemade helichrysum oil in Croatia

What do you need to make helichrysum oil at home?

  • Hand-picked Helichrysum flowers
  • Carrier oil – we used homemade olive oil from a Dalmatian village
  • Big glass jar
  • Clean gauze or strainer
  • Glass storage bottles
Helichrysum growing on the mediterranean coast

When to harvest helichrysum

There are about 500 different species of Helichrysum.

To make this oil, we harvested wild-growing Helichrysum italicum on the island of Murter in Croatia in June 2022. This plant is best known for its extraordinary skincare benefits. It blooms mostly between June and the beginning of August.  

Depending on where you harvest helichrysum flowers, you must count on its strength coming from the harsh conditions of its origin. Therefore, a plant grown higher in the north will not be able to give the same therapeutic effects as a wild plant from the southern Mediterranean.

The chemical composition varies greatly depending on the origin, which depends mainly on the soil composition in which the plant grows and the climate.

However, regardless of the place where you are harvesting your Helichrysum flowers, it should be done when the plants are just before full bloom. That is when the flowers have the strongest yellow color but have not yet opened fully.

You should harvest the flowers only on a sunny day when the plants are dry. Ensure you harvest them before noon or before the sun begins to dry the beneficial ingredients from the flowers.

How to harvest Helichrysum

How to harvest Helichrysum

Depending on your location, it’s very advisable (or, better say, crucial) to check first if there are any regulatory measures for harvesting Helichrysum in your country. For example, since Immortelle became a »fashionable« skin care ingredient, it has become almost extinct in certain places in Croatia.

Croatia wisely adopted measures in 2015 to regulate the harvesting of Immortelle. They have precisely defined the dates and locations where people can collect it. Croatian law also defines the method of harvesting, how many flowers should be plucked from each plant, etc.

If you live in a mild climate, it’s best to try planting your own Helichrysum italicum at home. That will enable you to enjoy its golden flowers’ beauty and many benefits every summer. Besides hundreds of uses, it will turn your garden into a smelling Mediterranean heaven.

When harvesting Helichrysum flowers to make Helichrysum macerated oil at home, harvest only flowers without the stem and leaves. Choose only adult and healthy plants. Keep in mind that you should never pick up all the flowers from a single plant, as that might severely affect the plant’s healthy growth.

Store the freshly plucked flowers in a paper bag or a wooden basket. For the best quality macerated oil, use the flowers instantly. If you can’t do that, at least make sure you use them the same day. Meanwhile, store them in a dry place, but not directly in the sun.

How to make helichrysum oil at home – step-by-step instructions

Macerate is made by soaking plant material in a carrier oil. Through a process called maceration, the lipophilic active ingredients from the plants are slowly transferred into the oil and thus enriched with medicinal substances.

We chose to soak the immortelle flowers in homemade cold-pressed olive oil from Croatia. The oil we used was actually from olive trees that were grown in the same place as helichrysum flowers. 

Step 1: Cut the harvested helichrysum flowers into smaller pieces and fill the jar.

Step 2: Make sure that the flowers are completely covered with oil; otherwise, they could produce mold at the top. 

Image showing how to soak helichrysum flours in a carrier oil

Step 3: Place the jar in a warm place with a constant temperature, but not in direct sunlight. If the carrier oil is cold-pressed and unrefined, it is important not to expose the jar to direct sunlight and a temperature too high, as that could potentially spoil the oil and certain active ingredients. 

An additional measure to protect the oil is covering the jar with aluminum foil. 

Step 4: Leave the jar in a warm place for about four weeks. 

Make sure you check your jar often, push the flowers gently in the oil, and add additional oil if the flowers start peeping out of the oil to prevent the formation of molds on top. 

Step 5: After four weeks, strain the oil using a clean gauze or a strainer. 

Step 6: Pour the oil into smaller glass bottles or jars for storage.

Helichrysum oil storage  - a bottle of homemade helichrysum oil

How to store helichrysum oil?

You made your own Helichrysum oil at home; now it’s time to store it. We suggest you store it in preferably dark glass bottles or jars.  Fit the bottles with a label and keep them in a cold and dark place.

If you choose a stable carrier oil, it could last up to two years stored in dark glass bottles, but it will definitely last till the next season when you can make a fresh batch of helichrysum oil. 

Another way of storing it is processing the macerated oil further into homemade therapeutic ointments.

A bottle of homemade helichrysum oil in a Croationa beach setting


What does Helichrysum oil smell like? 

Helichrysum has a unique smell. Depending on the carrier oil and the place of growth and origin, the scent of Helichrysum oil can vary greatly. Most Helichrysum species have a curry-like note.

Generally, the Helichrysum oil smell is gentle, sweet and herbal honey-like. It definitely charms you with an enchanting note of the Mediterranean.

How to apply Helichrysum macerated oil?

Some people are allergic to certain oils on rare occasions, which can cause skin irritation. To stay on the safe side, it’s best to make a test patch with a small amount of oil first. If the test patch shows any signs of irritation, it’s best not to use the oil. 

You can use it more generously if your skin tolerates the oil normally. If you use only the oil for face skin care, it is best to apply it to a clean face in the evening. Immortelle’s soothing and warming Mediterranean scent will make you sleep like a baby. 

If you used your Immortelle macerate for other homemade skin care products like cream or ointments, apply it on the skin when needed. 

To treat medical conditions with Helichrysum oil, please consult your doctor.

Why is Helichrysum oil so expensive?

Helichrysum essential oil is highly valued in the cosmetic industry. It is also very expensive because it takes more than a ton of flowers to produce a kilogram of Helichrysum essential oil. 

What is the best alternative to Helichrysum essential oil?

Due to the high price of the oil, the best alternative to helichrysum essential oil is a helichrysum macerated oil made at home.

Is Helichrysum oil good for internal use?

Although Helichrysum oil macerate is made with olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil or some other cold-pressed oil, it is entirely organic and thus not poisonous. However, it’s recommended to use Helichrysum tea for internal use.

Before using Helichrysum tea, always follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding your medical condition. 

Is Helichrysum oil good for dogs and cats?

Although helichrysum essential oil should be used with care when applied directly to the skin, using Helichrysum macerated oil with the usual carrier oils should be safe to use moderately on cats’ and dogs’ skin.

For internal use, consult your veterinarian first. 

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how to make immortelle oil
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How to make helichrysum oil at home

Step by step instructions on how to make helichrysum macerated oil at home
Servings 1 l
Prep Time 40 days
Total Time 40 days


  • 1 big glass jar
  • 1 l of organic carrier oil (olive, almond, coconut,..)
  • 1 basket of fresly picked helichrysum flowers
  • 5 smaller storage bottles


  • Pick up fresh, healthy Helichrysum flowers
  • Cut the flowers into smaller pieces
  • Put the flowers in a big jar and generously cover them with carrier oil. Make sure the oil covers the flowers completely.
  • Leave the jar in a warm place with constant temperature (but not in direct sunlight) for about 4 weeks. Check the jar every day and add additional oil to make sure the flowers are completely covered with oil all the time.
  • After four weeks, strain the oil with a strainer or a clean gauze.
  • Store the oil in glass bottles or jars and keep them in a dry place with no direct sunlight.


Before harvesting Helichrysum flowers, check the legislative measures first.
When picking the flowers, make sure you pick them on a sunny day and as far from the road as possible. 
Never pluck all the flowers from one plant; at least half of them should stay untouched on the Helichrysum plant. 
Use the freshly plucked flowers as soon as possible, preferably the day you harvested them. 
For the best quality, choose cold-pressed organic oils when buying carrier oil.
Make sure you check the jar often and press the flowers down, or add additional oil to keep them completely covered with oil all the time.
Do not expose the jar with macerated flowers to direct sunlight. If possible, cover the jar with aluminum foil for protection.
Never harvest more Helichrysum flowers than you really need till the next season. 
Author: Food nutters
Cost: $10
Keyword: DIY, everlasting, helchrysum, helichrysum oil, immortelle, remedy

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  1. 5 stars
    It would be fun to visit the areas where this grows. Lovely photos.

    1. Thank you Debbie; if a smell of heaven exists, then it’s definitely the seaside when the helichrysum is in full bloom. Nothing like it.

  2. 5 stars
    I have a question. I’ve grown my own herbs including the wonderful helichrysum. I live in south east England, and had bountiful blooms through this summer. I am desperate to make an infusion of my helichrysum as I wasn’t able to do so this summer. My plants are still flowering now late December. Can I pick these blooms and make an oil now, or shoukd I wait till summer blooms again? Are there less beneficial properties in these winter blooms? Thank you

    1. Hi Chrissie, you can still use the flowers in the winter, but keep in mind that the scent and the fragrance of the flowers, together with the beneficial ingredients will be much stronger in the summer. Plants usually compete for pollinators, using their scent that is most strongly released on warm, sunny days when there’s an abundance of bees and other pollinators. Therefore, you can try using the flowers foraged on awarm, sunny day when the sun is at it’s highest. The scent of the helicrhysum is still noticable, so you will be able to keep a stock of a mild helichrysum infused oil till the summer when you can make the oil from the full bloom again. Keep the jar inside on a warm place and check every few days for eventual mold building up. The flowers need to be completely covered with the oil.

5 from 2 votes

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