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Questions & Answers

About our Logo...
The main feature in the coat of arms in Corsica is "U Moru", Corsican for "The Moor", originally a female Moor blindfolded and wearing a necklace made of beads. An early version is attested in a 14th-century Armorial, where an non blindfolded Moor's head represents Corsica as a state of the Crown of Aragon. In 1736, it was used by both sides during the struggle for independence.

In 1760, General Pasquale Paoli ordered the necklace to be removed from the head and the blindfold raised. His reason, reported by his biographers, was "Les Corses veulent y voir clair. La liberté doit marcher au flambeau de la philosophie. Ne dirait-on pas que nous craignons la lumière ?" (English: "The Corsicans want to see clearly. Freedom must walk by the torch of philosophy. Won't they say that we fear the light?") Later the blindfold was changed to a headband.

The current flag of Corsica is the Bandera testa Mora ("Flag with head of Maure"), is male rather than female, and has a regular knot at the back of the head.

We have slightly transformed it to feature the Immortelle ( everlasting ) / helichrysum Italicum flowers...

The plant ; Wild or Cultivated ?
The cultivation of helichrysum is a much safer way to achieve better oil as fluctuation in quality is high in the wild. This is how we did it :

In secret guarded locations in Balagne but also in the south around Porto Vecchio and Bonifacio, in mountains or by the sea in the sand, we started to collect in the Corsican wilderness 7 years ago . To start with we used to distill all plants together. The level of Neryl Acetate was around 28% max.

Then back 2011 we steamed distill and  experimentated distillating each plot of land separetely and discovered that some locations had a higher quality than others. After making an analysis of each different one, the best results were achieved from the maquis behind a small well know beach and beauty spot near Porto Vecchio called Palombaggia :  high italidione levels and 44% Neryl Acetate were achieved !! Goodness in action...

The quantities however were not sufficient to start a trade ( only 220 gr of oil produced from the plot in 2011) but quality was indeed paramount.

We then decided in 2012 not to use oil from this wild spot that was probably the best in Corsica and that nobody paid attention to at the time. We let the Immortelle pass the harvest stage and in September collected all the seeds produced that we planted in November 2011, first in pots in conservatory, then in February in soil. Now nearly 5 years on the roots have developed. Yield in 2012 was very bad ( 4 tons of plants to make 1 kg ) but now it is much better.

Our Neryl Acetate is now close to 40% (one the highest on the planet ) and although we call our oil Home Grown , cultivated , it is 100% made from the Palombaggia paradise known by so many unrespectful tourists. I have been in the same spot in August 2016 , south of the beach, and I found no trace of  our Immortelle, probably collected , roots and all....

We still collect in the wild, but amount achieved are very little ( 18 kg last year ). Usually we were used to blend it with our HG but in 2016 stated to propose it separately. At time of writing this piece in January 2017 I have almost all sold by reservation....

Corsica origin or not ?
Read our post on our FB about pollution affecting Balkans region. Ask yourself a question : is it worth taking that risk for your customers while Corsica is probably the cleanest Island of South Europe ?
Unesco attest that Balagne ( where a lot of our Helichrysum is collected ) is a Nature reserve, one of the most preserved in south Europe



For us there is no doubt : it can only be one and it is Corsica ! There are 600 species of Helichrysum available with various sub species. The only one worth buying is Helichrysum Italicum ssp Italicum or ssp Serotinum. Be very suspiscious of various companies based in South Africa & the Balkans to name only the most reported to us,  that pretend to sell you "Immortelle". They only use this generic name as a sesame to your wallet.
Ask the MSDS (see ours here ) and the full analysis before hand please. Do ask for references of other customers based in the US or Europe for instance and go to the extend of requesting them. Watch also for the level of Neryl Acetate and if it is under 15% avoid please. Pure organic virgin oil would even be better for your skin.
Numerous customers have reported various sophisticated scams to us. For instance an initial delivery of samples not corresponding to the main future bulk delivered or an "immortelle oil" delivered of Helichrysum odoratissimum , Helichrysum bracteiferum or Helichrysum gymnocephalum.

Why Helichrysum Italicum is so special ?

There are over 500 different species of Helichrysum (Asteraceae) of this daisy type flower. Some of which, like the Helichrysum Italicum, are unique to certain parts of the globe, Corsica and the Balkans to name only the mains.

It is so special because it treats cosmetic as well as medical problems, age spots to sports injuries. It is known for its anti bacterial qualities and its tissue healing properties, tests have been carried out at the hospital in Grasse, France, where they used Helichrysum Italium to close skin tissue, the result has been absolutely amazing as a very quick heal and with very little scarring, no redness and no infections.

It multiplies the natural collagen count present in our skin cells and diminishes wrinkles and creases with a high percentage of success. It is also combined with other oils and used to treat acne, there are different remedies based on the Helichrysum Italicum. It acts on the skin, on muscles and joints and on the nervous system; there are not many essential oils with this vast healing power. In fact I now call Helichrysum Italicum “liquid gold”, as it is so precious.

Why is it rare?

Because of its chemical composition it makes it unique. The soil composition and climate contribute enormously to its structure. In fact the climate and the soil will modify the Neryl Acetate % which can cause the overall price to rise or to drop.

As confirmed to me on one of my “many questioning calls” to the different distillers the main harvesting of Helichysum Italicum takes place in June as the level of Neryl Acetate is at its peak .

Helichrysum Italicum can be found all over the island of Corsica and its fragrant aroma contributes to the smells of the Maquis; this sweet scented honey fragrance mingles with Rosemary, Ciste, Pine Larrico and other odours making the perfume of the Maquis unique to Corsica. A well known comment from Napoleon who said he could “smell his island before sighting it".

The subtle olfactory smell produced by Helichrysum Italicum connects us to the Earth and lets our minds drift into conciliate with inner emotions and ourselves by odour. This is why Helichrysum Italicum is is quite simply the best of essential oils with a multi functional healing of unequalled quality.

 


What chemicals are found in Helichrysum Italicum ?
Most viruses, fungi and bacteria cannot live in the presence of many essential oils, specially those high in terpenes like the helichrysum Italicum. This, perhaps, offers a modern explanation why the Old Testament prophet Moses used aromatic substances to protect the Israelites from the plagues that decimated the ancient Egyptians.

Monoterpenes
These chemicals are found in most essential oils, with citrus oils having a very large percentage of them. They have high antiseptic and tonic qualities and are very good air purifiers.They contain 10 carbon atoms. They are colorless and highly volatile. They can deteriorate very quickly therefore need to be kept at cool temperatures. Monoterpenes and compounds containing two isoprene units, which is ten carbon atoms and sixteen hydrogen atoms per molecule (C10H16) - molecular weight 136 amu for a hydrocarbon monterpene. There are an estimated 2,000 varieties of monoterpenes.

While offering a variety of healing properties, the most important ability of the monoterpenes is that they can reprogram miswritten information in the cellular memory (DNA) . With improper coding in cellular memory, cells malfunction and diseases result, including lethal ones, such as cancer.
  • Alpha fenchene
  • Kamphene
  • Limonene
  • Alpha pinene
  • Beta Pinene
  • Gamma terpinene
Sesquiterpenes
These terpenes are not as volatile as monoterpenes. They contain 15 carbon atoms (hence the name 'sesqui' which means one and a half). Sesquiterpenes have a calming effect as well as being anti inflammatory and anti-infectious. Sesquiterpenes are compounds containing three isoprene units, which is fifteen carbons and twenty-four hydrogens per molecule (C15H24) - molecular weight 204 amu for a hydrocarbon sesquiterpene. There are more than 10,000 kinds of sesquiterpenes.

Sesquiterpen molecules deliver oxygen molecules to cells, like hemoglobin does in the blood. Sesquiterpens can also reprogram miswritten codes in cellular memory. They are studies at the moment that could lead to prove that they are effective in fighting cancer : The root problem with a cancer cell is that it contains misinformation, and sesquiterpenes are believed to delete that garbled information. At the same time the oxygen carried by sesquiterpene molecules creates an environment where cancer cells could not reproduce. Hence, sesquiterpenes would deliver cancer cells a double punch - one that disables their coded misbehavior and a second that stops their growth.
  • Alpha bergamotene
  • Beta bergamotene
  • Delta Cadinene
  • Beta caryophyllene
  • Alpha Copaene
  • Alpha, Beta and Gamma curcumene act as anti-inflammatory agents
  • Italicenes
  • Alpha selinene
  • Beta selinene
Monoterpinic Alcohols
Alcohols are also highly antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal and antibiotic. They are a good tonic to the nervous system and can stimulate the immune response.
  • Linalol
  • Nerol
  • Alpha terpinol
  • Terpinene 4 ol
Monoterpinic oxides
  • Cineole
Ethers
Ethers are much stronger than esters but both have similar properties. They are a powerful antispasmodic, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. They are very gentle on the skin and particularly efficient in relaxing and rebalancing the nervous system.
  • Angelates
Neryl Acetate Properties
  1. very high antiradical activity;
  2. very significant multiplication of the production of collagen I, on the order of sixfold;
  3. augmentation of the production of VEGF on the order of twofold;
  4. increase in cellular exchanges;
  5. activation of the cutaneous microcirculation which as corollary facilitates the elimination of waste products, and thus the revitalization of the cells and stimulation of the cutaneous biology;
  6. decongestant protective properties reinforcing the equilibriums and defenses at the level of the skin;
  7. antiseptic and dermal purification action contributing to the rehabilitation of the cellular environment.
  • Neryl propionate
  • Sesqiterpinic
  • Alcohols
  • Ketones Italidiones (stimulate cell regeneration and liquefy mucous.
While phenols create conditions where unfriendly viruses and bacteria cannot live, the most important function performed by phenols and phenylpropanoids is that they clean receptor sites. Without clean receptor sites, cells cannot communicate, and the body malfunctions, resulting in sickness.

Phenols are the most antiseptic chemicals found in plants. They stimulate the body and can be beneficial in small doses however large doses can be a poison to the nervous system. Large doses can also cause skin irritations as well as digestive discomfort to sensitive people. Phenols and Phenylpropanoids are compounds of carbon molecules with a hexagonal ring incorporating one isoprene unit with a hydroxl radical (OH) attached. There are dozens of varieties of phenols and phenylpropanoids.

Phenols
These chemicals have a relaxing and sedative effect. They are known to have properties that are anticonvulsant and anti-coagulant. Coumarins, in particular, furocourmains can be photosensitive therefore it is best to avoid exposure to the sun when using essential oils with these constituents.

Coumarins
The properties of aldehydes are similar to the properties of both alcohols and ketones. They can calm the nervous system and they are anti-inflammatory. Aldehydes can be quite harsh however, and can cause major irritation to both the skin and mucous membranes.

Aldehyde & Ketones

Ketones possess superb ability to regenerate new cells and tissue.
In small doses, ketones can relax and sedate. They can promote the healing of scar tissues and are known to be anticoagulants. They can be useful in stimulating the immune system as well as treating respiratory complaints. In large doses, however, they can have the opposite effect and can be a poison to the nervous system. This can cause miscarriage, convulsions, and even epileptic fits.
 

CORE APPLICATIONS:

  • First aid remedy for injuries, strains, sprains, tissue trauma (you could apply undiluted under doctor's supervision)
  • Bruises, swellings, cuts, open wounds (Haas, 2004)
  • Wound healing
  • Scar reduction
  • Joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis (Schnaubelt, 1995)
  • Old or new scars resulting from surgery or injury, inflamed tissues, Hematoma, Allergic skin reactions, Hemorrhoids, Keloid scar tissue (to prevent or improve appearance), Stretch marks, Tendinitis, Wounds and Cuts. (Schnaubelt, 1999)
  • Apply immediately undiluted after an injury, it prevents swelling and bruising. (Haas, 2004)
  • Acute emotions (incl. acute anxiety, fear, anger, sorrow) (Holmes, n/d)
  • Mental / Spiritual / Emotional trauma
  • Acne, chronic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, scar tissue, burns, dermal inflammation, cuts and wounds, bruises, radiation burns
  • Childhood dermatitis (Buck,P., 2005)
  • Chronic asthma, viscous sputum in bronchitis, chronic cough (Holmes, n/d)
  • Pain Relief (due to anti-inflammatory action) (Harris and Harris, 2002)
  • Anal / Rectal fissures (Cristina, E., 2005)
  • H. italicum has anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antiallergic activity and has been used to treat chronic chest ailments. (van Wyk and Wink, 2004)
  • Dry, itchy skin with existing scratches and dermal irritation (Horrigan, 2004)
  • Nurturing, calming, harmonizing and grounding, Helichrysum will reduce apprehension, irritability and mental unrest. Helps untangle emotional knots and resolve past emotional trauma. (Holmes, n/d)



The subspecies include:

  • Helichrysum italicum ssp. italicum
  • Helichrysum italicum ssp. microphyllum
  • Helichrysum italicum ssp. serotinum
Skin Care Cosmetics : DIY
Just buy for a few pennies a well known baby lotion or quality family cream at your local store and just add 1% of pure helichrysum italicum ( a few drops ). This home made skin care for your personal use will be powerful and a good introduction to the power of the plant, hydrating your skin .
NB :  Never use essential oil pure on the skin but in a carrier ( olive, Jojoba, sweet almond or like above suggested in a baby lotion...) .

Distillation :
See here details of our operation http://www.helichrysum-italicum.com/distillation-2-23-w.asp
We collect / harvest plants once a year at the earliest 10th of July , at the latest 1st of August. After a period of semi-dessication ( we never distill the fresh green plant ) of one week all plant are distilled .
They also need after distillilation a resting / airing period of one week as fresh oil has an unpleasant herby smell. The full and sweet aroma of helichrysum is developped after this period.

Neryl Acetate . What is all the fuss ?
Nearly 40%+ in 2016  ( 38% in 2015 ) in our Helichrysum Italicum !!!

Neryl acetate is the key molecule in immortelle essential oil used in all good skin care. Neryl acetate boosts micro circulation, collagen production and protects from free radicals. Neryl acetate multiplies the natural anti-ageing properties of the plant already enhanced by a complex of active ingredients present in its composition. Neryl acetate target the heart of skin cells, combats metabolic and replicative cellular ageing.

Our Immortelle de Corse main components are : Monoterpènes : limonène (5.23%), alpha-pinène (2.48%), Esters terpéniques : acétate de néryle (39.69%) Propanoate de néryle (5.38%) Italidiones : italidione (5.75%) Sesquiterpènes : gamma-curcumène (12.26%)
 
Helichrysum plants are prolific producers of a host of different metabolites, including : - Pyrones, Triterpenoids and sesquiterpenes - Flavonoids, acetophenones and phloroglucinol. According to studies done by the Department of Biology at the University of Boozok in Turkey, these are responsible for the remarkable antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal & anti-inflammatory effects of the extracts, with its anti-proliferative activity & anticancer properties.

Helichyrsum’s protective properties are expressed partly like a corticoid-like steroid, helping to lower inflammation by inhibiting action in different pathways of arachidonic acid metabolism. Researchers from the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Napoli in Italia also found that due to ethanolic compounds present in the extract of helichrysum, it elicits antispasmodic actions inside of an inflamed digestive system, helping to reduce the gut from swelling, cramping and digestive pain.

How much do we produce ?
Roots of helichrysum will go deeper every year in the soil (like vines) and the yield increase with age ( as well as quality & acetate ) . The first year of production gives about 1 kg for 2000 kg of semi-dried plants.

We would like to point out also that mainly the flowers are distilled and not the stems. Distilling the stem will increase yield but lower quality. Some companies in other contry have not hesitation to do this. However read their analysis : Neryl Acetate in their analysis rarely goes higher than 8%.
As for us right now we yield 1 kg of oil for 1100 kg of plants.

In 2017 we should produce about 400 kg of oil and lots of floral water. However the cost of transport for floral water is enormous and to deliver 1000 kg drums to the other side of the world cost several times more than the hydrolat itself . You can of course organised it to collect it in Marseilles to be shipped by sea freight...

Reservation for 2017.
We produce a Corsican product with all our work force based in France ( Corsica is a French Island ! ) but our global selling head quarters are based in London UK since 2009.

Sizes on offer
We are a B to B company and our minimum trade price is 1 kg. although we propose to date on line smaller sizes. If you buy our oil in bulk please tell us.

updated in Ajaccio, Corsica France in July 2017