CHAMOMILE BENEFITS: A SOOTHING BOTANICAL EXTRACT FOR NATURAL BEAUTY
- Chamomile Botanical Extract is the powdered essence of German (also known as Hungarian, or Blue) Chamomile, known scientifically as Matricaria recutita.
- Long esteemed as a healing herb, chamomile has been used throughout history in traditional remedies for wound healing, aches and pains, colds and flu, digestive ailments, and sleep disturbances, among many more.
- Chamomile extract is known to be soothing and is often included in skincare products that address irritation and inflammation.
- Used cosmetically, Chamomile benefits include softening and brightening the skin and hair, helping to address oily skin, and helping to reduce the appearance of blemishes, fine lines, wrinkles, and scars.
- Chamomile Botanical Extract can be used in creams, lotions, ointments, and body butter, soaps, shampoos, and conditioners, as well as facial serums, masks, and mists to support healthy looking skin and hair.
INTRODUCTION TO CHAMOMILE BOTANICAL EXTRACT
Chamomile Botanical Extract is the powdered essence of Matricaria recutita, an annual plant in the daisy family (Asteraceae). Also known as German, Hungarian, or Blue Chamomile, this variety of chamomile is native to Southern and Western Europe, and to Northern and Western Asia. Chamomile grows in a bushy shrub up to a height of 90-125 cm and has hairy leaves with conical yellow flowers encircled by drooping white petals. Dried flowers undergo a process of solvent extraction to produce a concentrated botanical extract. Liquid extracts can then be dried and made into a powder.
A fine, odorless, brownish yellow powder, our Chamomile Botanical Extract can be added to cosmetics in a variety of applications. Chamomile benefits are well established in natural products; used topically, this extract is known to be wonderfully soothing, helping to enhance mood and feelings of relaxation. It is important to note that Chamomile Botanical Extract is distinct from Chamomile Essential Oil, differing in composition, appearance, and use.
HISTORY OF CHAMOMILE
Chamomile traces its roots back to the ancient world, where it was prized in medicinal applications. This cultural significance is reflected in the name 'Chamomile' which is derived from the Greek word 'chamomaela', meaning 'ground apple'. This name is believed to be a reference to the shrub's habit of growing close to the ground and to its pleasant aroma.
Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans all used chamomile flowers medicinally, particularly in wound healing and as a cold remedy among many other applications. Indeed, Classical scholars would find abundant reference to Chamomile in the writings of ancient Greek physicians as a treatment for a wide variety of ailments. Further mentions of Chamomile in healing applications have been found in historical documentation across nearly all ancient civilizations that arose throughout the plant's native range.
Not only was the herb highly esteemed for its practical applications among ancient civilizations; it also held a strong sacred connotation. In Egypt, Chamomile was a symbol of omnipotence associated with the sun god, Ra. Revered among herbs, it was common practice for nobles to use it in their beauty rituals, befitting its elite status. Indeed, Chamomile held such a prominent role in Egyptian society that its depiction can be found in hieroglyphics dating back 2000 years. The herb's sacred appeal also prevailed among the Romans, who were known to have used it for incense, a common element in ceremonial rites and rituals.
Chamomile's healing reputation lingered long after the ancient world gave way to more recent history. It was a popular treatment during the Middle Ages for a wide range of ailments, including asthma, colic, fevers, inflammation, nausea, and skin diseases. It continued to enjoy a sanctified status in medieval Europe, where it was considered one of nine sacred herbs in the Lacnunga, an old Anglo-Saxon herb guide. It also gained popularity in culinary applications, as it was commonly used at this time as a stewing herb.
Because Chamomile can grow in many types of soil and withstand a range of temperatures, it proliferated wherever it was spread and became an integral part of many traditional medicinal practices. Now found growing all over the world, different varieties of Chamomile are still popularly used in teas and herbal remedies as well as natural beauty products, particularly in Europe and Latin America. It is especially popular in the form of topical creams or ointments.
HOW IS CHAMOMILE EXTRACT MADE?
Chamomile Extract is made from the dried flowers of Matricaria recutita. Flowers are first cut into small grain to prepare for extraction. Once cut, the flowers undergo solvent extraction using a combination of water and a food-grade alcohol solvent such as methanol or ethanol, to make a solution. The solution is filtered to remove any residue and then the filtrate is dried to remove the solvents. Drying is accomplished by spraying the filtrate into a hot-air chamber where the liquid phase can be separated. The dried material is then sifted into a fine powder. The resulting powder is standardized in a 10:1 concentration, which implies that the extract contains ten times the amount of unique chemical compounds as the original flowers in dried form. Our Chamomile Extract is ideal for making tinctures or for adding to topical applications such as balms or body butter.
Chamomile largely retains the reputation that it enjoyed historically as a cure-all. It is widely considered to be cleansing and to facilitate feelings of relaxation, which has made it a popular ingredient in natural sedatives and sleep aids, in natural remedies to manage feelings of anxiety, as well as in detoxifying and purifying formulations to support the body's natural healing abilities.
Used topically, Chamomile extract is reputed to help manage feelings of discomfort from inflammation and irritation. For this reason, it is a common ingredient in products that address a variety of skin conditions, including eczema, dermatitis, dryness, soreness, and itchiness. Due to its soothing touch, Chamomile extract it is also reputed to promote positive, relaxed feelings, which in turn help to further enhance physical comfort.
Used cosmetically, Chamomile extract is valued for its cleansing and moisturizing properties. As in ancient times, it remains popular in natural beauty products, into which it is often added to soften and brighten the skin and hair, to help balance oily skin, and to help manage the appearance of blemishes and acne. It is further known to be a beneficial ingredient in rejuvenating blends, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and scars due to a rich concentration of phytochemicals and polyphenols.
CHAMOMILE EXTRACT USES
Chamomile Botanical Extract has many versatile uses in natural beauty products, including soaps, exfoliants, masks, shampoos and conditioners, creams, lotions and body butter, bath blends, facial toners, and hair mists. As a guide, we recommend including Chamomile Extract in the amount of 0.5 – 2% by weight of the product. For shampoos, creams, and other thick products, the extract should be dissolved in hot water prior to adding; we recommend mixing the extract with 5-10 ml of hot water (roughly 45-50 degrees Celsius) until it dissolves. If adding to mists, toners, or similar water-based products, there is no need to dissolve the extract before adding it.
To make a soothing face mask to help soften skin and balance complexion, combine Chamomile Botanical Extract with a carrier oil of your choice. Mix until a paste-like consistency is achieved and then apply the blend to the face and neck, taking care to avoid the eyes. Allow the mask to dry on the skin (approximately 20 minutes) before washing it off with warm water. If desired, Raw Organic Honey can be used rather than a carrier oil. If using honey, you will need to dissolve the extract in some boiled water before mixing to achieve a paste like consistency. You can also add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice to further enhance the fragrance and the beneficial properties of the mask. Adding Chamomile Botanical Extract to a solution of water and a small amount of honey and apple cider vinegar also makes a fine facial toner that you can dab or spray onto the skin after cleansing.
For a conditioning hair mask that can help soften and lighten tresses, combine Chamomile Botanical Extract with a preferred carrier oil and blend until a buttery consistency is achieved. You can also dissolve the extract in hot water and add the solution to plain yogurt rather than oil. Wash hair with your regular shampoo and conditioner prior to applying the mask. Apply the mask to the scalp and gently massage; comb through the hair to cover the length of the damp strands. Leave for 30-60 minutes and then rinse with warm water. For extra lightening support, add some lemon juice or a few drops of Lemon Essential Oil.
You can make a simple hair lightening mist to accentuate natural highlights by dissolving Chamomile Botanical Extract in pure water and adding either lemon juice or Lemon Essential Oil. For best results, sit out in the sun after spraying the hair. If using Lemon oil, take care to avoid spraying near the scalp, as exposure to sunlight has the potential to be irritating.
Chamomile Botanical Extract can be added to one of our Melt & Pour Soap Bases to add some extra cleansing properties to your beauty bars. You can also make a gentle exfoliating scrub by combining the extract with a carrier oil of your choice, some granulated sugar, and some loose-leaf Chamomile tea (crushed into smaller grain for texture). Gently massage into the skin to help slough off dead skin cells, and to help smooth and soften the underlying skin, promoting its natural radiance.
To make a calming bath blend enriched with the gently cleansing touch of Chamomile, combine Chamomile Botanical Extract with Epsom Salts and a few drops of a calming essential oil, such as Lavender. You can also use Chamomile German Essential Oil for a pure and potent aroma to round out the appeal of the extract. Add the blend to a warm bath, making sure it has dissolved completely, and then enjoy a 20-minute soak. This richly comforting blend can help to promote feelings of relaxation and to support the body's natural detoxifying and healing abilities.
For an intensely moisturizing Chamomile-infused body butter, combine in a glass jar ½ cup of a preferred botanical butter with ½ cup of a preferred carrier oil and some Chamomile Botanical Extract dissolved in hot water. Heat the jar in a boiling water bath to melt and combine ingredients, stirring well to blend. Once all ingredients have been thoroughly blended, remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. If desired, you can add several drops of Chamomile German Essential Oil to the blend after it has had a chance to cool. Transfer to the refrigerator until the blend has set. Once chilled, use a hand mixer to achieve a light whipped consistency. When not in use, this body butter can be kept in the refrigerator.
GUIDE TO CHAMOMILE EXTRACT
Botanical Name: Matricaria recutita
Country of Origin: China
- Have cleansing and moisturizing properties
- Feel soothing when used in topical applications
- Promote feelings of relaxation
- Help to soften and brighten the skin and hair
- Help to manage the appearance of blemishes and acne
- Help to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and scars
Chamomile benefits beauty in a lot of wonderful ways. To learn more about the unique benefits and uses of more of our popular botanical extracts, check out our articles on Olive Leaf Extract, Rosehip Extract, Green Tea Extract, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Sachi Inchi Extract, and Rosemary Antioxidant CO2 Extract. New Directions Aromatics carries a wide selection of pure botanical extracts for versatile cosmetic applications. For more information, visit our product pages and take some time to discover the best botanical extracts for you!
CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR CHAMOMILE EXTRACT
As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, Chamomile Botanical Extract is for external use only. We recommend consulting a medical practitioner prior to using this product for therapeutic purposes, particularly for those who are pregnant, nursing, or who have a pre-existing medical condition. Those with a ragweed allergy should avoid using Chamomile Botanical Extract.
Topical use of this product may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction in some individuals. To minimize the risk of experiencing an adverse reaction, we recommend performing a skin patch test prior to use. The test can be performed by diluting 1 teaspoon of Chamomile Botanical Extract in 1 teaspoon of distilled water and applying a dime-sized amount of the blend to a small area of skin that is not known to be sensitive. In the event of an adverse reaction, immediately discontinue use of the product and see a medical healthcare professional for appropriate remedial action.
Chamomile Botanical Extract must not be used near the eyes, inner nose, ears, or on any areas of the skin that are known to be sensitive. This product should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, particularly those under the age of 7.
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