Materia Medica: Chamomile Essential Oil and Whole Herb for Skin Care
Chamomile essential oil and the whole herb are both very useful for skin conditions. Being a gentle herb with a long track record, chamomile is a go-to when dealing with sensitive skin, babies and kids.
Habitat: Native to open meadows of Europe and west Asia. Prefers full sun; dry, light, sandy, and well-drained soils. Annual.
Parts used: Primarily flowers, but leaves can be used also. Essential oil.
Pertinent Information about Chamomile for Skin Care
- Azulene is a volatile oil present in good quantities in chamomile essential oil. It has active principles that are anti-inflammatory and good for soothing and cooling burns.
- Useful for abscesses, open sores and wounds as a fomentation. A fomentation is basically made as a strong tea and applied with a clean cloth to the area.
- Chamomile herb is a hair lightener, used a strong tea as a rinse for blond or red hair. For dry and sensitive skin, make the herb into an oil or balm.
- Chamomile infuses nicely into extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil.
- Chamomile is said to prevent gangrene when used as a poultice.
- As an ointment, useful for bruises, sprains, calluses or corns.
- Chamomile is a cooling and drying herb and so is suited for many aggravated skin conditions which are often hot and damp. These include acne, rosacea, psoriasis and eczema and impetigo.
- Useful to bring down irritation and swelling.
The fresh herb is best to use for skin conditions because it holds the volatile oils of the plant. This is why chamomile essential oil is so effective too. The essential oil has similar uses as the herb and more!
Chamomile e.o. can be added to oils, balms, aloe gel and ointments. It can be used at a dilution rate of between 1 to 10 drops per ounce. Use it as an anti-inflammatory for acne, eczema and rashes. The presence of the plant chemical azulene gives the essential oil a blue color and also its nickname “blue chamomile”. It has calming effects and so is additionally useful for remedies for babies and stressed-out individuals or in moments of hysteria (hey, who likes open wounds??)!
The essential oil is specific for calming allergic responses, and hypersensitive skin flair-ups.
A chamomile bath is made by filling a small cloth bag with chamomile flowers and running the warm water over it and then allowing the bag to float around. It makes a soothing wash with a lovely distinctive apple-flower scent. The color is tan with yellow and orange hues. Chamomile is subtle and not too extreme and makes a nice bath for babies. Mountain Rose Herbs carries high quality chamomile flowers.