Bath & Body · Skincare

Chamomile: A Skincare Super Herb

Chamomile flowers on sky backgroundChamomile could easily be referred to as a “Super Herb” as it is one of the best all natural ingredients you can find for soothing skin irritations, calming chronic skin conditions, relaxing at the end of a stressful day, and helping to support a variety of other skin and body needs. And of course we are all familiar with the use of Chamomile tea for reducing anxiety and encouraging relaxation.

When used in skincare products, it is especially beneficial for sensitive skin and for use with children and babies, making it ideal for facial products, balms, salves, and bath products like bath bombs and bath oil.

Background:

Chamomile has a long history in herbalism for use with skin conditions, emotional relief, and herbal medicine. Chamomile is loaded with skin loving constituents. Promising research has shown Chamomile to be comparable to Cortisone cream in effectively addressing skin conditions.

It is loaded with compounds that are especially known for being anti-inflammatory. This means it can help with reducing redness and swelling, making it desirable for any all natural skincare program addressing acne or irritating skin conditions. For this reason, Chamomile is used in many Brown Barn Botanicals products.

How is it produced and used?

Chamomile has a warm, herbaceous scent that is often compared to apples. It is available in essential oil or as an oil infusion – both are good depending on what your intended use is.

Chamomile for skin care is typically sourced from two varieties – Roman Chamomile or German Chamomile. Roman and German Chamomile have similar constituents but are different in how they grow and harvest.

Brown Barn Botanicals grows, harvests, dries, infuses, and formulates their own botanical skin care products from seed to final product. At Brown Barn Botanicals we grow German Chamomile for use in an oil infusion that is then used in many of our products. We also include Chamomile essential oil in skin care oils where a soothing and anti-inflammatory effect is desired. Pairing essential oil with a matching whole leaf Chamomile bud infusion makes for a skin care powerhouse combination.

Chamomile Beds
The 2017 Chamomile beds at the Brown Barn Botanicals farm in Abbotsford, Wisconsin.

In the field, our Chamomile plants are about two feet tall with ferny leaves and are simply covered in small white petaled flowers with yellow centers. The bees adore our Chamomile which sometimes makes harvesting a challenge!

Once the flowers have been harvested they are transported to our vintage glass greenhouse where they are laid out to dry on long tables with a loose weave cloth or screen underneath. The bottom cloth allows air to circulate but prevents any petals from dropping thru to the floor. It is important to dry herbs before infusing them so as to remove any trace of water, which may breed mold or bacteria during the infusion process. Snugly laid out in the greenhouse, the chamomile flowers are left to dry under a white shade canopy for up to three weeks. The shade canopy protects the plants from getting too hot and scorching.

Plants drying in the glasshouse.
Chamomile, Calendula, and Lemon Balm drying under white cloth in the glasshouse.

After they have completely dried, the flowers are packaged in air tight containers or immediately infused in Organic Wisconsin grown and cold pressed Sunflower Oil. During this phase glass containers are filled with the botanical combination we select for a particular product and then covered in oil.

When filled, the glass infusion container is gently heated. Heat causes the oil to warm which in turn warms the plant material. The warmed Sunflower oil releases and draws out oils from the plants which then bind with the Sunflower base oil.

Once the infusion process is completed, the finished oil is transported to the Brown Barn Botanicals lab in Holcombe, Wisconsin where it is used in a variety of products ranging from facial skincare to bath bombs to body oil and more.

Infusing oil is different from making essential oil. Essential oil is the pure, direct oil produced by the plant alone. In pure essential oil, there is no base oil (such as Sunflower oil) involved. Essential oil production requires very large amounts of plant material to produce a small amount of oil (it takes over six pounds of Chamomile flowers to produce just one ounce of Chamomile essential oil!). Typically, farms that produce essential oil only specialize in a one or just a few essential oils because of the large amount of material and lengthy processing required to produce a small amount of essential oil. At Brown Barn Botanicals we leave the essential oil production to experienced experts while we focus on our area of expertise – creating oil infusions and formulating finished products.

Chamomile Benefits Summarized:

1) Anti-inflammatory, helping to reduce inflammation and redness in sensitive and acne prone skin types.

2) Anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic, antioxidant.

3) Disinfectant, making it excellent for healing minor skin wounds.

4) Antioxidant, helping to battle damage from free radicals caused by environmental damage and aging.

5) Naturally lightens skin, promoting a healthy glow while healing and restoring natural moisture content.

6) Naturally emollient, meaning that it can ready skin to allow nutrients from other ingredients to skin in more deeply and be more effective.

7) Gentle. Simply put, Chamomile is gentle and easy on skin, providing natural relief without fear of chemicals for side effects.

8) Relieves Anxiety

9) Anti-Spasmodic, known for relieving muscle cramps and relaxing tired and sore muscles when applied topically or drank in a tea.

A genuine “Super Herb”, Chamomile will help your skin (and you) feel calmer and less stressed. It works great in oil applications and bath treatments. Pair a Chamomile infused bath product with cup of Chamomile tea in the evening to relax and wash away the stress of the day!

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