How Chamomile Can Benefit Your Skin
For centuries, people have relied on
chamomile tea for restful sleep and for calming various digestive disorders.
But chamomile is as soothing for the skin as it is for your body and mind.
or Two about the Herb
The ancient Egyptians considered chamomile
to be a gift from Ra, the Sun God, while Anglo-Saxons believed it to be 1 of 9
sacred herbs given to humans by the Lord. It is often referred to as the star
among traditional medicinal species, or the ginseng of Europe. The Greeks named
it ‘earth-apple’ because of the fragrant white-and-yellow flowers that bloom in
June and July. This daisy-like plant, native to southern and eastern Europe,
today grows in all parts of the world and has a few different varieties, such as
Moroccan Chamomile, Lawn Chamomile, Cape Chamomile, Dyers Chamomile, etc. All
of them are safe for human consumption and offer similar health benefits, but
the two species that are most commonly used in skin care products are German
and Roman Chamomiles. German Chamomile is believed to be more potent due to the
high content of the anti-inflammatory agent azulene. Other active ingredients
that are found in chamomile include 36 flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin, and
quercetin being the most potent), and 28 terpenoids (like chamazulene and bisabolol).
for the Skin
Chamomile contains an amazingly long list
of beneficial compounds that are all responsible for its reputation as a
fantastic soothing and healing skin care ingredient. It did not gain its
reputation recently though. Quite the contrary. Chamomile has been used in skin
care preparations for a long time, in a wide range of products, from those
intended to calm teething babies, to those that are used to heal acne,
allergies, rashes, eczema, and wounds.
Because of its long-term widespread use, chamomile
is one of the few cosmetic ingredients that have been so thoroughly clinically
tested. A study conducted in Germany found that a chamomile-based cream was 60%
as active as 0.25% hydrocortisone, while another trial showed that chamomile
ointment could reduce the symptoms of dermatitis after a single use only.
Here is what chamomile can do for your
Relieve dermal disorders and sensitive skin
In Europe, chamomile has been generally
used in traditional medicine to soothe irritated skin. Recent animal and human
studies have found that, when applied topically, it can relieve the symptoms of
various dermal disorders, including severe conditions such as eczema, ulcers,
sunburns, and psoriasis, as well as mild rashes and flaky skin.
One of the most common symptoms of the
above mentioned disorders is itching. Do you know what else causes itching? Bug
bites. Chamomile can help with that, too. Plus, you can use it as
a natural mosquito repellent.
Speed up wound healing
Being a natural antiseptic, chamomile
prevents wound infections and stimulates healing. This effect may also be
partly explained by the fact that chamomile boosts the immune system and
enhances your skin’s healing abilities.
Slow down the aging process
Chamomile is rich in apigenin and, like all
flavonoids, apigenin is a strong antioxidant. Consequently, chamomile helps
protect the skin from the damage caused by UV radiation and free radicals thus suppresses the visible signs of aging and keeps your skin youthful longer.
So ordinary, yet such a fascinating herb,
don’t you think?
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