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A History of Wild Chamomile and its Modern Uses

Introduction

Wild Chamomile is a herb that has been used for thousands of years for a wide array of medicinal ailments. While the modern world is fond of using pharmaceutical medicines to treat common bodily ailments, wild chamomile is still used today in many cosmetics, in teas, and as a topical application. If you’re interested in discovering the many simple ways in which you can potentially use chamomile skin care products to naturally treat yourself, look no farther.

A Brief History

The chamomile plant is one of the oldest known plants to have been documented for its medical uses. Herbal chamomile tea, made from the dried flowers of the chamomile plant, has historically been used for inflammation, insomnia, and relaxation. In the 16th-17th centuries, chamomile was recorded by numerous doctors to have reduced intermittent fevers (Srivastava 82). Chamomile has also been used traditionally to heal wounds, skin irritations, diaper rashes, eye infections, gastrointestinal discomforts, and much more (Singh et al. 897). This plant is extremely versatile, traditionally serving many cultures with its numerous medicinal qualities.

Wild Chamomile field
Wild Chamomile field

About the Plant

A member of the daisy family, chamomile is a small, annual plant that has golden tubular florets and white flowers that surround a yellow, cone-shaped center. Chamomile is mainly grown in Hungary, but it is also grown in Asia, Australia, North and South America, North Africa, and New Zealand (Singh et al. 84). The two most popular varieties of the chamomile plant are German chamomile (scientific name of Matricaria chamomilla) and Roman chamomile (scientific name of Chamaemelum nobile) (85). Flowering season occurs in March and April, and harvesting is costly due to the plant’s small size and shallow roots, which makes it a labor-intensive process.

Chamomile essential oil predominantly derives from German chamomile, but for those susceptible to allergies, Roman chamomile oil is less allergy-inducing. The oil is also known as blue oil. Its blue color determines the quality of the oil, which is created through either steam distillation or hydro-distillation of the flower and flower head, with the bluest oils being the most valuable (Singh et al. 89). While chamomile oil can be obtained from the roots, stems, and leaves of the chamomile plant, the oil is not as high-quality as the oil obtained through the flower and the flower head.

Wild Chamomile Modern Medicinal Properties

Fresh chamomile
Fresh chamomile

Today, chamomile continues to be a popular plant for its medicinal properties. Chamomile tea has withstood the test of time in that it is widely consumed for relaxation and is often combined with other herbs such as lavender or licorice and sold as a luxury herbal tea. While the dried powder from chamomile flowers has traditionally been used in medicine, chamomile oil, in particular, has gained in popularity in the modern age, especially in Europe and Asia. The oil may be used as a sedative, a digestive aid, and as both an antibacterial and fungicidal agent (Singh 87). In other words, chamomile oil is still used as a possible natural remedy for a variety of minor and mild ailments.

Chamomile Skin Care Benefits

Chamomile has many potential benefits for the skin. The herb might work as a natural treatment for mild cases of eczema. If you experience constant itchy skin and a rash, applying chamomile for itchy skin may be a safe way to try treating eczema before introducing your body to stronger medical interventions. In fact, research shows that chamomile has been found to be “about 60% as effective as 0.25% hydrocortisone cream,” (Srivastava 896) which is a steroid medicine commonly used to treat eczema. For pregnant women, in particular, this just might be a great option for avoiding the use of harsh chemicals that have been shown to potentially harm unborn babies and young children. Of course, be sure to talk with your doctor before using chamomile as a home remedy.

As previously mentioned, for those with plant allergies, Roman chamomile might be the top option for internal and external use. The best kind of Roman chamomile one can use for chamomile extract for skin is “Roman chamomile of the Manzana type” (Srivastava 896). This chamomile oil for skin can be particularly effective because it lacks the potential for an allergic reaction to chamomile and also contains high percentages of active ingredients compared to other chamomile plants, thus making it the best chamomile for skin for those sensitive to plant pollens.

How to Treat Yourself

Indulging yourself by using chamomile is relatively easy. You can make your own chamomile skin care products, such as chamomile infused oil for skin or chamomile skin cream. Simply create an aromatic chamomile body oil by mixing chamomile oil with olive or coconut oil for a quick massage oil. Because of the plant’s antibacterial and antifungal properties, you can even create a chamomile oil for acne facemask that might leave your face feeling soft while it reduces acne blemishes.

Champion Natural Body Cream with Beeswax
Champion Natural Body Cream with Beeswax

If you’d rather not go through the troubles of experimenting with your own ingredients, invest in high-quality wild chamomile skin care products by checking the ingredients and choosing chamomile extract in cosmetics. Because of the many potential wild chamomile benefits for skin, it’s hard to go wrong when you incorporate chamomile as a key ingredient in your daily lifestyle. Make a cup of chamomile tea, apply the oil to your body, and sit back and relax!

*Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Works Cited

Singh Ompal, Khanam Zakia, Misra Neelam, and Srivastava Manoj K. “Chamomile (Matricaria Chamomilla L.): An Overview.” Pharmacognosy Reviews, vol. 5, no. 9, PMC, 2011, pp. 82–95, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210003. Accessed 1 Jan. 2018.

Srivastava Janmejai K, Eswar Shankar, and Sanjay Gupta. “Chamomile: A Herbal Medicine of the Past with Bright Future.” Molecular Medicine Reports, vol. 3, no. 6, PMC, 2010, pp. 895– 901, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283. Accessed 1 Jan. 2018.