Proven benefits of Chamomile for Skin and hair… Not just a rosy picture!
While looking for ways to get a good night’s rest, one of the first solutions that come up is chamomile tea. Historically used by Romans, Egyptians, and Greeks, chamomile was considered a cure-all to treat several problems such as healing wounds, fever, cold, and dry skin due to its medicinal properties.
The name of this flower comes from the German phrase ‘alles zutraut’, which means capable of anything. This is how beneficial chamomile was considered centuries ago. But with scientific research involved, does the plant still hold this much value?
About the plant
The scientific name of chamomile is Matricaria recuita and this flowering plant is a part of the Asteraceae or daisy family. It is native to Western Asia and Europe but can now be found across the globe too. With a mild fruity flavor and an apple-like scent, the name of the flower is derived from the Greek phrase ‘kamari-melon’ which means Earth apple. There are 2 variants of chamomile oil- German and Roman. German chamomile oil is dark blue with an earthy and musky scent. It is typically used to treat dry skin conditions. Roman chamomile oil is yellow and light blue with a mild floral fragrance. It has calming and anti-inflammatory properties.
The goodness of Chamomile
Chamomile contains 120+ active chemical constituents which give chamomile health, skin, and hair benefits. It includes chamazulene and bisabolol (which gives anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties), luteolin (which gives an antioxidant and anti-cancer effect), and apigenin (which is a strong antibacterial, antioxidant and antiviral). It is also rich in flavonoids and terpenoids. The combination of all these compounds and nutrients makes chamomile a perfect ingredient.
After centuries of traditional usage of chamomile, scientific research has also proved that it is, in fact, a plant with exceptional amounts of benefits. It is generally used to treat problems such as:
- Menstrual cramps
- Upset stomach
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Motion sickness
- Mouth ulcers
This article delves further into the benefits of Chamomile in your beauty regime.
Chamomile Benefits for Skin
1. Protects skin from environmental damage:
Thanks to chamomile’s anti-inflammatory properties, it can repair skin damage caused by UV exposure and help with faster recovery. It naturally soothes sunburns and skin inflammation, providing relief from irritation and soreness. Apart from the sun, several other factors can cause damage to the skin. Chamomile fights against free radicals and creates a protective barrier from pollutants. This tightens pores, encourages cell regeneration, and makes skin soft and smooth.
2. Reduces redness and inflammation:
Inflammation is an underlying sign of skin redness. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile gently penetrates the skin and soothes redness, irritation, and dull skin. The antioxidant apigenin helps in treating inflamed skin by inhibiting inflammation-causing chemicals. Chamomile Oil is an effective treatment for inflamed skin, rashes, sunburns, and even inflammatory skin conditions such as rosacea.
3. Soothes dry and sensitive skin:
Due to its anti-inflammatory and healing properties, chamomile soothes the skin and provides relief from irritation. This is especially effective in dry and sensitive skin types. With its chemical constituents, chamomile can deeply penetrate the skin and treat concerns such as rashes, and irritated skin. It effectively aids in the treatment of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis which are caused by dry, scaly, and itchy skin.
4. Reduces acne and hyperpigmentation:
Like most of its other benefits, chamomile’s acne-fighting ability stems from its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It gently kills the bacteria that is responsible for causing breakouts, effectively treating active pimples and preventing future ones too. Along with this, it also reduces dark spots, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and under-eye circles, making them lighter and brighter. Chamomile is sometimes known as a natural skin bleach because it gives skin a clear, healthy glow.
5. Heals wounds:
The antimicrobial properties in chamomile provide protection from certain types of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This helps speed up the process of wound healing and reduces the chances of an infection. Its mild antiseptic effect is perfect for treating open scratches or facial wounds, keeping your skin clear and healthy.
Chamomile Benefits for Scalp and Hair
1. Prevents dandruff:
Dandruff is caused because of dry, itchy scalp, excess oil (sebum), or clogged pores. Chamomile soothes the scalp and provides relief from irritation and itching. Its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties kill bacteria and reduce the chances of getting a scalp infection. It nourishes the scalp and keeps it hydrated which reduces the production of excess sebum, keeping your scalp clean and healthy.
2. Protects hair and its shine:
In today’s environment, rough and dull hair is an extremely common concern. Constant exposure to the sun, dust, and pollutants can cause the hair to become brittle. Chamomile oil keeps hair moisturized and repairs the environmental damage with its healing properties. This helps restore hair’s lost shine and luster, giving you smooth and silky locks.
3. Fights frizz:
Most shampoos are harsh on your hair and strip the natural oils off, leaving your hair rough and frizzy. Chamomile oil can restore the natural oils to your scalp and hair with the help of the essential nutrients present in its chemical composition. It hydrates the hair and makes it less fragile and frizzy, making it easier to comb through. It is a great natural replacement for your hair oil since it efficiently nourishes hair, leaving it softer and shinier.
4. Enhances hair color:
Being a natural bleaching agent, chamomile oil can help lighten your tresses. Using this, you can easily lighten the pigment in hair without having to use any chemical bleach or dye. Just a few drops of chamomile oil can add subtle highlights to your hair.
5. Strengthens hair and reduces hair fall:
Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, chamomile oil repairs and strengthens the hair follicles from within. The hair follicles are responsible for hair growth and texture. Hence, healthy follicles mean healthy hair. It boosts the formation of collagen which restores the damaged skin cells and encourages regeneration. The oil makes your hair strong which reduces the chances of breakage, thinning, split ends, and hair loss. It also makes hair grow faster, giving you a healthy, luscious head.
Special benefits of Chamomile During pregnancy
Your skin during pregnancy undergoes a lot of changes due to the hormonal fluctuations, and to accommodate the growing baby inside. Problems that are commonly felt by most mothers include dryness, redness, itching, pigmentation, discolouration and stretch-marks. Let us see how Chamomile can be beneficial for the skin concerns of a pregnant or a nursing mother
1. Massaging chamomile oil into the skin can help alleviate swelling, muscle pain, and soreness due to its antispasmodic qualities. It also reduces inflammation.
2. Chamomile reduces signs of ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation. It promotes cell renewal, giving skin a youthful glow.
3. Thanks to its antioxidant and healing properties, chamomile oil can reduce the appearance of stretch marks.It also improves elasticity which prevents the skin from tearing.
4. Apart from the benefits for the skin, it also helps you maintain a healthy scalp because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It gently cures a dry and itchy scalp.
Side Effects of Chamomile
Chamomile is generally considered safe when used in moderate quantities. However, it may, in rare circumstances trigger an allergic reaction in people with hypersensitive skin or allergies to daisies, ragweed, marigold, or chrysanthemums. It is best to do a patch test before using potent chamomile oil on your skin. If you experience any reaction, you should discontinue use and consult a doctor. You should avoid the use of chamomile if you have:
- History of cancer
- Pollen allergies
- Heart conditions
How to Use Chamomile
Skin: Some of the best ways to add natural chamomile to your skincare routine are Chamomile extract. Chamomile tea and Chamomile oil. Apart from this, you can also use face masks, scrubs, moisturizers, lotions, and serums that contain chamomile as an ingredient.
Hair: You can directly apply chamomile oil to your hair or even rinse it with chamomile tea after a wash. Apart from natural chamomile, you can look for it as an ingredient in shampoos and conditioners.
Oral: Consuming chamomile can have benefits for the skin, hair, and overall health. Although less effective than topical treatments, it is a great addition to it. You can drink chamomile tea to reap its benefits.
1. Which type of chamomile oil is the best?
There are many different variants of chamomile oil The most sought-after types of chamomile are Roman, German, Moroccan, etc. The benefits and properties are mostly similar in all of these but depending on your specific needs, one might be more suitable compared to the others.
2. Is it safe to ingest chamomile oil?
No, chamomile oil is not meant for ingestion. It is a great topical ingredient but you should avoid consuming it orally. If you want to consume the ingredient, chamomile tea is the best option. It is a refreshing and beneficial drink that soothes the mind as well as the skin.
3. How is chamomile relaxing?
Rich in an antioxidant known as apigenin, chamomile has a sedative effect that soothes anxiety. The chemical binds with certain receptors in the brain and has the same effect as anti-anxiety drugs. When consumed in the form of tea, it can induce sleep and calm your mind. It does not contain any caffeine, making it a healthy alternative for relaxation.
4. Is it safe to drink Chamomile tea during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
Although there isn’t enough research on whether consuming chamomile is harmful during pregnancy, some experts say that it is best to avoid it. Excessive consumption of chamomile can cause premature contractions and labor. While breastfeeding, a small percentage of what you consume is passed on to the baby, so it is advisable to avoid chamomile tea.
If you are looking for a floral skincare ingredient with multi-fold benefits, look no further than Chamomile!. Generally known for its calming effect, chamomile provides way more benefits than most people are aware of. It soothes dry and inflamed skin, reducing redness and itching. Thanks to its antiseptic effect, chamomile also reduces infections to open wounds as well as acne.
Apart from the skin, it also provides hydration and relief to your scalp and hair. It gives your hair strength and repairs the environmental damage those tresses have gone through. Regular usage can give your hair a salon-like shine, but without the harsh chemicals!
Common concerns amongst pregnant moms are stretch marks, premature ageing, and fragile hair. Trying to find remedies for these problems is a never ending cycle. But look no further than chamomile oil! It is the solution for all these problems since it gives you smooth, clear skin and luscious tresses. So run to get your own jar of chamomile! Because it is definitely an ingredient that is worthy of being a part of your daily routine.