Herbal remedy: chamomile

Being a little girl, I remember picking up wild flowers, foraging for mushrooms, wild raspberries and strawberries during summer picnics in the woods with my parents, brother and sister. Those forest fruits were so sweet, fragrant and full of the summer sunshine. Finding chamomiles was always a joy associated with summer and sun, they smelled bittersweet, quite medicinal but with a promise. Humble looking daisy-like flowers are quite powerful ones. In top ten of most used herbs.

Botanical illustration from Wikipedia
Botanical illustration from Wikipedia

We all know that chamomile tea soothes the upset stomach, easies cramps and aids in digestion problems. It is also very beneficial in skincare for inflamed or acne skin. Chamomile floral water could be a good start. Even chamomile tea could be used as a toner, especially for sensitive skin. Chamomile can be used in therapy for migraine, insomnia, PMS, stress, depression. Very beneficial for children especially during teething or used in a bath for eczema prone skin. Chamomile calms down any irritation and bad mood.

There are two main species: German chamomile, most common, wild one and Roman chamomile, or English, garden one. German chamomile essential oil is famous for its dark blue colour, thanks to high amount of azulene, the organic compound which has anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Roman chamomile is great to use in aromatherapy, for its apple-like scent. In haircare, chamomile is a friend to any blondes. Regular hair rinse could highlight and enhance blonde hair, especially when combined with lemon juice and exposed to the sunlight. Can’t wait then for sunny days like today and try to lighten my hair naturally.

IMG_5670

And how about a chamomile coloured cat?

IMG_5796

Face steam bath

I used to do a lot of steam baths for my face in my teens when I suffered from acne and my skin was uber oily. Now, I have combination skin and still quite oily in a T-zone. I know, no need to worry about early wrinkles and dryness but believe me, combination skin with large pores is a bit of maintenance. So here the steam baths come in handy. They are great for purifying and cleaning your skin.

To prepare the steam bath you need a heatproof bowl, a towel, hot water, some herbs and essential oils. Fill the bowl with hot water and add the herbs. If you have dry skin, use rose petals and a bit of almond oil. It will moisturize your skin once evaporating. If you have oily/combination skin, use chamomile flowers, lavender or rosemary. You can even use fresh chopped parsley or mint and a slice of lemon. Actually, you can create a steam bath individually tailored  to your skin needs, but generally keep it simple. If you don’t have any herbs at the moment, use some essential oil.

 

 Once the bath is ready, cover your head and a bowl with a towel and let the steam to open your pores. Stay for about 5-10 minutes above the bowl, relax and breathe. It is not only good for your skin but also for nasal passages and sinuses. Follow with some chilled floral water to close the pores.

Chamomile inspired face mask

I have been waiting to write about this beautiful yet humble herb. I love chamomile! The smell so herbal yet a bit flowery. It helps me when my stomach is upset or when I just want to ease my mind. I remember myself as a little girl going to the fields and trying to find these sort of daisy looking flowers. I wasn’t always successful and often mixed them with other similar looking plants.

Chamomile is famous for its soothing and calming properties so works well for all irritations, acne, it is popular in treating eczema. Chamomile is an excellent not only to skin but the whole body and mind too! It works as a mild sedative, relaxes muscles and will bring a good sleep. I love this a bit bitter taste of chamomile tea. I just know it’s pure power of nature. Why don’t we restore all that powerful knowledge about herbs and plants and use it for our good? It has been used by people since the beginning of our civilization and it is still here. Unfortunately, modern life puts us away from the nature and all natural remedies.

Image

I felt like my skin needs a bit of nourishment so decided to use an egg and and chamomile as I have been out in the sun and wind for the past few days. So to start, I use pestle and mortar to crush chamomile flowers. You can even use chamomile tea bags instead. Just open them and pop the content out. Add chamomile flowers to an egg yolk, add squeeze of lemon, a bit of honey and mix it all. As it gets a bit runny, I add some clay to thicken the mask, the best would be yellow one to keep the colour synchronization!  When ready, apply to your face, neck and decollete. Once removing it, the chamomile particles will act as a gentle scrub and will leave your face smooth and bright.

Image

As Full Moon is approaching ( 3rd of July in UK ), it is a good time to moisturize, nourish, make masks, do massages. Start today and you will see the results!