The Many Benefits of Chamomile Go Far Beyond Tea

chamomile-benefits[Image: Getty Images]Noted for its distinctive yellow and white daisy-like blooms, chamomile is one of the oldest known medicinal flowers. In ancient Egypt, chamomile was the main ingredient in the embalming oil used to preserve pharaohs’ bodies, and women rubbed it on their skin for cosmetic purposes. In the Middle Ages, Romans used the dried flowers to treat fever, colic, nausea and inflammation. Today, chamomile remains a popular holistic remedy; thanks to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, it has also become an integral skincare ingredient. Read on to learn more about this powerhouse plant and how its calming effects can work wonders on spa clients.

Why it’s a skincare all-star

When applied topically to the skin, chamomile reduces inflammation, kills acne-causing bacteria, and calms redness and irritation. A common ingredient in antiaging products, this flavonoid- and antioxidant-rich flower protects the skin from free radicals, brightens dark spots and restores softness. In addition to its soothing and restorative benefits, chamomile serves as a natural antiseptic and antifungal treatment for healing topical wounds and preventing infection. Plus, its hypoallergenic nature makes it safe to use on even sensitive skin.

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In the treatment room

At the Spa at Riverview in New Smyrna, Florida, chamomile is a vital skin-soothing component of the Micro-Retinol Peel (50 min./$130). The protocol features two chamomile-based products to calm and rebalance the client’s post-peel complexion: the Pevonia Micro-Retinol Essential Toner and the Neutralizing Gel. “The toner revitalizes, hydrates and brightens the skin, while the gel helps calm it,” explains head esthetician Melissa Pelletier.

According to Kellie Lambert, director of product marketing and development for Kerstin Florian, chamomile can also help ease muscular pain and joint inflammation. One of the brand’s most popular spa services, the Herbal Kur (90 min./$320-$400), incorporates a variety of chamomile-infused products to soothe both body and mind. “This treatment begins with our Chamomile Body Scrub, followed by a warm herbal bath and a luxurious massage using our Chamomile Body Lotion,” explains Lambert. “Adding chamomile essential oil mixed with a carrier oil to massages or baths is also a great way to introduce its anti-inflammatory benefits to clients,” she adds.

At the Spa at La Costa in Carlsbad, California, the Éminence Customized Facial (50 min./$165) features the brand’s Calm Skin Arnica Masque to soothe and detoxify the skin. “The mask contains chamomile and arnica to increase circulation, and minimize redness and inflammation,” says assistant spa director Lauryn Duffer. She emphasizes that chamomile can assist in reducing irritation during the course of any spa treatment. “It can always serve as the base for your protocol,” Duffer advises. “Provide a catalyst to your guest’s spa experience by playing off chamomile’s soothing effects and incorporating it into the finer details of your treatment.”

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Chamomile Products 

  • blue-flower-chamomile
    BlueFlower Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
Quick Facts

  • Chamomile is native to western Europe, India and western Asia, and now grows abundantly in the U.S.
  • The ancient Egyptians revered chamomile so much that they dedicated it to Ra, their sun god.
  • Drinking chamomile tea can help ease insomnia, anxiety, stress, hay fever and menstrual cramps. When cooled, it may be used to soothe colic and teething in infants.
  • Roman chamomile is a perennial plant, while German chamomile blooms annually.
  • Chamomile can be used to calm an itchy scalp or naturally lighten hair.

–by Taylor Foley

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