Tag Archives: chamomile

CHAMOMILE

There are mainly 2 different chamomiles used in aromatherapy: German or “blue” chamomile and Roman chamomile.

German chamomile (Matricaria recutita): An annual aromatic plant, up to 60 cm high. It has a branching stem, feathery leaves and simple white flowers with a yellow center. It is native to Europe, but is now naturalized in North America and Australia. It is mainly cultivated in Hungary and eastern Europe where most of the oil is produced. All over Europe it can be found growing along fields and road-sides. The name “German” comes from earlier days when Germany was its main producer. It is often called Blue chamomile thanks to its deep blue-green color due to the chemical chamazulen. Chamazulen is not present in the fresh flower, it is only produced during the distillation process. The oil comes from steam-distillation of the flower heads.

It has a long tradition as a medicinal herb for all kinds of tension and for its anti-inflammatory properties. Usually it has been used in the form of tea or infusion. The scent is herbaceous with a fruity tinge.

USES:

  • SKIN: All kinds of inflammation; Acne, boils, dermatitis, eczema, inflammations, insect bites.
  • MUSCLE: Anti-inflammatory; rheumatism, inflamed joints, aches and pains, neuralgia, fibromyalgia.
  • EMOTION: Calming and relaxing to the nervous system; Headaches, insomnia, nervous tension, stress.
  • STOMACH: Anti-inflammatory and calming; Colic, indigestion and nausea. (Massage, tea & infusion)

This is a safe oil to use for children, elderly and weak individuals. Remember to keep the dosage down. The oil will stain both skin and materials.

Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile): A small perennial plant, up to 25 cm high with a branched hairy stem, feathery leaves and white flowers with yellow centers, the flowers are larger than those of German chamomile. The whole plant spreads in a creeping manner and has an apple-like scent. It is native to southern and western Europe, now naturalized in North America. It is cultivated in England, Belgium, Hungary, USA, Italy and France. The oil comes from steam-distillation of the flower heads, the scent is warm, sweet and herbaceous.

It has been used as a medicinal plant for at least 2000 years, especially in the Mediterranean area. The ancient Egyptians made note of it, as did the Romans. The ancient Greeks called it earth-apple (kamai – earth +melon – apple) which later turned into chamameleum.

USES:

It is used much in the same way as German chamomile, being calming, anti-inflammatory, hypnotic and a nerve sedative. The roman chamomile has a different, more profound calming action than the German C. According to Dr’s Franchomme & Penoel, Roman chamomile is useful as a calming agent before operations.

This oil is safe to use for children, elderly and weak individuals. Remember; lower dosage. Excellent oil for babies suffering from colic.

Experience: I have had great use of Roman chamomile for my children when they have suffered from stomach-ache or anxiety. Colic: Blend 1 drop in 5ml vegetable oil, rub on tummy (clockwise) cover with a warming pad, lay against shoulder and rock baby gently. The oil, soothing motion and the massage that is given by the rubbing against the shoulder usually helps baby to calm down.

German chamomile is brilliant as an anti-inflammatory for most skin-problems, even eczema. Just pay attention to dosage. I find the scent reviving though calming. I have used it with great success for horses; both emotionally and as a healing agent for wounds.

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TOOTHACHE, STRESS & ESSENTIAL OILS

toothacheA few posts back, I told you about my friend with dental pain after an operation. Well, she has been administering the oils without any change. The oils helped against the pain and kept her spirits up but she was still in a bad way. Finally she went to see the dentist again who told her there was nothing wrong, no infection but still he gave her antibiotics. Of course she took the antibiotics which didn’t help at all.

This lady has been through quite difficult times lately with dental surgery and other major acute surgery. She has had her fair share of bad news and worries and I think she is so run down that her body just can’t cope with more. This last surgery was just one to many. I am going with her to see the dentist since he tends to brush her off, but I doubt there is anything that can be done except perhaps repeating the surgical procedure – Bad idea.

I have made her a new essential oil blend to start using today. This is anti-inflammatory and emotionally relieving and calming. What I am aiming for is to ease the obvious inflammation, reduce the stress and get her in a better emotional balance so the body can be allowed to heal.

helichrysum_italicum

THE BLEND:

  • 20 drops essential oil of Helichrysum or Immortelle (Helichrysum italicum)
  • 20 drops essential oil of Wild Chamomile (Anthemis mixta)
  • 20 drops essential oil of Lavender Alpine (Lavandula augustifolia)

USAGE:

  • 1 drop on a moist q-tip and dab on operation site, to be repeated as often as necessary.
  • 5 drops in 10ml (2 teaspoon) of vegetable oil to be massaged on cheek, neck and shoulders 3-5 times / day during the acute stage, then continuously 2 times / day for the next 3 weeks.
  • 10 drops in 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of vegetable oil to be applied to the operation site.

During the acute stage; 1-3 days this could be administered as often as possible. After that the dosages should be brought down to half. This lady has very sensitive skin, therefore I have lowered the amount of essential oil in the massage oil. Normally I would, at this acute stage, use double the amount of drops; 10 drops to 10ml of veg. oil. This blend might even be too strong for her, then we will have to dilute it further.

All of these essential oils are mild on the skin, so there should be no problem. They are soothing, healing, anti-inflammatory and calming in nature. This makes a very nice blend.

chamomile

Essential oils of Helichrysum and Chamomile are rather expensive. But if you really want to get maximum effect, you need to be prepared to pay the price. These oils go very far and when a person is so weakened as this lady has become over time, you really need to bring out the best stuff to go deep enough to heal.

HOME SPA

roman_religion_bathThe original SPA was to detox and heal with the help of the curative powers of mineral water. In Egypt elaborate bath-rituals were acted out by the priests to cleanse themselves. The Romans and Greeks are widely known for their practice of baths and massages.The great Hippocrates (also called the Father of Medicine, doctors still take the “Hippocratic Oath“) once said; “The way to health is having a scented bath and a massage every day”. In Japan the bath-culture is a part of every-day life and in Arabic cultures there is the “Turkish bath” also called “Hammam”.

Essential oils, floral waters, herbs and oils have always been widely used for beauty and health within the bath-culture. Also used were honey, fermented milk and clays. Water-therapy was used; alternating the temperature of the water in specific patterns, also called Hydro-therapy.

Doing a SPA has plenty of benefits: It is detoxing, relaxing, up-lifting, helps with aches and pains and sleep-inducing. You don’t need an elaborate set-up with sauna, jacuzzi or pool to be able to benefit from a Spa-experience – all you need can be found in your own home. The recipes for the different products are listed at the end.

The first thing you need to do is disconnect the outside world – no phone, computer, television or radio. Put on some peaceful and relaxing music to set the mood. Make your bathroom beautiful; bring in some flowers and candles and make sure it is clean and warm. Float flower-petals in your bath.

Always start by drinking a detoxing tea, such as nettle-tea or green tea. It will start a detox-process in your body and also warm you up. The next step is to dry-brush your whole body (optional, but brilliant for skin and circulation.) you can also choose to do only the salt-rub. If you have sensitive skin choose only one option. The skin-brushing is to get your circulation going and is done cold. The salt-rub is to detox, since salt “pulls out” the toxins through your skin, and is done when you are warm and all the pores of the skin are open. The salt-rub will also peel away the top gray skin-layer, leaving your skin glowing. Don’t use salt-rub on your face or sensitive areas.

Home Spa

  • If you have only a bath you now slip into the bath and relax for 10-20 minutes. Right before you get out is a good time to do your feet. Then you get out of the bath and rub your whole body with the salt-rub and rinse it off with tepid water, don’t use soap.
  • If you have only a shower you shower first quickly with cold water (after body-brushing) and then as warm as you can. After that you rub your whole body with the salt-rub. Rinse it off with tepid water, don’t use soap.
  • If you are lucky enough to have both bath and shower separated you start off by showering quickly with cold water after the body-brushing. Then you get in the bath and soak for 10-20 min. Right before you get out is a good time to do your feet. After bath, do the salt-rub and rinse off with tepid water, don’t use soap.

Clay mask

While bathing it is wonderful to use a face-mask and a hair-conditioner. Wash it off in the final shower. If you have only a shower, you do this before your treatment, leaving the mask and conditioner on until you rinse off the salt-rub.

Usually you don’t need any body lotion after the salt rub, since it leaves you smooth and “oiled”. But if you could not resist using soap, or you have very dry skin, you can massage lotion or body-oil into your skin. Pay attention to your feet! Do your facial care as usual; toner, oil and creme.

Now REST! At least 10 minutes. Put cool pads on your eyes, lie down – well covered so you stay warm – and allow yourself total peace and relaxation. Do your home-spa on days when you know that you will not be disturbed. Cleansing in this manner is exhausting to the body. You need time to allow your body to recuperate. Always finish with a nice cup of herbal tea with some honey and/or tepid lemon-water to strengthen your liver. Eat lightly; soup or steamed veggies are best. Stay away from alcohol, meat and bread-products. This way the spa-moment will give maximum benefits. As I said; The idea of the Spa is health more than beauty because HEALTH = BEAUTY.

d.i.y.-Beauty-recipes-lip-stain

RECIPES:

ESSENTIAL OILS FOR THE BATH:

  • Relaxing: Lavender (lavandula augustifolia/l. officinalis), Ylang-Ylang (cananga odorata), Cedarwood (cedrus atlantica), Orange (citrus sinensis/c. dulcis), Petit-grain(citrus aurantium, c. sinensis), Frankincense(boswellia carterii), Sweet Marjoram(origanum majorana), Rose-wood(aniba rosaeodora), Roman Chamomile(chamaemelum nobile), Vetivert(vetiveria zizanoides), Geranium(pelargonium graveolens).
  • Detoxing, invigorating, strengthening: Lemon(citrus limon), Rosemary(rosmarinus officinalis), Pine(pinus sylvestris), Lemongrass(cymbopogon citratus), Black Pepper(piper nigrum) – careful if you have weak kidneys. Eucalyptus(eucalyptus globulus), Grapefruit(citrus x paradisi), Fennel(foeniculum vulgare).

Mix 5-10 drops of essential oils in 15ml (1 tablespoon) base: Honey, cream, unscented soap, vegetable oil, yoghurt. If you have sensitive skin, use a lower dosage. NOTE: If you seem to not smell the scents after a while, do not add more. Your nose has accustomed itself to the scent. If you leave the room for a few minutes and come back, you will smell the scent again.

SALT-RUB: You need to use high quality fine sea-salt. Cover the salt with vegetable oil; almond, apricot-kernel, grape-seed or a blend. For very dry skin mix in a bit of olive oil or shea-butter oil, they are heavier and will stay on the skin a bit longer. (Only use high quality cold-pressed veg. oils) Allow the salt to be saturated by the vegetable oil and then you can (optional) add essential oils; 5-10 drops/15ml (1 table-spoon). Lower doses for sensitive skin. The salt-rub will keep for up to 6 months. Don’t use salt-rub more than once a week. Remember that it takes the skin-cells ca 28 days to reach the surface; if you scrub (peel) to often it might cause dermatitis. (irritation or sensitivity)

HAIR-CONDITIONER: Make a blend of vegetable oils (see above) and add essential oils of choice; 2-5 drops / 15ml (1 tblspoon). Good oils for the scalp are: Dry hair: Lavender, Rosewood, Rosemary and Cedarwood, Geranium. Greasy hair: Use lighter vegetable oils such as grape-seed and Jojoba. Essential oils: Lemon, Lemongrass, Rosemary and Cedarwood, Geranium. Massage the blend into the hair and scalp, cover with a bath-cap or towel. When washing: Always put schampo in first, then rinse. Then wash as normal.

FACIAL MASK:

Clay: Green (greasy skin, acne), pink (dry skin, sensitive), white (allround). Mix with water and some vegetable oil, yoghurt and/or honey.  Add essential oils if you wish; 2 dr/15ml (1 tblspn). It is better to use calming essential oils in a clay-mask: Lavender, Rosewood, Orange, Cedar, Roman Chamomile, Geranium. Apply the mask on clean face and let sit 3-10 minutes. Note: Clays are rather active and can create redness if left too long.

Pastes:  Use your imagination; Banana, avocado, cucumber, oatmeal, green tea, vegetable oils, yoghurt, honey. Just mix your ingredients into a paste and apply. These masks are usually better to use if the skin is very sensitive. You can also add some clay for consistence.

If you are interested in more home-made beauty recipes please check out this great site: mybeautyrecipes.com.

clay

Enjoy your home-spa, give yourself time-out and luxury without spending a fortune and be good to yourself. You will look absolutely stunning!