There are two plants that are cultivated and sold commercially as chamomile. The plant considered “true chamomile” is commonly called English or Roman chamomile. Its scientific name is Chamaemelum nobile, although it was once scientifically known as Anthemis nobilis. “False chamomile” usually refers to German chamomile, or Matricaria recutita.
There are a few other plants that may be called chamomile, such as Moroccan chamomile (Anthemis mixta), Cape chamomile (Eriocephalus punctulatus) and Pineappleweed (Matricaria discoidea).
Herbal or cosmetic chamomile products usually contain Roman or German chamomile. Both plants have many similarities and are often confused. Both contain the essential oil chamazulene, although German chamomile contains a higher concentrate. Both herbs have a sweet scent, reminiscent of apples.
Both are used medicinally as a mild tranquilizer or sedative, natural antiseptic, insect repellents, and are anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial. Both plants are listed as safe herbs, and both plants deter garden pests but attract pollinators, making them excellent companions for fruits and vegetables.
Benefits of Roman Chamomile
1) CHAMOMILE HELPS CLEAR UP ACNE
One of the most popular uses of chamomile in today’s skincare world is using it to help combat acne and its side effects. Acne is a skin condition wherein the pores get clogged with bacteria, excess oil and other impurities resulting in inflammation seen as large, red bumps on the skin, commonly on the facial area.
Chamomile helps address one of the most common skin issues that most people experience and want to get rid of as it can negatively impact one’s physical and mental health. It helps relieve acne because of its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties coming from α-bisabolol, chamazulene, and flavonoids.
The compound α-bisabolol has been found to have positive therapeutic effects in significantly reducing skin inflammation when applied to the skin. The same anti-inflammatory effects that can help clear-up acne have also been found in a study conducted on the plant extract wherein, its component chamazulene showed a positive contribution to the extract’s anti-inflammatory activity.
2) CHAMOMILE LIGHTENS DISCOLORATIONS
Many men and women are looking for ingredients that will help them to even-out their skin tone or brighten their overall complexion. Those who suffer from hyperpigmentation want effective products that will help lighten their discolorations and reduce the signs of UV damage they have experienced over the years.
Skin lightening remains one of the most popular chamomile benefits for skin. Many people apply creams and massage the essential oil onto their skin to experience its skin lightening and brightening effect, even if they don’t understand what exactly about the plant produces the effect. Does chamomile help in skin lightening or are its favorable effects merely circumstantial?
A botanical study published in the International Journal of Pharmacognosy examined components of numerous natural products and their effects on hyperpigmentation. It revealed that chamomile is one of the most potent natural products in addressing skin darkening.
Another study on the use of botanical extracts as skin lightening agents listed several components found in plant extracts that can significantly impact skin lightening. The research highlighted flavonoids and their role in significantly reducing the activity of melanin (responsible for skin color). Flavonoids are vital components found in chamomile.
3) CHAMOMILE PROMOTES YOUTHFUL-LOOKING SKIN
Chamomile benefits for skin also include reducing signs of premature aging such as wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and freckles. These kind of signs appear when skin is frequently exposed to harmful environmental elements such as ultraviolet rays, pollution, smoking, and others. Instead of waiting for visible signs of premature skin aging, it is best to take the preventive approach – one of which is using chamomile-based products.
This incredible flower has been found to contain high amounts of antioxidants (polyphenols and flavonoids). Antioxidants are essential to fighting the negative, oxidizing effects of the above-mentioned environmental elements and free radicals.
One dermatological study showed that polyphenols have anti-aging ability, as they protect the skin from the ill effects of UV radiation and may even lessen the risk of acquiring skin cancer. When used in combination with sunscreen, the polyphenols found in chamomile can even address more serious skin ailments caused by UV exposure.
4) CHAMOMILE PROMOTES WOUND HEALING
The topical application of chamomile has been found to facilitate wound healing since ancient times. Many studies support this claim, with one of these researchers revealing that chamomile hastens wound drying and the process of epithelialization, which is important for the wound to successfully close. In the study, the antimicrobial activity of the chamomile extract showed a 61% reduction in the size of the wound, higher rate of epithelialization, as well as increased wound-breaking strength (faster restoration of injured skin).
This healing ability was further proven in a recent study, analyzing the effects of chamomile extract and corticosteroid (a synthetic steroid) in wound healing. The results of the comparative analysis implied that the use of chamomile promotes complete healing faster than the steroid. It is important to note that the same positive wound healing effects of this powerful botanical have also been seen in a clinical study involving wounded rats.
5) CHAMOMILE HELPS SOOTHE STRESS
One of the worst enemies that most people are currently exposed to and most often defeated by is stress. Stress causes not only emotional and mental turmoil but it also negatively affects your skin condition causing dry and dull skin. Fortunately, you can find stress relief, and eventually other skin anti-aging benefits, from chamomile tea and other chamomile-based products.
The aroma of this powerful plant has always been known to help in relaxation and in calming down the body since ancient times. Today, results of many studies have shown the significant effects of drinking chamomile tea or inhaling the essential oil in reducing stress levels and being able to effectively manage stress contributes to good skin health.
6) CHAMOMILE ADDRESSES THE SYMPTOMS OF ATOPIC ECZEMA
One of the most uncomfortable yet common skin disorders is atopic eczema, because of how itchy it is. Fortunately, chamomile benefits for skin also include anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Application of creams with Roman chamomile extracts have shown to provide relief from the itchiness caused by this disease. Creams or essential oils have also been found to be nearly as effective as hydrocortisone cream in treating atopic eczema.
7) CHAMOMILE PROVIDES RELIEF FROM PSORIASIS
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects 125 million people all over the world. It causes numerous symptoms such as skin inflammation, extreme itchiness and, in some cases depression, alcohol dependence, and other notable psychological issues.
While chamomile does not directly eliminate psoriasis, it has been found to help those affected endure its discomforting symptoms. In a review of essential oils used in aromatherapy published on the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, it was revealed that chamomile oil can provide find relief from the pain and uncomfortable symptoms of psoriasis. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties found in chamomile can greatly ease some of the indications of this dermatological condition.