Homemade Facial Toner (CHAMOMILE)

My face has been breaking out a lot lately. It is not related to hormones or oily skin. Rather it is more of a heat condition that I blame on allergies (we have been remodeling) or bacteria (that I picked up and have been spreading by lack of a skin care routine). I am really good at exfoliating, moisturizing, and anti-aging strategies but lazy when it comes to the basics of just cleaning my skin. I find that I am more likely to use pads soaked and stored in the refrigerator (cold and calming) than soap and water (hot and stimulating) This toner contains chamomile, calendula, and yarrow in a base of store bought witch hazel with a bit of rose essential oil. It feels amazing right before bed. In a situation that does not feel normal, where routine is challenging, when sensory input limited to just the computer-this feels almost decadent.

Chamomile-thought to be anti-bacterial, softens the skin and treats inflammation.

Calendula-has been used to promote the healing of tissues, nourish, prevent scars, and encourage circulation to remove toxins.

Yarrow- may help open the pores, clear up oily skin and acne, strengthen fragile tissues.

Witch Hazel- has been used to protect and repair damaged skin, shrink enlarged pores, decrease swelling and edema.

Rose-clears heat, smooths and moisturizes the skin.

Matricaria recutia/chamomilla

German Chamomile. Is an annual. Latin Name -Matricaria recutia/chamomilla. Family-Aster. Sub Family-Anthemideae (aromatic members of the aster family). Like all asters, this plant is missing the green sepals. Instead it has translucent bracts (modified leaves) surrounding the flower head. Numerous tiny five petaled disc flowers fill the yellow round center which is surrounded by a ring of white single petaled ray flowers. Similar to a daisy but much smaller in size and different leaves. Each flower sits a top a short stalk attached to a long leggy stem ( may grow to 24 inches) which has numerous blooms. The alternate leaves are brilliant green, fine, and feathery. Chamomile has a sweet pleasant aroma, almost like apples. Roman chamomile is similar in appearance but shorter and often a ground cover. In the garden this plant prefers any kind of soil, regular watering and full sun for best growth. This cultivar sometimes escapes to be found in pavement cracks or an empty urban lot. Self seeds and spreads easily under the right conditions. Not to be confused with pineapple weed which can be found growing “wild” in many places.

Chamomile contains several volatile oils and constituents that assist the recovery and health of skin or mucous membranes. Studies show that this herb is anti-microbial specifically for candida, staph, strep, e. coli and fugal infections. Compresses, lotions, salves, washes, douches and gargles have been used externally to cool and speed the healing of burns, eczema, acne, dermatitis, insect bites, psoriasis, cracked nipples, bleeding gums, toothache and eye infections. The flowers have a long history of being used in hair products like dye, shampoo and rinses. They have also been used to flavor food, drinks and scent incense, massage oil or dream pillows. Matricaria reduces inflammation, clearing toxins and heat. Herbalists like chamomile as a sedative for insomnia and anxiety. It is very well suited for restless, nervous and hyperactive kids. A weak tea can support cranky, teething, and colicky babies or reduce nightmares and bedwetting in children. A study shows that this herb acts on the smooth muscle of the intestines and uterus, helping them relax and stop spasming/cramping. The flowers of this plant have been used to treat ulcers, gas, heartburn, morning sickness, IBS, indigestion, diarrhea and other digestive upsets. Herbalists use this plant for menstrual pain and migraines related to PMS/hormone shifts. It is thought that chamomile can reduce the pain of rheumatism, sciatica, and lumbago. Inhaling the stream from an infusion clears phlegm and may reduce the symptoms of asthma.

Energetics: Bitter, sweet, moist, neutral.

Element: Water

Contraindications-avoid large doses in pregnancy. Do not use if you are allergic to ragweed or other members of the daisy/aster family.

Published by blackbirdsbackyard

My backyard botanical pharmacy is located in Boulder Colorado. I began studying herbal medicinewhen I was 12 years old. In college I studied subjects like anthropology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, After graduation I decided to go to midwifery school. I attended births and had a small practice until I retired early in order to be a mother full time. I have always had an herb garden, gathered plants and made my own healing formulas with plants. Over the last 30 years there have been many teachers and I have attended dozens of workshops. I am one of those people who is always reading, studying and learning. In 2019 I was called to practice as an herbalist professionally, using "plant spirit medicine" and bio-energetic ( 5 element)healing techniques. I feel that there is a big need in the community for my skills and talents. I hope to inspire others to start their own backyard pharmacies as a solution to species extinction and the healthcare crisis in America. Healing has also become a spiritual practice and way for me to feel balanced and connected with nature. I consult with clients in person, teach classes (adults and kids), give tours of my garden and offer apprenticeships. Health, joy, meaning, and support are everyone's birthright.

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