Herbal Calamine “Lotion” (chamomile)

The weather is just starting to get nice. Plants and insects are making their appearance to coincide with more time spent outdoors. It is good to be prepared for things like bug bites/stings, poison ivy/oak, acne, boils, and itchy rashes of all kinds. This lotion contains ingredients to soothe, heal, draw out, prevent infection, and neutralize. Giving relief to symptoms such as swelling, redness, pain, inflammation, heat, stagnation, irritation, and itchiness. You can make this “lotion” in a single use batch. OR you can make larger amounts of 1)powder, 2)liquid, and 3)oil to save time and effort. Combining them later as needed, storing them separately. If traveling or camping one can just store small amounts in appropriate containers for later use. The addition of chamomile powder and essential oils to this product supports healthy skin and reduces microbial growth. Not to mention giving it a lovely, relaxing scent.

Homemade Calamine Lotion

Powder ingredients-

4 TBSP of sea salt

4 TBSP of baking soda

4 TBSP of betonite clay

1 TBSP of finely powdered dried chamomile flowers

Oil ingredients-

10 drops of lavender essential oil

10 drops of peppermint essential oil

10 drops of chamomile essential oil

4 tsp of herb infused olive oil. Possible choice of medicinal plants could include-mugwort, yarrow, plantain, calendula, feverfew, basil, lemon balm, hops, coriander, thyme, sage or nettles.

Liquid ingredients-

Enough witch hazel to make a paste

Directions-combine all the “powder” ingredients, set aside. Combine all the “oil” ingredient, set aside. Measure out 4 TBSP of powder and 1 tsp of oil. Add to a bowl with enough witch hazel to form a smooth and creamy lotion.

Store unused portion in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

You could omit the liquid and use the oil and powder ingredients in a salve recipe. Pour you mixture into a small tin or lip balm tube for easy, on the go application.

Caution-discontinue use if signs of allergic reaction occur or symptoms worsen.

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.

Parts Used: flowers

Energetics: Bitter, sweet, moist, neutral

Element: Water

Spiritual and Emotions Uses:calming when there is restlessness and irritation. Releases emotional tension. Harmony and peace. Stability when one has changing emotional states.

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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