Chrysanthemums are old and valued Chinese herbs. Chrysanthemum was used as a tea and healing herb already a thousand years ago. During the Song Dynasty (960-1279), chrysanthemums were highly valued. Chrysanthemum leaves and shoots were used in salads and steamed as an addition to gourmet meals.
Chrysanthemums are known as long lasting autumn flowers. We are not used to using chrysanthemums for nutrition. Please remember that no decoration plants can be used for food or skin care. Chrysanthemums bought from florist cannot be used in cosmetics. If you want to try chrysanthemums in cosmetics, get dried chrysanthemum flowers for tea. Chrysanthemum tea is very delicious and healthy. You can also use the same tea versatilely in skin care. Let’s see what a wonderful herb chrysanthemum really is.
The chrysanthemum family is extensive
Chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum) belong to the family of aster plants. Asters are a very large family of plants, which includes more than 1,600 plant genera. The same tribe includes different types of daisies and the familiar chamomile. The name chrysanthemum comes from the Greek language and means golden flower.
Chrysanthemum flowers come in many colours. White, yellow and lilac flowers are the most common of them. The world’s finest chrysanthemums, snow chrysanthemums grow wild high in the mountains of China, in Xinjiang. Snow chrysanthemums are extremely rare. They produce few flowers that bloom for a very short time. That is why snow chrysanthemums are the most valuable of all chrysanthemums. Snow chrysanthemum flowers are used to make tea.
Some chrysanthemum varieties are used to make the insecticide pyrethrin. Insects avoid chrysanthemum scent.
How does chrysanthemum infusion affect your health?
Chrysanthemum infusion is drunk in China and other parts of Asia not only because of its wonderful taste, but also because of its healthiness. Chrysanthemum infusion is even healthier than green tea. It has a lot of different minerals, antioxidants and amino acids. Helenatur is not really a health blog, but I still want to tell you about the health effects of chrysanthemum infusion. This way you will better understand the wonderful properties of this plant.
Chrysanthemum infusion is particularly relaxing
According to Chinese medicine, chrysanthemum is a cooling plant. Cold chrysanthemum tea with ice cubes is a drink on a hot day. The cooling feature is also relaxing. Chrysanthemum infusion contains a lot of potassium. Potassium dilates the blood vessels and makes the blood flow more gently also along the small blood vessels under the skin.
Chrysanthemum infusion boosts immunity
Chrysanthemum decoction contains plenty of vitamin A and C, which improve immunity. The high mineral content of the infusion also boosts the immune system. Potassium, calcium and magnesium work in their own way to support the immune system. Every cell in the human body needs potassium to function the way the cell is supposed to function. Magnesium helps regulate blood pressure. It is an important part of many body processes.
Chrysanthemum tea contains plenty of vitamin B
The group of vitamin B is big. Chrysanthemum decoction contains many of them such as folic acid, riboflavin, choline and niacin.
The benefits of chrysanthemum infusion in skin care
Chrysanthemum is a real treasure for your skin. As I already mentioned above, chrysanthemum is a cool type of herb. The cool herb is soothing. Excessive heat correlates with inflammation. You should take advantage of this characteristic of chrysanthemum if you want to use it in cosmetics.
Chrysanthemum contains a lot of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A, which is very safe and beneficial for your skin. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that helps you keep your skin looking youthful.
Chrysanthemum infusion in hair care
Chrysanthemum zawadskii is a chrysanthemum species that has been found in some studies to have properties that affect hair growth. An extract made from this particular chrysanthemum has successfully treated hair loss and stimulated hair growth.
Chrysanthemum extract has been found to have a revitalizing effect on hair follicles. Sleeping hair follicles also come to life with the chrysanthemum treatment. This is how thin hair starts to thicken.
Even ordinary chrysanthemum can help with hair and scalp care. In hair care, use chrysanthemum decoction as a hair conditioner. After washing, rinse your hair with chrysanthemum water and leave it on for 5-10 minutes. Rinse your hair lightly with just water and let it dry on its own. Chrysanthemum water soothes the scalp and makes the hair soft and bending. The chrysanthemum rinse also soothes a flaky scalp.
You can also use herbal oil made from chrysanthemum to treat the scalp. Wash the scalp and hair carefully. Use your fingertips to apply about a tablespoon of chrysanthemum herbal oil to the scalp and leave it on for about 30 minutes. Wash your hair and scalp as usual with shampoo.
This is how you prepare chrysanthemum infusion
Chrysanthemum flowers can also be extracted into water. A herbal infusion made of chrysanthemum is suitable for facial lotions, steaming the skin or as a hair rinse. You can also use herbal infusion in the water phase of emulsion creams. As a base for washing products, an astringent and skin-soothing chrysanthemum infusion is ideal.
You can make chrysanthemum infusion from dried chrysanthemum flowers. All you need is 5 dried chrysanthemum flowers and 3.5 decilitres of boiling water. Pour boiling water over the flowers and let them brew for about 3-5 minutes. Strain the flowers from the tea and your perfect infusion is ready.
Herbal oil made from chrysanthemum soothes your skin
In addition to herbal infusion, you can extract chrysanthemum flowers into the vegetable oil of your choice. A suitable oil for extracting chrysanthemum flowers could be, for example, filtered grape seed oil or safflower oil. These two oils are light and support the effect of chrysanthemum on the skin.
When I talk about chrysanthemum oil, I don’t mean chrysanthemum essential oil, but vegetable oil-based herbal oil. These two things should not be confused. Herbal oil made by extracting chrysanthemum flowers and base oil is a really effective cosmetic product just as it is.
Oil extract made from chrysanthemum has traditionally been used for oily skin. It is an astringent oil that shrinks pores and brightens and evens skin tone. Chrysanthemum oil removes irritation and helps reduce inflammation and acne.
Chrysanthemum oil is full of polyphenols such as quercetin, luteolin, apigenin. These antioxidants help your skin fight the signs of aging. You can also use chrysanthemum oil on its own for the sensitive skin around the eyes. The beta-carotene in the oil helps regenerate cells and remove waste products from the skin.
The anti-inflammatory properties of chrysanthemum oil soothe the skin and remove swelling. The oil can also be used for burns and after sunbathing to soothe the skin.
This is how to make herbal oil from chrysanthemum flowers
Using Chrysanthemum oil is one popular way to use this herb in cosmetics. Prepare herbal oil from dried chrysanthemum flowers according to my basic instructions. Chrysanthemum oil is well suited for the preparation of creams and serums. You can also use chrysanthemum oil as it is, either in skin care or on the scalp.
Chrysanthemum is a phototoxic plant
The chrysanthemum also has its unpleasant side effects. If you are exposed to UV light at the same time as using chrysanthemum cosmetics, your skin may develop a rash or even blisters. This is called a phototoxic reaction. Some plants have a tendency to react with sunlight. So, use chrysanthemum only in night creams and serums used only during night time.
You can be allergic to chrysanthemum. Chrysanthemums belong to mycorrhizal plants, which are known to cause allergies. However, you should not worry about this unless you are really sensitized to composite plants. Chrysanthemums are such effective and useful plants in skin care that you really should pay attention to them. If you are concerned about allergies, you can easily do an exposure test yourself with chrysanthemums.
The fresh growth of spruces is now, in the beginning of the summer, at its best. They are very rich in vitamins so they are excellent superfood. Did you know that you can make cosmetics using the fresh growth of spruce? The fresh growth is perfect for cosmetic lotions and refreshing toners.
You can separate the fresh growth of spruces from the older part of tree easily. The lighter green part of candles, at the end of branches is the fresh part. They are not long. The darker part is already old, do not prune that.
Before you start using spruce for the first time, I recommend you to get an allergy test. Spruce is not a familiar ingredient in cosmetics products. You may be allergic to it. Do not spread any product containing spruce on large areas of your skin. Try first on small area that is not very visible.
The benefits of spruce for the skin
Spruce is a very old medicinal plant. Especially in Finland, the spruce has been one of the basic medicines. The main ingredient is resin, but needles and fresh growth have also been used for some herbal treatments. Rheumatism is one of the illnesses which have been treated by spruce needles in folk medicine.
The active ingredients of spruce are resins. Spruce needles do also contain the same resins but not as abundant. Spruce needles are very rich in ascorbic acid. In some countries, vitamins are still made from spruce needles.
The fresh growth of spruces contains antiseptic ingredients that soothe the skin and suppress inflammation and a considerable amount of lingan. Lingans are special phenolic compounds with a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect. The healthiness of fresh growth of spruce as a diet is largely based on lingans.
Fresh growth is also high in vitamin C, a very important vitamin for the skin. Therefore, fresh growth should be utilized right now when they are at their best.
Spruce has a healing effect on wounds and scar tissue. The Finnish pharmaceutical company Reoplar Pharmaceuticals Ltd has studied the spruce’s regenerating effect on human cells. They have launched a full line of products based on spruce’s resins. The spruce accelerates the regeneration of new skin cells and also protects them. Such an effect is also highly desirable in cosmetic skincare products. Why not try a spruce to rejuvenate your skin. Right now, when fresh growth is available everywhere, it is easy to make homemade products.
The use of fresh growth is, of course, limited because of their very seasonal availability. Before, the preservation methods were not so effective than today.
Extraction of fresh growth
I have made the extracts from fresh growth that I am using in lotions and toners. A soothing and refreshing face mask is also easy to make from fresh growth.
Spruce can be extracted easiest in hot water. Some spruce resins will dissolve also in hot water.
- Put about 2 decilitres of fresh growth into a pot
- Pour 5 decilitres of hot water into the pot
- Let the infusion stand for about 30 minutes and strain
- Use the infusion to make cosmetics
Cosmetics made of spruce tip -oil extract is suitable to treat impure, oily skin. Here is the recipe to make an emulsion cream. You can replace the oil you are using partly or entirely by spruce tip oil. Spruce tip oil is slightly antiseptic and soothes the skin.
- Prune a litre of fresh growth
- Put them in a steel bowl and pour in sunflower oil (cold pressed)
- Put water in the pot
- Place the bowl on top of the pot so that the bottom does not touch the water
- Boil the water first and then reduce the heat so that the water is just bubbling
- Let it bubble for one and a half hours (not unattended)
- Stir the extract from time to time and make sure that the water does not run out of the pot and that the plant parts are not above the oil surface
- When the extract is complete, you can strain it using a gauze
- Put the extract in a clean glass jar, label it with the name and date of the product and what oil has been used and the best before -date of the oil
- Store the oil extract in a dark and cool place
- Oil extraction lasts for about a year depending on the best before -date of the oil.
This oil extract is excellent cosmetics raw material mentioned for dirty and oily skin. The oil is mildly antiseptic and soothes the skin.
Fresh growth extract from glycerol
The best and most effective spruce extract you get from glycerol. Many spruce minerals, resins and vitamins dissolve best in glycerol. Fresh growth glycerite is a very useful product. It can be added to both waterless and water-only products. The glycerite is also ideal for lotions.
How to make a glycerite from fresh growth
- Take 2 decilitres of fresh growth
- Chop the material carefully to small pieces using a knife
- Pour on the glycerol so that all the material is covered
- Put the bowl in a dark and cool place for a couple of weeks. You can cover it to avoid impurities
- After 2 weeks, strain the glycerite using a gauze
- Drain the glycerite into a glass bottle and label as mentioned earlier
- Store in a dark and cool place. No need to keep in the fridge.
- This glycerol will be preserved up to 6 months.
You can use this glycerite for example for toners. A toner can contain glycerite 10-15%. A fresh and soothing toner directly from the nature.
Fresh face mask of fresh growth
You should also try just picked up fresh growth. Then prepare a refreshing and soothing mask. In fact, I have used the basic emulsion lotion I’ve prepared myself for base of a herbal mask. Instructions are here. If you do not have a homemade base cream, you can use a neutral cream of your choice as the base of the mask.
Make a fresh mask like this
- Chop a tablespoon of fresh growth into a very fine dice. In addition, you can grind the dice in a mortar to get a mash.
- Add a tablespoon of the base cream to the mash and mix evenly
- If the paste is too liquid, you can solidify it with very fine oatmeal – add carefully
- Add content of one evening primrose oil capsule to the mixture
- Mix the mask evenly and apply to the skin of the face and neck, carefully avoiding the skin around the eyes.
- Leave the mask on for 15-30 minutes and then rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- You can make such a mask once a week if you have enough fresh growth.
The forest is now full of spruce trees. However, you should ask permission from the landowner to prune spruces. In my experience, however, you should get the permission easily if you just ask politely. In fact, I asked permission to prune a fence made of spruces. Spruce fence should be cut annually and the owners were just happy.