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.
Grape seed oil is the next topic in our oil introduction series. Grape seed oil is used in both cosmetics and cooking. That’s why it’s easy to find it in larger supermarkets as well. The popularity of grape seed oil in cosmetics has been solid for several years. It has plenty of good features. Personally, I like the versatility of grape seed oil. Grape seed oil is one of the cornerstones of cosmetics and I now want us to have a deeper look at it.
Grape seed oil is a by-product of the food industry
If you want to fight food waste, you can participate in the fight by using grape seed oil. The grapes are used to make juice and wine. However, seeds are never used in these products. Grape seeds are a waste that has little other use. Fortunately, grape seeds contain valuable and especially good quality oil. Now the entire crop can be used.
The oil is extracted from the seeds in many different ways. When choosing oil for cosmetic products, you should choose the cold pressed quality. It contains all the vitamins and other beneficial substances of the oil. The anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of cold-pressed oil remain unchanged.
Grape seed oil is a very light oil
Light oil means oil that is well absorbed and does not feel greasy on the skin. However, grape seed oil is not a so-called dry oil. Dry oils are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Grape seed oil doesn’t contain it.
The fatty acid composition of grape seed oil is one of the most ideal. It contains the right proportions of fatty acids that are important for the skin. The variation of the fatty acid profile of grape seed oil is really small. The oil is made from the most popular grape types that grow under about the same conditions.
- Oleic acid 25, 84%
- Linoleic acid 55.25%
- Stearic acid 5.75%
- Palmitic acid 11.85%
- Comedogenic value (value describing pore clogging) 1
Grape seed oil is also rich in vitamin E, tocopherol, resveratrol, quercetin, procyanidin, carotenoids and plant sterols. Due to its abundance of phytochemicals, grape seed oil is indeed a popular ingredient in cosmetic industry serums and other skincare products. Grape seed oil is a great oil to use for skin care. It has a huge amount of active, natural ingredients.
How does grape seed oil affect the skin?
Grape seed oil has several positive effects on the skin. Here are a few of them;
- Soothing effect on the skin
- Brightening of the skin and whitening of pigment changes (hyperpigmentation, dark spots)
- Effect of antioxidants on skin aging
- Moisturizing effect; the oil retains skin moisture if you apply it on slightly moist skin
Store grape seed oil carefully
Grape seed oil contains a lot of linoleic acid, which makes the oil very easily oxidized. when buying grape seed oil, make sure the oil is as fresh as possible. Always ask the best before -date when buying it.
Always store grape seed oil out of the light. Light spoils many products incredibly quickly.
The oil storage place should also be as cool as possible, always keep the opened bottle in the refrigerator. And products containing grape seed oil should be stored in the refrigerator. This ensures the freshness and highest possible quality of your products.
How can we use grape seed oil in homemade cosmetics?
Grape seed oil is a versatile oil. It is very suitable for many different skin types. Grape seed oil is one of the few carrier oils. The carrier oil is required to have a neutral odour and colour. Very fragrant and intensely coloured oils are not suitable as carrier oils.
You can mix a few drops of the special oil(s) you want with grape seed oil. This allows you to enhance the effect of the oil and complete the fatty acid composition.
Grape seed oil is excellent for many different uses
- For oil extractions
- As a carrier oil for oil-based products
- For bath oil
- Oil serums; well-absorbed oils should be used in serums
- Eye products; light, well absorbable
- Aging skin products; rich in antioxidants
- For sensitive skin products; Grape seed oil is a very mild and well tolerated oil
- For easily clogged skin; comedogenic value 1
- As one of the ingredients in the cleansing oil
Grape seed oil is a cosmetic oil worth trying
There are not so many good carrier oils available. Each of them is suitable for skin care as such.
Because the best carrier oils are perishable, it is better to buy them in smaller bottles and one oil at a time. You can vary the different oils according to your skin. Grape seed oil is easy to obtain. Like most cosmetic carrier oils, grape seed oil is suitable for human consumption. Extra oil you do not need for cosmetics is easy to use in kitchen.
I recommend to get familiar with grape seed oil. It is easy to add more power to your products with it. It is good to change the carrier oil from time to time and grape seed oil is one really good option for you. Try how your skin will like it.
What is your favorite carrier oil?
The flourishing chickweed in the garden indicates that the land is a good and fertile for garden plants. I have often left the chickweed alone to protect the garden both from excessive rain and from drying out. Chickweed is also a very good plant for skin care. It is widely used in natural cosmetics. You can find its INCI under the name Stellaria media in many natural cosmetics products. Now you too have a chance to learn how to use the chickweed in your own products. Let’s see what wonders this herb can do for your skin.
The chickweed is an old garden plant and a medicinal plant
The chickweed was once cultivated in gardens. It was used to give taste to salads and garnish with fine sandwiches. From the gardens, the chickweed spread out to nature and is now considered a harmful weed. The best thing about this herbal hobby is that harmful weeds no longer exist. All plants are valuable as you get to know them. The chickweed is one of the best examples.
The chickweed is also an old medicinal plant that has been used especially for skin care. Chickweed effectively reduces itching of the skin. That’s why it’s always worth keeping it for the winter.
The chickweed works best on the skin as a fresh mash. For example, you can squeeze a drop of juice from a succulent chickweed into the itchy area. Try for mosquito bites, for example.
The chickweed effectively soothes the skin
The modest-looking chickweed has plenty of great features which take special care of your skin.
The chickweed is full of the best nutrients. When fresh, it has plenty of vitamin C as well as many group B vitamins. It is a plant which is especially rich in minerals. Its many vitamins and trace elements nourish the skin.
The chickweed contains at least the following minerals;
- • iron
In addition, the chickweed has a number of plant chemicals that act as antioxidants, such as
- carboxylic acids
Chickweed is an astringent herb that soothes and cools the skin.
Enlarged pores are a problem for many people. The size of the skin pores is partly genetic. However, you can affect them with cosmetics. Many herbs such as chickweed contain soothing ingredients for the skin. The chickweed effectively downsizes the enlarged pores and gives the skin a clear tone.
Chickweed reduces inflammation
Chickweed is an anti-inflammatory herb that reduces inflammation on the skin. Therefore, it is worth trying the chickweed when suffering skin irritation symptoms.
Chickweed reduces swelling
Chickweed has also been used to remove unnecessary fluid from tissues. This feature is useful, for example, in the treatment of the skin around the eyes.
When should you pick up a chickweed?
The chickweed is at its best just before flowering. This is good to know if you want to use the chickweed mainly for cooking. You can also use an older plant in cosmetics. In the older plant, the plant chemicals that benefit the skin are at their highest.
How can the chickweed be utilized in homemade cosmetics?
The chickweed works best on skin as fresh. It is especially suitable as a face mask just as it is. You can also squeeze fresh juice into your toner. Unfortunately, this kind of fresh toner doesn’t last in the fridge for more than a week. Fortunately, chickweeds can be found fresh from May to late fall.
For the winter, you can store the chickweed frozen. Personally, I prefer freezing the chickweed. The best way to freeze a chickweed is to mash it and freeze in ice cubes. You can still add some boiled water (cool it down first) over the ice cubes. This is how the puree is best preserved. I mentioned here that all herbs should be steamed before freezing. The chickweed is a different matter. If you make fresh puree from chickweed, it will be preserved really well as frozen.
Herbal oil from the chickweed is difficult to make
There is a third way to preserve the active ingredients of the chickweed. You can make oil extract from the chickweed. The oil extract must be made from dried chickweeds. There is too much water in fresh herbs to make herbal oil. Make the chickweed herb oil in the usual way. Instructions for making herbal oil can be found here.
I found an article from the web in which herbal oil was done using fresh chickweed. You can try this one if you want. Personally, I haven’t had time to try the recipe yet. Remember that if even a drop of moisture remains in the oil, it will definitely be spoiled. https://learningherbs.com/remedies-recipes/chickweed-salve/
For which products is the chickweed suitable?
The suitability of herbs for homemade cosmetics depends a lot on the form in which you will and can use the herb. Since the chickweed is fresh at its best, you should use it in the summer and fall for as long as you can find it. The fresh chickweed is suitable for fresh cosmetics such as quick-use toners, serums and face masks.
Chickweed is a very suitable raw material for fresh glycerite. Mix glycerol with the mashed chickweed and use as a face mask.
Oil extract made from chickweed is not as effective as a fresh plant. However, the good properties of chickweed oil are its skin softening and rejuvenating effects. The pore-shrinking properties of the chickweed are also partially left in the oil extract. You can make, for example, skin care ointment from chickweed oil.
Chickweed oil can also be used as a soothing cream to treat insect stings. It is one of the best herbs to treat itchy skin. In addition, a plantain, marigold and allheal can be added to the healing and herbal ointment to boost the healing effect.
The chickweed is a mild and truly versatile herb.
You can take advantage of it in many of your products. It does not contain strong acids or alkaloids that irritate sensitive skin. Which herb is suitable for someone, it depends on many things. Just by experimenting, you will find the best natural plants just for your skin. So, feel free to try the chickweed. It is still abundant in nature. The problem with many plants is that they are not available dried. That’s why you should prepare and store herbs you need for the winter now.
Have you used the chickweed in cosmetics?
Now when the summer is at its best, my thoughts are also in the summer and I’d like to write only about herbs. Heal-all, (Prunella vulgaris), is a tiny little herb that grows on the edges of the lawn. It is such a small plant that many do not even notice it. Heal-all often thrives nearby of conifers. It is a very modest looking plant. The plant is also odourless and almost tasteless. A little bitterness comes from the tannins contained in the plant. However, heal-all is one of the most useful herbs for skin care. That’s why I’d like to tell you about the amazing properties of the heal-all in caring cosmetics.
Heal-all is an old and respected medicinal plant
Heal-all has been used as a healing herb for hundreds of years. Heal-all is a very common curative herb in Central Europe. Its Latin name is Prunella vulgaris. The word Prunella originally comes from the German language and means throat infection. Heal-all was once used in Germany as a medicine for sore throat. The plant has also been used to treat many other ailments around the world.
In England, the name of the Heal-all is Self-heal. The name suggests that Heal-all has been a healing herb in England as well. Other names include Heal-all, heart-of-the-earth, woundwort.
Wong Lo Kat drink
In China, heal-all is added to a popular herbal tea blend called Wong Lo Kat together with liquorice, chrysanthemum and honeysuckle. In China, Wong Lo Kat is also currently one of the most popular soft drinks. This Heal-all drink has also recently been the subject of furious copyright disputes there. The value of the Wong Lo Kat beverage brand is currently about 280 billion euros. This says a lot about how much the Chinese appreciate this little plant.
Heal-all is a completely non-toxic plant
Heal-all does not contain any toxic substances. It is basically completely edible. However, the culinary popularity of Heal-all is not great as the whole plant tastes like wood. However, you can use the flowers of Heal-all, for example, in a salad as a decoration.
The importance of Heal-all on the skin
Heal-all is especially rich in skin-protecting and soothing ingredients. Even if your skin doesn’t have any actual problem that requires a treatment, Heal-all protects and soothes your skin from the stresses caused by the environment.
Heal-all contains a significant selection of nature’s best chemicals
The effectiveness of Heal-all is based on the plant chemicals it contains. The small, modest plant has an enormous amount of wonderful ingredients. These ingredients work together to heal, care for and protect your skin.
- betulinic acid; In 1995, betulinic acid was reported to be a melanoma inhibitor
- D-camphor: relieves itching, reduces inflammation, etc.
- D-fenchone; terpene with antimicrobial effects
- cyanidin; an antioxidant that protects the skin from oxidative stress
- Hyperoside; a chemical found also in St. John’s wort (Hypericum) that has a calming effect
- Manganese; an important trace element for humans
- Lauric acid; fatty acid
- oleanolic acid; a triterpenoid with a skin-protecting, antimicrobial effect
- rosemary acid; antimicrobial properties (preservative in cosmetics)
- Myristic acid; fatty acid
- Rutin; A bioflavonoid that strengthens and protects the skin
- Linoleic acid; fatty acid
- ursolic acid; commonly used in anti-aging creams to stimulate collagen production
- Beta-sitosterol; plant sterol equal to cholesterol present on the skin. Moisturizing and caring effect
- lupeol; an anti-inflammatory agent used extensively in medicine
- Tannins; astringents, have a calming effect on the skin
- Vitamins K and C; Heal-all are rich in vitamin C, which is good for the skin, as well as vitamin K.
Heal-all and sunlight
During hot summer days, the skin is easily exposed to excessive sunlight. Heal-all protect the skin thanks to their numerous plant chemicals.
However, Heal-all do not provide the skin with real UV protection. Plant chemicals in Heal-all do not block sunlight from reaching the skin. However, skin cells exposed to the sun benefit from the effects of these plant chemicals. Therefore, it is worth adding Heal-all to skin care products on hot summer days.
Heal-all soothes the skin
Heal-all has a protective and soothing effect on the skin. Its numerous herbal chemicals have a soothing effect on the skin and eliminate inflammation. Therefore, Heal-all is particularly suitable for treating irritated skin. The tannins in Heal-all shrink pores and brighten the skin.
How should Heal-all be used in home made cosmetics?
The best way to obtain the active ingredients of heal-all is to prepare an oil extract using dried flowers. Only dry the freshly blown flowers of the Heal-all. Heal-all is a wonderful plant that you can take advantage of along the summer until the fall comes. Namely, the Heal-all always makes two new flowers to replace the one you just picked up. So start collecting Heal-all flowers now.
How to dry Heal-all flowers?
You can dry the flowers by using a plant dryer or oven. The flowers are quite dry. You can also pre-dry the flowers in a dark but dry and warm place.
Heal-all flowers can also be dried on a towel protected from light. Depending on the moisture level, they dry relatively quickly. Personally, I prefer this rather effortless way of collecting and drying flowers. You can add new flowers to dry whenever they pop out.
When there are enough dried flowers, you can make an oil extract. Do not use them all. Leave the rest of dried flowers to wait for winter and the moment when you want to make fresh herbal oil.
Instructions for making herbal oil can be found here; Here’s how to make herbal infused oil
Heal-all suits well for many products
I have used Heal-all in products intended to protect my skin from the sun. Heal-all treat sun-sensitized skin.
Oil serums made from Heal-all are convenient to use. Remember that you should not use any other products when applying the actual UV protection. They may affect the effectiveness of UV protection. Therefore, use heal-all oil serum at different times. Heal-all serum is suitable to be applied immediately after the sunbathing, for example, as it also soothes the skin.
Heal-all can be used to make skin soothing emulsion creams. Such creams can be helpful when the skin is particularly stressed. I do not recommend using lotions or creams containing Heal-all on daily basis because it is rich in herbal chemicals. It is suitable for efficient creams designed to control the situation on the skin. For example, a week’s treatment of Heal-all cream can make wonders on irritated skin.
What are your favourite herbal skin care products?