Did you know that chamomile can be used for much more than just a delicious (and relaxing) cup of tea?
Although, I have to admit that tea was the most common way I used chamomile for a long time.
It turns out that chamomile has been documented to have been used medicinally for at least 5,000 years. It’s one of the oldest known medicinal herbs.
Chamomile also has a wide variety of uses. It’s been documented as a treatment for a long list of afflictions including: allergies, inflammation, muscle spasms, wound healing, insomnia and arthritis, among others.
Topical uses for Chamomile
When used on the skin, the benefits of chamomile – unsurprisingly – are also many.
Besides speeding healing, chamomile is used for reducing redness and inflammation; soothing sensitive and irritated skin; and reducing dark spots and acne.
Because it contains anti-oxidants, it can reduce fine lines and renew and protect the skin.
When using chamomile (along with a few other ingredients) in bath salts, you get the soothing, relaxing effect from the aroma of chamomile along with the potential of clearer, calmer skin.
Try adding these DIY chamomile bath salts to a hot bath for smoother skin and to alleviate tired, achy muscles. You may also find you sleep better at night!
You can even use them in a foot bath for the healing properties, along with softer feet.
Using home-grown chamomile
If you have to choose which type of chamomile seeds to buy, German chamomile may be the easiest to grow in the U.S., as it can be found native to North America.
The German variety is also most widely used in skin care products because it is higher in chamazulene and bisabolol – two chemical components that provide skin and health benefits.
I grew German chamomile the last few years in a large container that receives shade part of the day. (Zone 6b.) It did very well with very little maintenance!
You can direct-seed it after the last frost. It’s a perennial but it self-seeds pretty easily. Mine came back the second year and I just added a handful of more seeds to my container to fill in the bare spots.
It’s also very easy to dry and preserve. I tied mine in bunches with butcher’s twine and hung them upside down in the pantry for about a week, until leaves and petals were brittle.
Then, simply store in an airtight container such as a mason jar in a dark, cool cupboard.
How to make Chamomile Bath Salts from Dried Chamomile
Bath salts are actually a very simple DIY project.
If you don’t have dried chamomile from the garden, first of all, you can purchase it in bulk.
There are many suppliers online with quality herbs, and one I recommend is the Azure Market Organics organic chamomile flowers (search: chamomile flowers). These are high quality matricaria recutita, German chamomile.
You’ll need something to grind down your dried flowers, along with some Epsom salt. An electric herb grinder or coffee grinder will work.
If you have an old-fashioned mortar and pestle, you can use that, too!
My grandma had one like this when I was a kid. My cousins and I had a lot of fun grinding herbs and all kinds of “finds” from her garden and beyond.
After you grind the chamomile and Epsom salt, you should have a fine powder that will dissolve easily into bath water.
An optional step is to add several drops of Chamomile Essential oil. This boosts the potency and aroma of the mixture.
Store in a glass jar with a lid in a cool, dry place where it will last for many months.
Bath salts also make a great gift for your friends!
You can find the printable recipe card for these DIY Chamomile Bath salts below.
- ½ cup dried German chamomile flowers
- ½ cup Epsom salt
- 10-15 drops of Chamomile Essential Oil (optional)
- Pour the chamomile flowers and Epsom salt into an herb grinder or coffee grinder. (Or, grind manually with a mortar and pestle.) Grind until it is mixed and powdered down.
- Add in your drops of essential oils.
- Pour into a small mason jar (4 to 8 oz.)
Store in a cool, dry place. Keeps well for several months.
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