As anyone who has brewed up a cup of chamomile tea knows, this subtly scented flower is one of nature’s top stress-relievers. For centuries, the daisy-like bud, which typically boasts white petals and a furry yellow center, has been used to soothe nerves and help induce sleep. The ancient Egyptians prescribed it for colds, while the Romans both drank it as a tea and used it in incense. (The name “chamomile” is derived from the Greek word for “ground apple.”) The species includes many varietals—from wild chamomile and the all-yellow Golden Marguerite to the beauty and wellness industry-favored Blue, Roman, and Moroccan types—but nearly all contain the flavonoid chrysin, which can have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and anti-oxidant effects.
Along with dominating the herbal tea shelves, chamomile is also a popular skin-care ingredient, thanks to its calming properties. “Chamomile helps comfort and correct reactive, sensitive, and rosacea skin conditions by reducing inflammation and irritation,” says beauty expert June Jacobs.
1. Jacobs’ Redness Diffusing Serum (junejacobs.com) mixes the flower with arnica, calendula, and other herbs to help minimize the appearance of broken capillaries and sun damage, while 2. Darphin Organic Chamomile Aromatic Care (darphin.com) quiets skin that’s irritated or blotchy. Patyka’s re-launched organic 3. Rosewood Milk Cleanser (patyka.com), a 2-in-1 cleanser and moisturizer, uses chamomile, jojoba, and shea butter to purify without the need for water (thus protecting skin from harsh tap water).
4. Kimara Ahnert’s Chamomile Eye Makeup Remover Pads (kimara.com) soothe tired eyes and do away with dirt without stripping skin, and The Organic Pharmacy’s powdery 5. Lavender & Chamomile Milk Bath (theorganicpharmacy.com) calms cranky infants and adults.
Or, you could just go old-school: Harney & Sons’ potent 6. Chamomile Tea (harney.com) contains whole dried flower heads from Egypt, and goes great with a touch of honey.