09 Apr Six popular flowers for beauty and health
Human beings, like many other living creatures, have an affinity for flowers. From their stunning beauty to their beguiling fragrances, flowers have pulled people under their alluring spell probably for as long as our species has existed.
Beyond just being enticing to smell and gaze upon, flowers have proven to also provide measurable benefit to our health and beauty. For millennia, people have used flowers to make teas & jams, poultices and potions, and while knowledge of their power to heal and nourish have been passed down through generations, recent scientific studies have proven that their touted abilities are more than mere legend. Here are 6 of the most popular flowers used for beauty and health:
Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
Calendula, also known as Pot Marigold is a bright yellow to orange member of the daisy family. Native to Southwestern Asia, Western Europe and parts of the Mediterranean, plant pharmacological studies have suggested that Calendula extracts have anti-viral, anti-genotoxic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Our ancestors employed Calendula as a healing aid for wounds as well as a detoxifying agent for the liver and gall bladder. Today, Calendula is primarily employed in beauty care as a skin conditioning agent. It soothes and protects skin helping to keep it healthy and supple.
Chamomile (Roman Chamaemelum nobile, German Chamomilla recutita)
Like Calendula, German Chamomile has a lengthy history of being used as a potent healing aid. It possesses many of the same properties as Calendula: anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and similarly, it has been incorporated as a vital ingredient in wound care. Other ailments that the flower has reportedly been used to treat include: hay fever, muscle spasms, menstrual disorders, insomnia and ulcers. Roman Chamomile tends to be utilized more in aromatherapy due to its calming properties. Because inflammation of the scalp can lead to hair loss, Chamomile is an important botanical for the maintenance of healthy scalp and hair.
Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
Traditionally, Hibiscus has been utilized in Indian Ayurvedic medicine to stimulate thicker hair growth and, recent scientific studies have demonstrated that this benefit is more than mere myth. Interestingly, the flower is also known as “shoe flower” since it has been used in some Asian and Mediterranean cultures as a shoe polish. Hibiscus is a superb hair and scalp conditioning emollient owing to the high content of mucilage polysaccharides it contains which help to retain vital moisture on dry, damaged hair and stressed skin. Hibiscus is equally renowned for the ability to preserve natural hair color.
Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia, Lavandula officinalis)
At first blush, most admirers seem to appreciate Lavender for its distinct clean and uplifting fragrance, but the benefits of this incredible flower extend far beyond the joy it brings to our olfactory senses. A traditional staple in Aromatherapy practices, Lavender has been utilized for the treatment of a range of ailments including: insomnia, anxiety, depression and fatigue. Its calming properties have even been verified by medical research.. Some studies have also shown that it may be useful in hair loss treatments such as for Alopecia. Lavender’s ability to effect peoples’ emotional and physical health make it one of the most well-rounded therapy flowers.
Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
Sunflower is renown for the benefits its seeds provide as a food source, however, the oil from its seeds has also proven to be of value for hair and skin preparations. Its an attractive natural ingredient to cosmetic manufacturers due to its affordability, but more importantly, it contains impressive quantities of vitamin E, sterols and squalene, all which are substantially important to healthy hair and skin. It also acts as a non-occlusive barrier when applied to hair and skin, facilitating moisture retention while not interfering with the natural exchange of oxygen through its protective, light coating.
Rose (Rosa damascena)
Mention of this much storied flower instantly conjures up references to its importance to perfumery, but much like Lavender, its healing and beautifying properties are equally important. Its pharmacological benefits are many, including: anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic and anti-depressant. Its anti-viral capabilities have even been tested in recent anti-HIV studies. In the past, our ancestors used parts of the Rose to remedy such ailments as abdominal and chest pain and digestive problems, and it was also used for wound healing and reducing inflammation. For the beauty of skin and hair, its anti-oxidant properties are invaluable for reducing and preventing free-radical damage and it’s an excellent scalp conditioner for promoting healthy hair growth.
Several of these flowers are featured in a number of our sustainable products for hair and beauty. Explore the FAR Botanicals Store to start using these beautiful botanicals in your own beauty care regimen.