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Procédé d'obtention de l'hydrolat de camomille romaine

How is chamomile hydrosol obtained?

Chamomile is a plant renowned since antiquity for its medicinal virtues. Harvested in the summer, its flowers are used to produce a hydrosol with multiple cosmetic benefits. As a facial treatment, it is soothing and anti-inflammatory, making it an excellent ally for sensitive skin. For hair, it has lightening properties and imparts beautiful golden highlights.

All about chamomile.

The chamomile or Chamomilla recutita belongs to the Asteraceae family. It comes in various species, here is a non-exhaustive list:

  • The Roman chamomile : originating from France and Belgium, it is primarily composed of esters and terpenes, molecules with calming and anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it is particularly recommended for the care of sensitive and irritated skin.

  • Moroccan Wild Chamomile : rich in terpenic alcohols, its essential oil is more neurotonic and antimicrobial.

  • German Blue Chamomile: grown in Egypt, in Germany and in the Balkans, it is primarily composed of sesquiterpenes. Like Roman chamomile, it has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties; it is particularly effective in treating eczema and chickenpox. However, the presence of ketones makes it less safe to use than Roman chamomile.

The chamomile plant is a perennial that blooms from June to October. During this period, the flowers are typically harvested in the morning and then dried on a flat surface, in a dry, well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight. After a few days, they are ready to be used in various preparations.

How is chamomile hydrosol obtained?

Steam distillation of chamomile flowers results in two distinct fractions: essential oil and hydrosol. This technique involves mixing chamomile flowers with water in a still, then heating the mixture. The steam is then cooled in a condenser and collected in liquid form. The essential oil, less dense than the water used for extraction, floats on the surface, which is nothing but the hydrosol. Originating from the same plant, the two fractions have similar properties, but the hydrosol is less concentrated in active species because the aromatic essences are present in smaller quantities. Therefore, it can be used without contraindications by children and pregnant women, unlike the essential oil.

How to preserve chamomile hydrosol?

Free from preservatives and made from fresh flowers, the hydrosol is sensitive to light, oxidation, and heat. Therefore, it is important to store it in an opaque bottle, in a dry place away from light and heat. The hydrosol can be kept for about 6 months after opening.

Sources:

  • GUPTA S. & al. Extraction, characterization, stability and biological activity of flavonoids isolated from chamomile flowers. Molecular and cellular pharmacology (2009).

  • DALMAS P. Guide des eaux florales et hydrolats (2016).

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