Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chrysanthemum or feverfew extract

Chrysanthemum extract (also known as feverfew, INCI: Chrysanthemum parthenium flower extract) is considered to be a good anti-inflammatory, astringent, analgesic, and anti-septic (anti-fungal and anti-microbial). It contains tannins, sesquiterpenoids, flavonoids, and more!

Camphor contains tannins, specifically gallic acid, which act as good anti-oxidants and wound and burn healers. It contains luteolin (which you might remember from honeysuckle and chamomile extracts), which is a very powerful anti-inflammatory - as powerful as some over the counter anti-inflammatories - and free radical scavenger.

Chrystanthemum contains a good amount of camphor, a monoterpene ketone used as an analgesic. Camphor is readily absorbed through the skin, offering a cooling sensation and local anaestheic. It can reduce the presence of mites on the skin, and is used in cosmetics as a plasticizer for things like nail polish. It can be a skin irritant, so try it first to see how your skin reacts.

But it's not all hearts and flowers when it comes to this extract. It can contain a sesquiterpene lactone called parthenolide. It is an anti-cell proliferative and anti-inflammatory. It is removed from most extracts as it can be very irritating to the skin, but ironically it is a good anti-inflammatory that inhibits prostaglandin production. The seeds of the chrysanthemum plan contain something called pyrethrin, which is used as an insecticide and lice treatment. As our extracts are from the flower, we shouldn't find much of this in the powdered extract. As a result, you might see this extract listed as not being for people with rosacea or potential allergic reactions. (On the other hand, I have seen this listed as being great for rosacea...) Try it out before throwing some into all your products!

Because this is a good anti-fungal, burn and/or wound healer, and anti-inflammatory, it's a great addition to many products where you might want some healing (not a claim...) or help with muscle pain.

Join me tomorrow for fun formulating a salve with chrysanthemum extract.

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