Chamomile (aka the miracle herb) is one of the most commonly used and documented herbs in the world. For good reason, of course! It’s one of the botanicals we grow at the Botnia micro-farm, and this year, we created a super-limited distillation of this special sun-loving flower: Chamomile Hydrosol!
What makes this particular batch of hydrosol so special is that our team harvested these delicate flowers in honor of our dear friend and coworker, Susie, a team member who bravely fought and lost her battle with cancer this spring. Fifty percent of proceeds from this hydrosol will support Bright Spot Network, a nonprofit aiding families of cancer patients (especially families with young children), and will also be donated to Susie's family.
German Chamomile is great for all skin types, especially those with sensitive skin. It helps to reduce inflammation in the skin and has anti-fungal, antiseptic, and soothing properties. It’s simply the best, and we just had to share our love for this amazing flower!
A key ingredient in Botnia Skincare
German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) an Asteraceae (botanical in the daisy family) is used in our facial treatments as a powdered compound at the Botnia Atelier due to its gentle nature. For the skin, we use the entire flower to get the most potent properties working together synergistically to repair the skin. If you enjoy our Gentle Cleanser, Balancing Oil Cleanser, Replenishing Facial Oil, Kale Mask, Flower Mask, Gentle Hand Lotion, or Relaxing Bath Salts, you already know the calming effects this delicate flower has on the senses and skin. As a hydrosol, its flowers contain a blue essential oil - chamazulene - a compound known to help bring down inflammation, especially when taken internally or topically applied on the skin.
Chamomile derived from the Greek word chamaimelon, meaning “earth-apple,” for its scent. It’s so healing that it’s often used in teas and internally to help soothe upset stomachs and is gentle enough to use on children and babies. Chamomile is also considered a nervine and helps to nourish and support the central nervous system. That’s why when you smell the aroma of chamomile, it instantly gives you a sense of calm.
How to use Chamomile Hydrosol in a skincare routine
This gentle hydrosol can be used by all skin types and is especially comforting for those undergoing cancer treatment (please check with a medical professional before using). It’s indicated for those who have sensitive, red, irritated, or inflamed skin and is great for acne-prone skin and dry constitutions. It’s a beautiful ally for the skin, and can be used aromatically to calm the nervous system.
Use after cleansing, in place of your toner, before or after using our hydrating serum to get the most benefits of this soothing hydrosol.
You can also spritz this hydrosol throughout the day, especially in high-stress or high-energy situations to bring down your energy and calm your senses.
The story of the illustration
The artwork for Chamomile Hydrosol is a watercolor created with love by Julianna Eastwood, community lead at Botnia. She took inspiration from our team harvest at Tookey Farms and the blue chamazulene of the volatile oils from our chamomile hydrosol.
The story of the harvest
This batch of hydrosol was harvested by our team in Healdsburg, CA at our farm partner Tookey Farms. Sammy, farmer of Tookey Farms, grew and nurtured chamomile for us so we could honor our colleague and friend Susie. This delicate bloom, Susie's favorite on our micro-farm, is our way of honoring her as a team and also giving back to those living with cancer today. However, harvesting chamomile isn't easy. And it's why we have only ever made one chamomile hydrosol before. Each flower is tiny, and in an 8-hour day, one can only pick 2 to 5 pounds; our target was 40 pounds. Chamomile must be plucked at the perfect time, so in mid-June, our team gathered at Sammy's organic farm. Before we began, we took a moment to remember and honor Susie. Over two days, we meticulously harvested 44 pounds of chamomile, producing 500 precious hydrosols. See the full story of the harvest here.
For a good cause
The funds for this special hydrosol will be donated to Bright Spot Network, a non-profit organization helping families (especially those with young ones) who have a family member experiencing cancer. They offer support groups, grants, and resources to help guide families navigate a cancer diagnosis, specially tailored for children. We are donating 50% of our retail sales from this hydrosol to this special organization.
If you have or know someone who has cancer or undergoing cancer treatment, our Chamomile Hydrosol is a beautiful, gentle, nutritive, and soothing gift. We recommend checking in with their health practitioner before adding it into their routine as an extra precautionary suggestion.
This limited fall hydrosol is only available until we sell out so we recommend stocking up if you love it in your routine. We hope that when you use this hydrosol, you feel the comforting and soothing effects of Chamomile’s delicate but strong and resilient essence. Please use in good health. Xo,
P.S. If you’d like to read more about our friend Susie, here’s a tribute written by Justine and Susie’s husband, Ken.
(Susie on the bottom row in orange top)
Tribute to a dear friend, Susie
This year, we lost a dear friend and teammate at Botnia, Susie.
“I’ve got this,” Susie would say. She always maintained the ability to visualize healing and recovery. Susie’s cancer did not stop her, it made her stronger and brought out her super strengths.
In a company as compact as ours, each individual makes a profound impact. When Susie joined Botnia, we were a team of three. She became our fourth member, undertaking myriad roles, from shipping boxes to crafting skincare in our home lab. She even discovered her gift as a super smeller. However, Susie found her happiness when in our micro-farm, meticulously harvesting our flowers and drying them to perfection. Her favorite flower was chamomile.
April 2019 marked the beginning of her four-year fight living with an aggressive cancer. Her early treatments were successful and she was so proud of how she was able to remain strong. She took her time to regain her strength; she was ready and excited to return to Botnia part-time – just as we entered into lockdown. While maintaining her health was always a top priority, Susie didn’t sit still during this long period; she lived life and even drove across the country with her family, towing their teardrop trailer to visit their east coast families. She had several good months of remission and was ready once again to rejoin Botnia – it only lasted eight weeks before facing the illness once more.
Susie’s battle was unyielding. She fought for her young daughter, her husband, her family, her friends, and for life itself. Her desire to return to the Botnia community was undeniable. She cherished our little company, but more importantly, the idea of a routine day at a job she adored became a beacon of hope. It’s challenging to fathom the world post an aggressive cancer diagnosis, where mundane experiences like a regular job or a simple chat with a friend become treasures. The pride and gratitude I feel, having given her a job she loved, and for simply knowing her, is immeasurable.
In tribute to Susie, our team dedicated a summer to harvesting chamomile in her memory.
Susie resembled the chamomile flower in many ways: radiant, sun-loving, seemingly delicate but incredibly resilient. Our efforts led to approximately 44 pounds of chamomile, which we transformed into 500 unique hydrosols. I am certain that her joy over this hydrosol would be palpable if she were here. These hydrosols hold immense significance for us at Botnia. It is our privilege to share them with you in honor of our friend. Fifty percent of all proceeds in the month of October will be donated in Susie's name to a charity she held dear, one that supports families (particularly those with young children) affected by cancer, and to Susie’s family. This special chamomile hydrosol is perfect for highly sensitive skin, and is mild enough for all, especially those living with cancer. (If gifting, make sure the recipient consults their physician about its use.)
I surmise Susie’s affinity for chamomile was due to its rapid regeneration, demanding mindfulness, precision, and the patience required for harvesting. Harvesting chamomile requires patience, as you can never truly pick every flower; new ones sprout almost immediately. This kind of challenge can either break or build you. In Susie’s case, it fortified her resilience. Though it might always remain an unconquerable task, the process is undeniably beautiful.