This year I had both Roman chamomile (the perennial that flops over like the ancient Romans after a Bacchanalia) and German chamomile (the annual with good posture like a German soldier). Both smell like apples, have similar properties and are most famous for treating upset tummies and sleeplessness.
Peter Rabbit's mom gave him chamomile tea after Mr. McGregor chased him out of the garden.
Chamomile is also wonderful for your skin and is said to help with rashes, irritations, fight acne and protect your skin from free radicals.
I picked my cheerful German and Roman chamomile flowers all summer long, popped them into a net bag to dry, then infused them in olive oil.
One little note about chamomile essential oil. It doesn't matter if it's German, Roman or Moroccan, it's expensive, so I blend it to keep down the cost.
This recipe makes for a truly luxurious soap with super gentle, creamy, moisturizing lather. It's a perfect companion in the tub after a long day of running from your own Mr. McGregors.
End of Summer Chamomile Soap
Makes 3.25 pounds before cure
2 ounces castor oil
8 ounces coconut oil
12 ounces olive oil infused with dried chamomile
7 ounces (sustainable) palm oil
4.5 ounces (deodorized) cocoa butter
12.73 ounces of water (I use NYC tap)
4.72 ounces of lye
2 tablespoons rice flour
1.5 ounces End of Summer Chamomile essential oil blend (2 parts Roman chamomile, 4 parts ylang ylang, 1 part orange 10 fold and 1 part may chang)
Proceed as you would with any cold process recipe (wearing gloves and goggles of course!) and add the rice flour and essential oil blend at trace.