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Science Saturday: Bisabolol

This week is all about calming chamomile. If you missed the WTF is Chamomile post, you should definitely check it out!

Chamomile has many awesome constituents. Today we’re going to be talking about bisabolol. It’s the primary constituent in chamomile essential oils, with a sweet scent, and some serious soothing power! Although it was first isolated in chamomile, it turns out the bisabolol is also found in the leaves of Salvia runcinata from South Africa, the Eremanthus erythropappus of Brazil, and the leaves and flowers of vanillosmopsis erythropappa  from Brazil.1 (Go ahead, tray and say those names three times fast!)

Bisalol is a member of the terpenes – they’re commonly found in volatil oils of plants, giving them scent. Bisabolol has become a common inclusion for skincare products, especially for shaving products and after-sun care. Studies have suggested that bisabolol offers protection from recurring stress on the skin.1

It has been studied most for its anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to holding up as a solid skin soother in studies from 2011 and 2014,2,3 it also was shown to be effective in minimizing the appearance of hyperpigmentation caused by dermatitis.4 It is also shown promising results in calming skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.5

The current theory is that one of that main things that makes chamomile so amazing is the power coupling of bisabolol and chamazulene (another terpene). Together, they seem to be stronger than when they are apart!

While there are a few synthesized bisabolols on the market, here at The Raw Spa, we prefer to use Roman chamomile essential oil (clocking in at no less than 50% bisabolol!) over a synthesized version. You can find this precious essential oil paired with aloe in our deeply soothing Green Nile Body Balm, and also find it swirled into our new botanical fragrance, “Keelah Se’lai“!

Behold our sources!

  1. Kamatou GPP, Viljoen AM. A Review of the Application and Pharmacological Propertie of a-Bisabolol and a-Bisabolol-Rich Oils. J Am Oil Chem Soc (2010) 87:1–7.
  2. Rocha NF, Rios ER, Carvalho Am, et al. Anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of (-)-α-bisabolol in rodents. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Arch Pharmacol (2011) 384: 525-533. 
  3. Maurya AK, Singh M, Dubey V, et al. α-(-)-bisabolol reduces pro-inflammatory cytokine production and ameliorates skin inflammation. Curr Pharm Biotechnol (2014) 15: 173-81.
  4. Licari A, Ruffinazzi G, de Filippo M, et al. A starch, glycyrretinic, zinc oxide and bisabolol based cream in the treatment of chronic mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis in children: a three-center, assessor blinded trial. Minerva Pediatr. 2017 Dec;69(6):470-475. (Online) Available at: https://www.minervamedica.it/en/journals/minerva-pediatrica/article.php?cod=R15Y2017N06A0470
  5. Kim S, Lee J, Jung E,et al. (2008) Mecahnisms of depigmentation by a-bisabolol. J Dermatol Sci. 2008; 52:219–222.
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