A Bloomin’ Beauty Secret
CAMELLIA (kuh-meel-yuh) /n. / 1. Named after G. J. Kamel (also known as Camellus), a Jesuit botanist who brought it from the Philippines to Europe in the 1700s, this genus of flowering plants is a member of the family known as Theaceae. It’s characterized by having glossy green leaves and white, pink, or red rose-like blooms, and is found in eastern and southern Asia; / 2. Called chahu in Chinese, meaning “tea flower,” this plant’s leaves (the finest of them being from the C. sinensis species) are used to make an aromatic hot beverage popular in places like Japan and Korea; / 3. A sweet seasoning used by millions of people to cook, most notably in southern China; / 4. The iconic symbol chosen by Coco Chanel to represent the legendary French fashion house; / 5. Traditionally used by geishas to hydrate everything from their hair to their fingernails, this oil rich in antioxidants and fatty acids extracted from the plant’s seeds helps restore skin’s natural balance and lock in moisture. E.g., “Camellia does a body, a quilted bag, and your skin good.”
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