Chamomile Flower

Chamomile Flowers (Matricaria recutita)

These are the dried flowers you can purchase in bulk or in tea bags in the store. Also known as Matricaria chamomilla or German Chamomile. The names seem to be used interchangeably. Commonly known as chamomile (also spelled camomile), Italian camomilla, German chamomile, Hungarian chamomile (kamilla), wild chamomile, Manzanilla, Matricaris, Sweet False Chamomile, Ground apple, Blue Chamomile, or scented mayweed, is an annual plant of the composite family Asteraceae. M. chamomilla is the most popular source of the herbal product chamomile, although other species are also used as chamomile.

German chamomile is used in herbal medicine for a sore stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, and as a gentle sleep aid. It is also used as a mild laxative and is anti-inflammatory and bactericidal. It can be taken as an herbal tea, two teaspoons of dried flower per cup of tea, which should be steeped for 10 to 15 minutes while covered to avoid evaporation of the volatile oils.

One of the active ingredients of its essential oil is the terpene bisabolol. Other active ingredients include farnesene, chamazulene, flavonoids (including apigenin, quercetin, patuletin and luteolin) and coumarin.

Chamomile, a relative of ragweed, can cause allergy symptoms and can cross-react with ragweed pollen in individuals with ragweed allergies. It also contains coumarin, so care should be taken to avoid potential drug interactions, e.g. with blood thinners. While extremely rare, very large doses of chamomile may cause nausea and vomiting. Even more rarely, rashes may occur. Type-IV allergic reactions (i.e. contact dermatitis) are common and one case of severe Type-I reaction (i.e. anaphylaxis) has been reported in a 38-year-old man who drank chamomile tea.

Drug-Herb Interactions

  • Non-heme Iron – Reduced absorption (human study)
  • Warfarin – Potentiated (speculative)
  • Benzodiazepines and Opiate Withdrawal – Adjuvant to (empirical)

Formulation & Preparation

  • Infusion – 2 tsp/cup three to four times daily
  • Tincture – 1-4mL (1:5, 40%) three times daily or 7-14mL (1:5, 50%) three times daily
  • Oil – 2-3 drops of essential oil in hot water basin for steam inhalation
  • Eyewash – 1 cup warm infusion, strained, wash eyes gently
  • To encourage a baby to sleep – 1-2 cups strained infusion (tea) in bath water

Healing with Chamomile

  • as a tea, be used for lumbago, rheumatic problems and rashes.
  • as a salve, be used for hemorrhoids and wounds.
  • as a vapor, be used to alleviate cold symptoms or asthma.
  • relieve restlessness, teething problems, and colic in children.
  • relieve allergies, much as an antihistamine would.
  • aid in digestion when taken as a tea after meals.
  • relieve morning sickness during pregnancy.
  • speed healing of skin ulcers, wounds, or burns.
  • treat gastritis and ulcerative colitis.
  • reduce inflammation and facilitate bowel movement without acting directly as a purgative.
  • be used as a wash or compress for skin problems and inflammations, including inflammations of mucous tissue.
  • promote general relaxation and relieve stress. Animal studies show that chamomile contains substances that act on the same parts of the brain and nervous system as anti-anxiety drugs. Never stop taking prescription medications, however, without consulting your doctor.
  • control insomnia. Chamomile’s mildly sedating, and muscle-relaxing effects may help those who suffer from insomnia to fall asleep more easily.
  • Treat diverticular disease, irritable bowel problems and various gastrointestinal complaints. Chamomile’s reported anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic actions relax the smooth muscles lining the stomach and intestine. The herb may therefore help to relieve nausea, heartburn, and stress-related flatulence. It may also be useful in the treatment of diverticular disorders and inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn’s disease.
  • soothe skin rashes (including eczema), minor burns and sunburn. Used as a lotion or added in oil form to a cool bath, chamomile may ease the itching of eczema and other rashes and reduces skin inflammation. It may also speed healing and prevent bacterial infection.
  • treat eye inflammation and infection. Cooled chamomile tea can be used in a compress to help soothe tired, irritated eyes and it may even help treat conjunctivitis.
  • heal mouth sores and prevent gum disease. A chamomile mouthwash may help soothe mouth inflammations and keep gums healthy.
  • reduce menstrual cramps. Chamomile’s believed ability to relax the smooth muscles of the uterus helps ease the discomfort of menstrual cramping.
  • Calms Muscle Spasms – One study from England found that drinking chamomile tea raised urine levels of glycine, a compound that calms muscle spasms. Researchers believe this is why chamomile tea could prove to be an effective home remedy for menstrual cramps as well.
  • Natural Hemorrhoid Treatment – Chamomile ointment can help to relieve hemorrhoids.
  • Fights Cancer – It’s very likely that chamomile tea can help reduce cancerous cells, although research is still ongoing to see exactly how chamomile reverses abnormal cellular growth.

References:

  1. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/hort/herbs/chamom.htm
  2. http://heritagegarden.uic.edu/german-chamomile-matricaria-recutita/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22070986
  4. https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=MARE6
  5. http://www.ndhealthfacts.org/wiki/Matricaria_recutita
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16628544
  7. https://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-chamomile.html
  8. https://www.drugs.com/npc/chamomile.html
  9. http://www.cir-safety.org/sites/default/files/chamom122013final.pdf
  10. http://naturalsociety.com/9-amazing-health-benefits-of-chamomile-tea/
  11. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/7151230_A_Review_of_the_bioactivity_and_potential_health_benefits_of_chamomile_tea_Matricaria_recutita_L
  12. http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/pharmacy/currentstudents/OnCampusPharmDStudents/ExperientialProgram/Documents/nutr_monographs/Monograph-chamomile.pdf
  13. https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/chamomile-flower-powder/profile
  14. https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/german-chamomile.html
  15. http://www.cir-safety.org/sites/default/files/chamomile.pdf
  16. http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js2200e/11.html
  17. “Matricaria chamomilla”. Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 15 June 2008.
  18. “Matricaria recutita”. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 15 June 2008.

Roman Chamomile

Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

Botanical Name: Anthemis nobilis / Chamaemelum nobile

Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distilled

Plant Part Typically Used: Flowers/Buds

Color: Gray/Very Pale Blue

BLENDS WELL WITH: Bergamot, clary sage, eucalyptus, geranium, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, lemon, neroli, oakmoss, palmarosa, rose, tea tree

Chamaemelum nobile commonly known as Anthémis, Anthémis Odorante, Anthemis nobilis, Babuna Ke Phool, Camomille d’Anjou, Camomille Noble, Camomille Romaine, Chamaemelum nobile, Chamomilla, Chamomile, Chamomillae Ramane Flos, English Chamomile, Fleur de Camomille Romaine, Flores Anthemidis, Garden Chamomile, Grosse Kamille, Ground Apple, Huile Essentielle de Camomille Romaine, Low Chamomile, Manzanilla, Manzanilla Romana, Ormenis nobilis, Roman Chamomile Essential Oil, Romische Kamille, Sweet Chamomile, Whig Plant.

Composition of Roman Chamomile Oil: main components include a-pinene, b-pinene, camphene, sabinene, 1,8-cineole, myrcene, caryophyllene, y-terpinene, propyl angelate and butyl angelate.

Roman chamomile comes from northwestern Europe and Northern Ireland where it creeps close to the ground and can reach up to one foot in height. Gray-green leaves grow from the stems, and the flowers have yellow centers surrounded by white petals, like miniature daisies. Its leaves are thicker than German chamomile, and it grows closer to the ground. The flowers smell like apples.

The plant is used to flavor foods, in herbal teas, perfumes, and cosmetics. It is used to make a rinse for blonde hair, and is popular in aromatherapy; its practitioners believe it to be a calming agent to reduce stress and aid in sleep. It can also be used to create a fragrant camomile lawn. A chamomile lawn needs light soil, adequate moisture, and sun in order to thrive. Each square meter contains 83-100 plants. The lawn is only suitable to light foot traffic or in places where mower access is difficult.

Its properties make it appropriate for the treatment of cracked nipples that develop during breastfeeding. It can be applied directly to the skin for pain and swelling. It is not recommended for use during pregnancy as it can cause uterine contractions and miscarriage.

Pediatric: Scientists have not studied Roman chamomile in children. Talk to your doctor to find the right dose before giving Roman chamomile to a child.

Adult – The appropriate dose of Roman chamomile depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Roman chamomile. It is not known if Roman chamomile interacts with any medications. There are no known interactions with other herbs and supplements. There are no known interactions with foods.

  • Tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 to 3 heaping tsp. (2 to 4 g) of dried herb, steep 10 to 15 minutes. Drink 3 to 4 times per day between meals.
  • Bath: Use 1/4 lb. of dried flowers per bath, or add 5 to 10 drops of essential oil to a full tub of water to soothe hemorrhoids, cuts, eczema, perineal pain, or insect bites.
  • Cream/Ointment: Apply cream or ointment containing 3 to 10% chamomile content.

History and Facts

Chamomile is one of the oldest, most widely used and well-documented medicinal plants in the world and has been recommended for a variety of healing applications. Chamomile plants are a member of the Asteraceae/Compositae family. There are two common types of chamomile used medicinally today: German chamomile (chamomilla recutita) and Roman chamomile (chamaemelum nobile).

Roman chamomile essential oil is steam-distilled from the plant’s flowers and has a sweet, fresh, apple-like and fruity aroma. After distillation, the oil ranges in color from brilliant blue to deep green when fresh but turns to dark yellow after storage. Despite the color fading, the oil does not lose its potency. Approximately 120 secondary metabolites have been identified in chamomile, including 28 terpenoids and 36 flavonoids. Roman chamomile essential oil is mainly constituted from esters of angelic acid and tiglic acid, plus farnesene and a-pinene, which have anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties.

Considered to be one of the most ancient and versatile essential oils, Roman chamomile essential oil has been used to treat a variety of conditions because of its anti-spasmodic effects due to its high esters content. Today, it’s commonly used in the natural treatment of nervous system problems, eczema, fever, heartburn, gout, anxiety and insomnia.

Proven Benefits of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

Fights Anxiety and Depression: Roman chamomile essential oil has been used as a mild sedative to calm nerves and reduce anxiety by promoting relaxation. Inhaling Roman chamomile is one of the best ways to utilize essential oils for anxiety. The fragrance is carried directly to the brain and serves as an emotional trigger. Research shows that Roman chamomile has been used for relief of depressive and anxiety symptoms all over the world, including a number of regions in southern Italy, Sardinia, Morocco and Brazil.

Serves as a Natural Allergy Reliever: Roman chamomile possesses antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, and it’s commonly used for hay fever. It has the power to relieve mucus congestion, irritations, swelling and skin conditions that are associated with seasonal allergy symptoms. When applied topically, Roman chamomile oil helps relieve skin irritations that may be due to food allergies or sensitivities.

Helps Alleviate PMS Symptoms: Roman chamomile essential oil serves as a natural mood booster that helps reduce feelings of depression — plus its antispasmodic properties allow it to soothe menstrual cramps and body aches that are commonly associated with PMS, such as headaches and back pain. Its relaxant properties make it a valuable remedy for PMS symptoms, and it can even help clear up acne that may appear as a result of hormone fluctuations.

Reduces Symptoms of Insomnia: The relaxing properties of Roman chamomile promote healthy sleep and fight insomnia. A 2006 case study explored the inhalation effects of Roman chamomile essential oil on mood and sleep. The results found the volunteers experienced more drowsiness and calmness, demonstrating its potential to improve sleep and help enter a restful state. Inhalation of chamomile reduces a stress-induced increase in plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone levels.

Boosts Skin Health: Roman chamomile promotes smooth, healthy skin and relieves irritations because of its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It has been used as a natural remedy for eczema, wounds, ulcers, gout, skin irritations, bruises, burns, canker cores, and even skin conditions like cracked nipples, chicken pox, ear and eye infections, poison ivy, and diaper rash.

Supports Digestive Health: Chamomile is used traditionally for numerous gastrointestinal conditions, including digestive disorders. Roman chamomile essential oil contains anodyne compounds that are antispasmodic and can be used to treat or relieve digestive issues, such as gas, leaky gut, acid reflux, indigestion, diarrhea and vomiting. It’s especially helpful in dispelling gas, soothing the stomach and relaxing the muscles so food can move through the intestines with ease. Because of its relaxing properties, Roman chamomile can also be used internally and topically to get rid of nausea.

Promotes Heart Health: Roman chamomile provides cardiovascular protection because of its high levels of flavonoids, which have been shown to significantly reduce mortality from coronary heart disease when taken internally. Because of the flavonoids present in Roman chamomile essential oil, it may lower blood pressure and have a relaxing effect on the heart.

May Relieve Arthritic Pain: A study in human volunteers demonstrated that chamomile flavonoids and essential oils penetrate below the surface into deeper skin layers. This is important for their use as topical anti-inflammatory agents that can effectively treat arthritic pain. When applied topically or added to a warm water bath, Roman chamomile oil helps reduce pain in the lower back, knees, wrists, fingers and other problematic areas.

Gentle Enough for Children: For centuries, mothers have used chamomile to calm crying children, reduce fevers, eliminate earaches and soothe upset stomachs. It’s often called the “kid calmer” because of its ability to help children with ADD/ADHD, and it’s one of the gentlest essential oils on the planet, making it great for infants and children.

Displays Anticancer Activity: Studies evaluating chamomile on pre-clinical models of skin, prostate, breast and ovarian cancer have shown promising growth inhibitory effects. In a 2007 study conducted at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, chamomile extracts were shown to cause minimal growth inhibitory effects on normal cells but significant reductions in cell viability in various human cancer cell lines. Chamomile exposure induced apoptosis in cancer cells but not in normal cells at similar doses. The study represents the first reported demonstration of the anticancer effects of chamomile.

In addition to these Roman chamomile essential oil benefits, preliminary research suggests that chamomile may also help treat hemorrhoids, have a protective effect on pancreatic beta cells in diminishing hyperglycemia-related oxidative stress, relieve symptoms of vaginitis (vaginal inflammation), treat the common cold, and relieve sore throat and hoarseness.

How to Use Roman Chamomile Essential Oil – Roman chamomile essential oil is available in health stores and online. It can be diffused, applied to the skin topically and taken internally. Here are some easy ways to use Roman chamomile oil:

  • To fight anxiety and depression, diffuse 5 drops, or inhale it directly from the bottle.
  • To improve digestion and leaky gut, apply 2–4 drops topically to the abdomen. When diluted with a carrier oil like coconut oil, it can even be used in low doses for children with colic and diarrhea.
  • For a restful sleep, diffuse chamomile oil next to bed, rub 1–2 drops onto the temples or inhale it directly from the bottle.
  • To help calm children, diffuse Roman chamomile oil at home or dilute 1–2 drops with coconut oil and apply the mixture topically to the area in need (such as the temples, stomach, wrists, back of neck or bottoms of the feet).
  • To use as a home remedy for acne, treat various skin conditions and combat the signs of aging, add 2–3 drops to a clean cotton ball and apply chamomile oil to the area of concern, or add 5 drops to a face wash. If you have very sensitive skin, dilute chamomile with a carrier oil before applying it topically. (15)
  • To promote heart health, apply 2–4 drops topically over the heart or take internally by placing it under the tongue.
  • To ease nausea, inhale Roman chamomile directly from the bottle, or combine it with ginger, peppermint and lavender oil and diffuse. It can also be used topically on temples to help with nausea.

Roman Chamomile Essential Oil Precautions: Because Roman chamomile oil is an emmenagogue, which means that it stimulates blood flow in the pelvic area, it should not be used during pregnancy.

Possible Interactions: If you currently take any of the following drugs, you should not use chamomile without first talking to your health care provider.

  • Blood thinning medications (anticoagulants and antiplatelets): Chamomile may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with blood-thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), and aspirin.
  • Sedatives: Chamomile can make these drugs stronger, including:
  • Anti-seizure drugs, such as phenytoin (Dilantin) and valproic acid (Depakote)
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium)
  • Drugs to treat insomnia, such as zolpidem (Ambien), zaleplon (Sonata), eszopiclone (Lunesta), and ramelteon (Rozerem)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • Alcohol
  • The same is true of sedative herbs, such as valerian, kava, and catnip.
  • Blood pressure medications: Chamomile may lower blood pressure slightly. Taking it with drugs for high blood pressure could cause blood pressure to drop too low.
  • Diabetes medications: Chamomile may lower blood sugar. Taking it with diabetes drugs could raise the risk of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
  • Other drugs: Because chamomile is broken down by the liver, it may interact with other drugs that are broken down the same way. o weeks at a time and use only the highest quality essential oil.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamaemelum_nobile
  2. https://draxe.com/roman-chamomile-essential-oil/
  3. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/roman-chamomile-oil.asp
  4. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/roman-chamomile
  5. https://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/roman-chamomile-oil.aspx
  6. https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/chamomile-roman-essential-oil/profile
  7. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/chamomile/ataglance.htm
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8105262/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8073060/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17939735/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19846929/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92761/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9703700/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23122119
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3210003/
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21132119
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3600408/
  19. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/381381/
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22894890
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3719301/
  22. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0962456206000245
  23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15863883/
  24. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/
  25. F. Chialva, G. Gabri, P.A.P. Liddle, et al. Qualitative Evaluation of Aromatic Herbs by Direct Headspace GC Analysis. (Journal of HRC & CC 5, 1982), 182-188.
  26. S. R. Srinivas. Atlas of Essential Oils. (New York: Srinivas, 1986).
  27. F. Zani, G. Massimo, S. Benvenuti, et al. Studies on the Genotoxic Properties of Essential Oils with Bacillus subtilis Rec-assay and Salmonella/Microsome Reversion Assay. (Planta Med. 57, 1991), 237-241.
  28. B.M. Lawrence, Progress in Essential Oils. (Perfumer & Flavorist 23 no. 6, 1998)
  29. Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 244.
  30. Briggs CJ, Briggs GL. Herbal products in depression therapy. CPJ/RPC. November 1998;40-44.
  31. Heck AM, DeWitt BA, Lukes AL. Potential interactions between alternative therapies and warfarin. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2000;57(13):1221-1227.
  32. Hur MH, Han SH. Clinical trial of aromatherapy on postpartum mother’s perineal healing. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. 2004;34(1):53-62.
  33. Miller L. Herbal medicinals: selected clinical considerations focusing on known or potential drug-herb interactions. Arch Intern Med. 1998;158(20):2200-2211.
  34. O’Hara M, Kiefer D, Farrell K, Kemper K. A review of 12 commonly used medicinal herbs. Arch Fam Med. 1998:7(6):523-536.
  35. Rotblatt M, Ziment I. Evidence-Based Herbal Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: Hanley & Belfus, Inc. 2002:119-123.
  36. Srivastava JK, Shankar E, Gupta S. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Mol Med Report. 2010 Nov 1;3(6):895-901.
  37. Zhao J, Khan SI, Wang M, et al. Octulosonic acid derivatives from Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) with activities against inflammation and metabolic disorder. J Nat Prod. 2014;77(3):509-15.
  38. Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
  39. Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 109.
  40. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1577311396/aromaweb

German Chamomile

German ‘Blue’ Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

What Is German Chamomile Oil?

German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), which is often referred to as blue chamomile or true chamomile, comes from the Compositae sunflower family. It is one of the two chamomile species that can be used medicinally. The other one is the Roman or English chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).

This plant, which hails from Southern and Eastern parts of Europe, grows from 6 centimeters up to 60 centimeters (2.3 to 23.5 inches) tall with heavily branched and furrowed stems. Like Roman chamomile oil, German chamomile essential oil is extracted either through solvent extraction or steam distillation of its golden yellow flowers that have ray-like blossoms.

You can find German Chamomile in Mother Jai’s Deep Sleep Oil.

Major Constituents

  • Bisabolol
  • Farnesol
  • Azulene
  • Farnasene
  • Thujanol

Composition of German Chamomile Oil

Some of the most important chemical components of German chamomile oil are sesquiterpenes, 36 flavonoids, coumarins and polyacetylenes. Other constituents include chamazulene (which has antiseptic capabilities), as well as 28 terpenoids and 52 additional compounds with potential pharmacological activity that gives it antimicrobial and fungistatic capabilitiesfarnesene, sesquiterpenes, cadinene, furfural, spanthulenol, and proazulenes (matricarin and matricin).

Chamazulene (or azulen when isolated), which provides German chamomile oil its deep bluish color, is formed from matricin during steam distillation. Prolonged storage and light exposure destroys this effect. This often results in a lighter blue color, which can turn into a pale green, yellow or even brown shade.

When it’s still fresh, German chamomile oil has a viscous quality and has a sweet, herbaceous scent with fruity undertones. However, in its concentrated and dried-out form, German chamomile oil can sometimes be nauseating and unpleasant for some individuals. German chamomile oil blends well with rose oil, lavender oil, cedar oil, neroli oil and geranium oil.

Blending: Chamomile Oil forms very pleasant blends with Bergamot, Clary Sage, Lavender, Jasmine, Geranium, Grapefruit, Tea Tree, Rose, Lemon, Lime and Ylang-Ylang Oil.

Benefits of German Chamomile Oil

German chamomile oil provides antispasmodic, antiseptic, antibiotic, antidepressant, antineuralgic, antiphlogistic, carminative, cholagogue, cicatrisant, emmenagogue, analgesic, febrifuge, hepatic, sedative, nervine, digestive, tonic, antispasmodic, bactericidal, sudorific, stomachic, anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious, vermifuge, and vulnerary properties. This beneficial essential oil penetrates deep into the layers of your skin where its potent anti-inflammatory action can restore and soothe irritated skin, mouth ulcers, burns, bruises and other skin conditions. Aside from possibly helping lift up your mood and letting go of your anxieties, German chamomile oil has other reported benefits when used in tandem with other essential oils in aromatherapy.

Uses of German Chamomile Oil

German chamomile oil is broadly used in the cosmetic industry, especially in formulations designed to improve dry, inflamed or irritated skin. It is also added in shampoos and conditioners. Other practical uses of German chamomile oil include:

Allergic reactions — Apply topically on the affected area in a balm or coconut oil for instant relief.

Anogenital disorders — Add in baths and irrigation.

Candida infection — Can help alleviate itching caused by yeast fungus in the vaginal area by having a warm sitz bath regularly until your condition improves. Add one drop of German chamomile oil and two drops of tea tree oil in a gallon of warm water.

Hair moisturizer — Blend two drops of German chamomile oil, rosemary oil, and lavender oil with 4 tablespoons of sweet almond oil. Massage it onto your hair and scalp once a week. For best results, leave it on overnight.

Inflammation and irritation of the respiratory tract — By inhalation either through diffusion or spraying.

Improves Digestion – Being a stomachic, they tone up the stomach and ensure its proper function. They also promote the secretion of digestive juices into the stomach and facilitate digestion. Being Hepatic, which means being good for the liver, they ensure good health of the liver and the proper flow of bile from it. They are also considered Cholagogues, meaning that they increase the secretion of Hydrochloric Acid, bile, and enzymes in the stomach, thereby promoting digestion.

Open leg sores, wounds, hemorrhoids, mastitis, eczemas, gingivitis and ingrown nails — Use topically as a poultice, salve or compress. To make a compress, take a damp cloth, add a few drops of German chamomile oil, and place it on top of the affected area with the essential oil facing away from the skin. This way, the oil’s healing properties will seep into the cloth without putting the skin at risk of any potential hypersensitivity.

Menstrual cramps — Take a five-minute sitz bath (a warm, shallow bath that cleanses your perineum, the space between your rectum and the vulva or scrotum) in a gallon of warm water with two drops of German chamomile and lavender oil.

May help relieve migraine — Moisten a towel with cool water and add a few drops of German chamomile oil. Place the damp cloth on your forehead, close your eyes and relax.

May provide relief from joint pain or tense, stiff and cramping muscles —Blend 2 tablespoons of sweet almond oil and two drops of German chamomile oil and rosemary oil. Massage this blend onto the affected areas to ease up the tensed muscles and increase circulation.

Moisturizing skin mist — To make your own natural skin mist, blend two drops of German chamomile oil, two drops of lavender oil, one drop of rose otto oil and 4 ounces of purified water in a ready-to-spray bottle. This natural moisturizing mist will surely be handy for your sunbathing sessions.

PMS Aide – The symptoms of PMS can be very debilitating for many women. German chamomile’s anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties help in relieving many of the symptoms commonly associated with PMS as well as with menopause. It can help to reduce cramping, pain and nausea commonly associated with PMS as well as menopause. It also helps to balance the hormones which can be very unbalanced during PMS and menopause; this helps a woman to be more calm and relaxed or less irritable and emotional during this time.

Prevents Infections – Both varieties have very good antiseptic and antibiotic properties which do not let biotic infections develop, which arise due to biotic factors such as bacteria and fungi. They also eliminate infections that are already present. These are good vermifuge agents as well, which kill all sorts of intestinal worms. If applied to the hair, it kills lice and mites, keeping the hair and scalp free from infections and damage.

Reduces Anger – While Roman Chamomile is found to be effective in calming down annoyance, anger, and irritation, particularly in small children. The German variety, on the other hand, is found to be more effective on adults for curing inflammation, particularly when it is located in the digestive or urinary system. They also reduce blood pressure and curb the swelling of blood vessels.

Relieves Depression – Both varieties have been seen to be very effective in fighting depression and for raising spirits. They eliminate feelings of sadness, depression, disappointment, and sluggishness while inducing a sort of happy or charged feeling. Even smelling these oils can help a lot in overcoming depression and bringing about a good mood.

Removes Toxic Agents – As a sudorific, both varieties of chamomile oil induce profuse perspiration, which helps to remove toxins and agents that cause infections while simultaneously cooling down the body and effectively providing relief from fever, thus serving as a Febrifuge.

Sedative – German chamomile is well known for is sedative properties. It allows the body and the mind to relax and calm prior to bedtime allowing for a more restful and deeper sleep. This property is also important when it comes to relieving stress, depression and anxiety because it allows the body and the mind to calm and stop racing allowing a person to relax enough to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Getting a proper night’s sleep is also very important when having a cold or flu as sleep helps to heal the body from said infection.

Shingles — Use topically as a poultice. Combine 10 drops of German chamomile oil, two drops of geranium oil, four drops of bergamot oil, six drops of balm, and five drops of lavender. Mix it in water to use as a compress or in 1 3/4 fluid ounces of almond oil.

Skin toner — German chamomile oil has astringent properties, which makes it ideal for pore-cleansing treatment. Simply add the essential oil to your own homemade facial cleanser and apply using cotton balls.

Treats Rheumatism – They cure dysfunctions of the circulatory system, stimulate circulation and detoxify the blood from toxins like uric acid, thereby helping to cure ailments like rheumatism and arthritis, which are caused due to improper circulation and accumulation of uric acid. These abilities classify them as good antiphlogistics, any agents which reduce swelling and edema.

Side Effects of German Chamomile Oil

Never use German chamomile oil during pregnancy as it may induce menstruation and/or premature labor due to its emmenagogue and uterotonic side effects. It also contains coumarin, so care should be taken to avoid potential drug interactions, e.g. with blood thinners. Although there are no existing cases of allergic reactions or hypersensitivity linked to the proper use of German chamomile oil. It is suggested to avoid this essential oil if you have a known allergy to any plant from the Asteraceae or Compositae family (daisy, rag weed, chrysanthemum) to prevent any untoward reactions. If you are not sure whether you’re allergic to it or not, a skin patch test is advised. Apply German chamomile oil on a small portion of your skin and wait for a few hours. If irritation occurs, discontinue use immediately.

Possible Interactions

If you take any of the following drugs, you should not use German chamomile without first talking to your health care provider:

  • Blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants and antiplatelets): Chamomile may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with blood-thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), and aspirin.
  • Sedatives: Use caution with sedatives since chamomile can make these drugs stronger.
  • Anti-seizure medications, such as phenytoin (Dilantin) and valproic acid (Depakote)
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines, such as alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium)
  • Drugs to treat insomnia, such as zolpidem (Ambien), zaleplon (Sonata), eszopiclone (Lunesta), and ramelteon (Rozerem)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline (Elavil)
  • Alcohol
  • The same is true of sedative herbs, such as valerian, kava, and catnip.
  • Blood pressure medications: Chamomile may lower blood pressure slightly. Taking it with drugs for high blood pressure could cause blood pressure to drop too low.
  • Diabetes medications: Chamomile may lower blood sugar. Taking it with diabetes drugs could raise the risk of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
  • Hormonal therapies: Due to its similarity to estrogen, chamomile may potentially interfere with drugs such as nolvadex (Tamoxifen) among others.
  • Other drugs: Because chamomile is broken down by the liver, it may interact with other drugs that are broken down the same way. Those drugs may include:
  • Fexofenadine (Seldane)
  • Statins (drugs that can lower cholesterol)
  • Birth control pills
  • Some antifungal drugs

Available Forms

German chamomile is available as dried flower heads, tea, essential oil, liquid extract, capsules, and topical ointment.

How to Take It

Pediatric – Ask your doctor before giving chamomile tea to a child. Children under 5 should not take more than half a cup of tea per day.

  • To relieve colic: Some doctors suggest 1 to 2 oz. of tea per day. Your doctor may recommend other doses.

Adult

  • Tea: Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 to 3 heaping tsp. (2 to 4 g) of dried herb, steep 10 to 15 minutes. Drink 3 to 4 times per day between meals.
  • Tincture (1:5, 45% alcohol): 30 to 60 drops of tincture, 3 times per day in hot water.
  • Capsules: 300 to 400 mg taken 3 times per day.
  • Gargle or mouthwash: Make a tea as above, then let it cool. Gargle as often as desired. You may also make an oral rinse with 10 to 15 drops of German chamomile liquid extract in 100 ml warm water, and use 3 times per day.
  • Inhalation: Add a few drops of essential oil of chamomile to hot water (or use tea) and breathe in the steam to calm a cough.
  • Bath: Use 1/4 lb. of dried flowers per bath, or add 5 to 10 drops of essential oil to a full tub of water to soothe hemorrhoids, cuts, eczema, or insect bites.
  • Poultice: Make a paste by mixing powdered herb with water and apply to inflamed skin.
  • Cream: Use a cream with a 3 to 10% chamomile content for psoriasis, eczema, or dry and flaky skin.

History of German Chamomile

The word chamomile comes from the Greek word chamomaela with means ground apple because of its pleasant scent like that of apples and because it grows along the ground. German chamomile also goes by the names Matricaria, Hungarian chamomile, Blue chamomile and True chamomile.

The medicinal uses of German chamomile have been documented throughout the ages. German chamomile has been used for over 2000 years in many cosmetics and perfumes as well as being commonly used medicinally for its many health benefits. Asclepius, Galen, Hippocrates and Culpepper have all written about the amazing soothing and calming properties that it possesses. Back in 78 AD German chamomile was listed in the European standard reference book Dioscorides De Materia Medica because of its many health benefits and uses.

The Egyptian god Ra was said to have used it at a symbol of his almighty power. While the Egyptian people used to use it as offerings to the gods ask for help with healing the body. The Egyptian people also worshipped the plant and had many festivals in honor of the plants many healing properties. They would often crush the flower and apply it to their skin to bring out the youthful glow in hopes to reduce the signs of aging.

The Anglo-Saxons considered German chamomile to be one of the nine scared herbs and not only wrote a poem about these herbs but gave instructions and recipes on how to use these herbs along or together to heal disease and poison.

During the Middle Ages, 476-1500 AD, German chamomile was used as a strewing herb. This means that the herb was scattered or strewn around on the floor and when walked on would release the fragrance within. This strewing was important during gatherings and festivals to help make the event not only smell nice but to give a sense of calm to those attending.

Today German chamomile is used not only as an essential oil because of its many health benefits, but it is also used in many perfumes, cosmetics, food and drinks because of its calming effect, taste, scent and of course it’s many health benefits.

Recipes

Bathtub Scrub-a-Dub-Dub

½ cup baking soda

½ cup vinegar

5 drop German chamomile EO

5 drops bergamot EO

Directions: Mix all of the above ingredients together in a glass jar. Massage the mixture into the skin focusing on sore muscles. Soak in a warm bath for at least 15 minutes to calm and relax the body and the mind. Use as needed, daily if desired.

Bedtime Face Lotion

15 drops German chamomile EO

15 drops lavender EO

15 drops peppermint EO

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup coconut oil

¼ cup beeswax

¼ cup shea butter

2 Tbsp. vitamin E

Directions: In a glass bowl added olive oil, beeswax, coconut oil and shea butter. Place the glass bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stove and melt together. Mix well. Once the four ingredients are melted and mixed well together remove from heat and place in the refrigerator for at last an hour or until solid. Once the mixture is solid remove the bowl from the fridge. Taking a hand mixer beat the mixture in the bowl until it is fluffy in texture. Add in the essential oils and vitamin E and mix well. Place in a glass container and store in a cool dry place. Apply to the face focusing on the temples prior to bedtime to help promote rest and relaxation of the mind and body.

PMS Saver Blend

2 drops German chamomile EO

2 drops sage EO

2 drops basil EO

2 drops rosemary EO

Directions: Combine all of the essential oils together in a bowl. Pour the essential oils onto a warm moist hand towel and place on the stomach for 5-10 minutes or longer as needed to help relieve the pain, inflammation and cramping of PMS

Sunburn Salve

10 drops lavender EO

6 drops German chamomile EO

4 drops peppermint EO

4 oz. fractionated coconut oil

Directions: Melt the coconut oil over low heat on the stove. Once melted remove from heat and add in the essential oils. Mix well. Transfer into a 4 oz glass jar and allow to cool. Apply to affected area as needed at least twice a day.

German Chamomile Body Wash

1 cup water

¼ cup raw honey

⅔ cup liquid Castile soap

30 drops German chamomile EO

1 tsp. vitamin E

2 tsp. carrier oil of your choosing (argan, coconut, sesame, sweet almond, jojoba, grapeseed, macadamia)

Directions: Mix all of the above ingredients in a glass bottle and mix well. Shake prior to use.

Bonus ways you can experiment with when it comes to using German chamomile essential oil:

  • To help relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression add a few drops of German chamomile and rose essential oil to a warm bath or mix and diffuse in a room.
  • To help with motion sickness, inhale a combination of German chamomile, peppermint, lavender and ginger essential oils.
  • Try having some German chamomile tea to help reduce stress, anxiety and depression. It can also help to soothe and calm the stomach.

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