Chamomile as an essential oil, photo credit: Mikhail Bistrov, ISP
Chamomile as an essential oil, photo credit: Mikhail Bistrov, ISP

Recently, I gave you ten fun facts about lavender essential oil and, before that, ten fun facts about rose essential oil. Today, I am looking at chamomile oil, another favorite with beginners to aromatherapy. Here are ten quick facts about chamomile.

There is More Than One Type of Chamomile Oil

The general term chamomile is used when talking about more than one type of chamomile oil. Two of the most common types of chamomile essential oil used in aromatherapy are Roman chamomile and German chamomile. In addition, there is Maroc chamomile.

Why Maroc Chamomile Essential Oil is Different

Just because its called chamomile doesn’t mean it acts like chamomile. Both Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and German chamomile (Matricaria recutica) belong to the Asteraceae plant family. Maroc chamomile (Ormenis multicaulis) also belongs to the Asteraceae plant family. However, even though these plants are botanical cousins, Maroc chamomile looks different (as a plant). In addition, all three essential oils are composed of different chemical components (although Roman and German chamomile are often used for similar purposes).

Chemical Components of Chamomile Essential Oil

The principal chemical component of Roman chamomile essential oil is esters. The principal chemical components of German chamomile essential oil are sesquiterpenes, oxides and alcohols. Maroc chamomile essential oil contains alcohols and monoterpenes.

Chamomile Oil for Babies and Children

Roman chamomile is a popular essential oil to use with babies and children because of its high content of esters. German chamomile essential oil can also be used with babies and children – but under the guidance of a suitably certified aromatherapist. German chamomile oil contains more reactive components. Maroc chamomile is fairly new (in terms of historic use) to the market, so little is known about its recorded results. It does contain a high content of alcohols – but contains monoterpenes. too.

Different Shades of Blue

German chamomile essential oil is inky-blue in color, making it instantly recognizable. However, Roman chamomile essential oil can also be pale blue to yellow in color. Maroc chamomile essential oil is not blue – it is yellow to brown in color.

Ancient Use of Chamomile

Both Roman chamomile and German chamomile have a long history of use in herbal medicine. Roman chamomile dates back to Egyptian times. In historic respect, Maroc chamomile is a newcomer to the essential oil market.

Uses of Chamomile Essential Oil

Roman chamomile essential oil is used for pain and inflammation, and to calm the nervous system. It is also used for insomnia. German chamomile essential oil can also be used for similar purposes. Maroc essential oil is used in skincare.

Chamomile as a Hydrosol

Chamomile is also available as a hydrosol, and can be a great alternative (and gentler in use) to the essential oil. Check the specific properties for each type of chamomile hydrosol before using.

Cost of Chamomile Oil

German chamomile essential oil is the most expensive of the chamomile oils, followed by Maroc and Roman chamomile essential oil. However, all three types are more expensive than a lot of essential oils.

Chamomile as a Lawn and Seat

Chamomile seats were a popular feature of gardens in Elizabethan England. In addition, chamomile lawns were common in the seventeenth century – before modern day grass lawns were invented.

Learn More About Essential Oils with Aromatherapy Courses

 

If you want to learn more about essential oils, such as chamomile, consider one of the Sedona Aromatherapie aromatherapy courses. For more information, visit the courses home page.

References

 

  • Caddy, Rosemary, Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Colour, 1997, U.K.: Amberwood Publishing Ltd
  • Lawless, Julia, The Aromatherapy Garden, 2001, U.K.: Kyle Cathie Ltd
  • Lawless, Julia, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, 1995, U.K.: Thorsons
  • Author’s own experience

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