About German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile
German Chamomile is a good essential oil for both body and mind. There are primarily two types of chamomile essential oil – Roman (Chamaemelum nobile) and German (Matricaria recutita).
Of these two essential oils, Roman is used more for inhalations and diffusing whereas German is better for massage techniques and tea.
Both have been historically collected and used for overall wellness as a cup of relaxing Chamomile tea (Matricaria recutita) – order and use the Young Living Vitality Chamomile for your food and beverage purposes.
Both have bright, sunny, daisy-like flowers with yellow centers and white petals.
Both have soft delicate fern-like foliage that is pleasantly scented, though the scents do differ slightly.
They are botanically different and that is why they belong to different Genera. It is the parts of the flowers that separate the two. Roman Chamomile has a tiny papery bract between the florets that German Chamomile does not. Also, the cone in the center of the daisy is solid in Roman Chamomile and hollow in German Chamomile.
Roman Chamomile only contains about 1.5% essential oil in its flowers and leaves and is steam distilled to extract the essential oil.
German Chamomile is extracted only from the flowers and contains more of the healing chemical known as azulene, which when distilled forms beautiful blue crystals. Azulene has been found to be very beneficial and only small quantities are generally used topical applications with a little carrier oil (such as V-6 or coconut oil). This is why German, sometimes called ‘blue chamomile’.
Both of these chamomiles do have a wonderful calming effect on the central nervous system. When used in massage, it is a great home remedy for ‘the blues’, grumpiness, quarrelsomeness, over-stimulation and irrational moods.
Both are also good to diffuse and can help with over-active minds, restlessness and occasional sleeplessness. And, either one can be used for a calming and relaxing bath, simply take a 1/2 cup of sea salt or Epsom salts, add several drops of Chamomile essential oil to the salt in a bowl, then pour the mixture under running bath water and soak for 20 minutes.
You might remember from Beatrix Potter’s charming book the day that Peter Rabbit narrowly escaped a harrowing ordeal in Mr. McGregor’s garden. Once Peter Rabbit was safely home his mother gave him a cup of chamomile tea (Matricaria recutita) before putting him to bed.
The calming effect of Chamomile tea is legendary and is based in scientific fact.
If you type the scientific Latin name “Matricaria recutita” into PubMed.com you’ll see it has been shown to be effective for… well, you’ll just have to go look for yourself.
Chamomile is also used in many hair products especially those for blond hair as it brightens and lightens the hair, bringing out the natural highlights. Try adding a couple drops to your shampoo next time you wash your hair.
One of my favorite uses for German Chamomile (aside from smelling it or putting a drop in a cup of tea to settle my tummy when it feels cranky) is to rub several drops on my neck and shoulders when I wake in the morning with a stiff neck – you know the type of stiffness when you’ve slept on your neck funny, or your muscles are just tight from stress. That’s when I have found it most useful topically.
Consider the Chamomiles as bringing us physical as well as emotional benefits.
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Chamomile in the Home Garden
If you enjoy gardening… you may want to grow these aromatic plants with their dainty daisy-like flowers.
German Chamomile is a fast growing annual, having an upright habit and growing to a height of about 1′ to 2′ feet tall, it easily self-sows in almost any climate. German Chamomile produces more flowers than Roman Chamomile, as is typical with most annuals.
German Chamomile can usually be cut a couple of times during the growing season because it takes only a few weeks to make a new crop of flowers… but if you grow some in your garden be sure to leave plenty of flowers as they do attract beneficial insects. If you want German Chamomile to reseed itself you will need to leave the last crop of flowers so they can to go to seed to help ensure the sprouting of seedlings everywhere the next spring.
How to Use German Chamomile
- Topical: Apply 2–4 drops to desired area along with a little carrier oil.
- Aromatic: Diffuse up to one hour three times daily.
Roman Chamomile is a 3″ to 4″ inch tall perennial. Being a small low growing plant, gardeners enjoy using it as a bright green “chamomile lawn” or grown between stepping stone pathways in areas with cool summer climates – it does not require mowing. It has an aromatic punch when walked upon.
I have been growing Roman Chamomile in my container garden for almost ten years now. I’ve been growing it under my beautiful ancient looking 17 year old Sage plant which I purchased as a tiny 4 inch tall plant back in 2005 while living in Seattle. They look spectacular together.
How to Use Roman Chamomile
- Diffuse this oil to freshen the air, especially in rooms where children play or study.
- Apply to the bottoms of feet before bed as part of your family’s evening routine.
- Combine with the blend Citrus Fresh™ for a bright, invigorating scent that’s perfect for morning diffusing.
- Dilute with V-6™ Massage Oil for a calming back massage before naps or bed.
- Add 4–5 drops to 1 cup Epsom salt for a calming bath at the start of the day or as part of an evening routine.
- Add to Young Living’s Bath & Shower Gel Base for a cleanser your entire family will love.
While the Chamomile’s are best known for their soothing medicinal properties, take note that some folks can be allergic or sensitive to Roman Chamomile. The most susceptible are those who are allergic to plant members of the ragweed family.
In my opinion, the chamomiles are a must-have in any wellness kit.
To purchase Young Living essential oils and products please click here to connect with a distributor.
After reading this post can you tell which type of chamomile I’m grooving on in the photo below?
Disclaimer: Keep out all essential oils out of reach of children. Follow label instructions when using. Keep away from eyes and mucous membranes. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult a health professional prior to use.