Chamomile Essential Oil (Matricaria Chamomilla)
History and Anecdotal Information: When steam distilled, azulene forms and gives German Chamomile oil its dark blue color. Azulene has great anti-inflammatory value. Hieroglyphic records prove that Chamomile has been used cosmetically for at least 2000 years. Women regenerated their skin with topical applications of crushed petals. The botanical name Matricaria is derived from Latin for 'womb'. Egyptians and Greek physicians use the herb for fevers and female disorders including menstrual cramps and pain during childbirth. An ancient Anglo-Saxon manuscript describes Chamomile as one of the "Nine Sacred Herbs".
In Medieval Europe, Roman Chamomile was used as a “strewing herb” to help create a relaxing atmosphere.
In our times, Chamomile is known for its calming ability to ease upset stomach and for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is also used as a gentler alternative to bleaches for women who want to lighten their hair by one or two shades.
There are several types of Chamomile, among them German Chamomile, Roman Chamomile and true Moroccan Chamomile. The ones most commonly used are the German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile.
German Chamomile Essential Oil (Matricaria Recutita):
German Chamomile, also known as Hungarian or Blue Chamomile for the oil’s blue color, is the one botanists and herbalists refer to generically as Chamomile. It grows wild in Germany, and is mainly distilled in Hungary. German Chamomile is also grown in France, Eastern Europe, and Egypt.
- Bisabolol Oxides A & B
- Bisabolone Oxide A
- Cyanogenic Glycosides
- Volatile Oil
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil (Chamaemelum Nobile):
Roman Chamomile, also known as English Chamomile, and Sweet Chamomile, is mostly grown in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and Morocco.
- Propyl and Butyl Angelate
- Phenolic Acids
General Benefits For Both Types: Chamomile oil in general is commonly used to relieve stress. Both types of Chamomile are Anti-Inflammatory, Antiseptic, Anti-Spasmodic and Antiallergenic.
German Chamomile is also Carminative, Digestive and Sedative. It is superbly effective in soothing irritated skin and regenerating tissue. It stimulates gallbladder and liver to improve digestion.
Roman Chamomile is also a Digestive Stimulant, it is mildly Analgesic and a Muscle Relaxant. It is especially known for its analgesic and sedative properties. It's useful in soothing mental irritation and impatience. A mild herb, it's safe for use in babies to soothe pain during teething, for nervous sleep, colic, diarrhea and gastric spasms. It soothes PMS, suppresses cancer cell growth, and relieves asthmatic symptoms.
Skin Benefits: Anti-inflammatory, Anti-aging, Antispasmodic, Antibiotic, Anti-septic, Calming, and Cicatrisant. All Chamomiles have some effectiveness in the treatment of acne, boils, abscesses, blisters, cuts and sores, dermatitis, dry and sensitive skin, eczema, insect bites, irritated and inflamed skin and rashes. As an anti-spasmodic it is used in salons to relax facial muscles.
Skin Care Applications:
- German Chamomile essential oil calms red, dry and itchy or irritated skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties and helps eczema and psoriasis. Its high concentration of A-Bisabolol is responsible for its effectivness in healing wounds and regenerating damaged tissue.
- Roman Chamomile has similar benefits to German Chamomile. It calms acne, eczema, rashes, wounds, dermatitis and other allergic conditions. It is valued for its apple-like scent and aroma-therapeutic properties.