There are actually several varieties of Chamomile growing around the world today. The two most sought-after for their medicinal benefits are German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis).
In many ways both varieties are very similar, and in some ways they are very different. These differences become important when we are treating conditions of the body, emotions and mind with our home essential oil kits.
So, let’s try to clarify the Which, When and Why of these two wonderful essential oils!
Both German and Roman Chamomile plants grow wild in various parts of the world.
Roman Chamomile is a small evergreen perennial plant that grows low to the ground, often used as a ground cover. It’s propagated by division, and the stems are hairy, with flowers are larger than 1 inch diameter.
German (Blue) Chamomile, on the other hand, is not perennial, and is propagated by seed planting or letting the flower heads go to seed for the next year. The stems are hairless, branching, and longer, with a few flowers on the tops.
Roman Chamomile has a light, fresh apple fragrance, and German Chamomile smells more like sweet straw.
Medicinally, both varieties are used for calming and soothing skin, inflammation, fevers, and the nervous and digestive systems, as well as inducing perspiration to flush out toxins, allergens and infections. Both are pain relieving, antibiotic, anti-bacterial, and sedative. It’s in their chemical properties that we begin to see where they differ.
- Contains chamazulene, giving the oil its deep blue color, and anti-inflammatory and infection fighting properties.
- Maintains normal skin; calms dry, irritated or flaky skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis; promotes healing and regeneration of damaged skin tissue.
- Stimulates liver, kidneys and gall bladder to improve digestion, remove toxins and infections.
- Calms mind and body for menstrual and menopausal problems, including PMS.
- Contains high level of esters, has a yellow-pale blue color, and is anti-spasmodic, anti-fungal and highly calming.
- Provides restful sleep, relief from sore muscles, arthritis, headaches and migraines.
- Effective at calming irritation, rage, mood swings. For children, it’s useful for teething, colic, and temper tantrums.
By knowing the differences in these two effective essential oils, you can be sure to pick just the right one for your family’s physical, emotional and mental health. Chamomile will definitely be a valuable addition to your essential oil kit!