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The chamomile herb & Chamomile Roman Essential Oil is one of the oldest and most famous medicinal plants in the world. Because of its many useful biological properties, chamomile has been embraced far and wide as an essential ingredient to many natural health treatments.
Moreover, its beautiful scent makes chamomile essential oil a favorite ingredient in the perfume and aromatherapy industry.
Chamomile essential oil in history
The earliest records of the use of chamomile date back to early Northern-African civilizations, where Egyptians used it as a medicine for various conditions including fever, asthma, inflammations, nausea, malaria, and skin diseases. Over the years, chamomile spread to Europe and is now cultivated in nearly all the temperate regions of the world.
There are numerous species of chamomile, but the two most famous are the German and the Roman chamomile. Both of these plants exhibit differences in the type of flowers, leaves, and the composition of the oil extracted.
The chamomile herb can be identified from other small daisy-like shrubs by its white and yellow flowers, whose scent is sweet, fresh, and apple-like. In fact, the name “chamomile” is derived from the Greek words “chamos” and “milos” which translate to “ground” and “apple” respectively; referring to the plant’s characteristic short stature and fruity aroma.
Chamomile oil is extracted from the herb’s flowers through the process of steam distillation. Roman chamomile yields about 1.7 percent of oil from the total mass of flowers collected, while German chamomile yields around 0.4 percent.
The color of both oil variants ranges from brilliant blue to deep green when freshly produced, and turns dark yellow after a few days of storage. Despite this color change, however, the oil’s potency remains the same and can be preserved for years.
In many ways, Roman chamomile is superior from German chamomile, and is, therefore, the most produced of the two variants.
Unlike the annual German type, the Roman chamomile plant is perennial, which means it can live for more than two years. The herb grows to a height of about twenty inches, and blossoms in the warm months of June and July, when harvesting occurs.
Italy, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom are the leading exporters of Roman chamomile, followed by Poland, the Czech Republic, and North America.
Chamomile oil uses
Herbal tea is the most common way of chamomile preparation, and many people take it daily. However, many users remain oblivious of the additional benefits that come with Roman chamomile essential oil.
Here is a look at some of the benefits.
Fighting anxiety and calming the mind
The volatile oils present in Roman chamomile make it an effective treatment for stress, anxiety, and depression. Inhaling chamomile vapor is one of the most effective ways to induce relaxation. The fragrance triggers the brain to release “happy” hormones like dopamine and serotonin.
Furthermore, the soothing properties of chamomile help to promote healthy sleep and combat insomnia by reducing adrenocorticotropic hormone levels and ushering the mind into a peaceful and restful state.
Studies show that when blended with other essential oils, such as lavender and neroli, Roman chamomile can be used to reduce anxiety levels and induce peaceful sleep to patients in the intensive care unit.
Relieving pain and inflammation
Roman chamomile oil is sometimes referred to as “herbal aspirin” because of its pain-alleviating capabilities. For centuries, it has been used to reduce facial swelling, toothaches, pain from infections and several underlying issues of inflammation.
Chamomile can also naturally minimize lower-body pain associated with injuries and pregnancy. In fact, it has been known to soothe the mind and body of women after giving birth.
In addition, the anti-inflammatory properties of Roman chamomile oil have led to its wide application in the treatment of internal muscles, and joint problems brought about by arthritis, gout, and other similar conditions. When gently applied to the skin or added to a warm water bath, the flavonoids in chamomile oil penetrate the skin, remedying the swelling and pain.
Promoting healthy skin
Anyone suffering from breakouts, dry, irritated, red or aging skin should try using Roman chamomile oil. When mixed with lotion, chamomile encourages smooth and healthy skin and relieves irritation caused by bacteria and fungi, as well as food allergies and sensitivities.
By penetrating into deeper layers of the skin, chamomile oil gets rid of aging signs like dark spots and wrinkles, therefore preserving its youthful appearance and complexion.
Chamomile is also used in scalp treatment to reduce dandruff and the breaking of hair.
Offsetting heart problems and cancer
Recent studies show that Roman chamomile, when used in conjunction with conventional treatment can impede cancer cells and quickly stop tumor growth.
This is attributed to chamomile’s bioactive elements called apigenin, which cause significant growth inhibitory effects on human cancer cells, especially those that lead to prostate, skin, breast, and ovarian cancer.
Additionally, Roman chamomile is often associated with promoting cardiovascular health. Because of its high flavonoid levels, the oil is a powerful antioxidant that provides various immune system benefits and prevents the risk of death due to coronary heart diseases.
When taken topically, Roman chamomile oil may lower blood pressure and have a soothing effect on the heart.
General treatment for children
Unlike many essential oils which are not recommended for children, Roman chamomile has earned a permanent place in the medicine cabinets of many mothers. The oil is often called the “kid calmer” because, being one of the gentlest essential oils on the planet, it is ideal for calming crying infants, eliminating ear and eye irritations, and reducing fevers.
When diluted with a mild carrier like coconut oil, chamomile can be used to treat many gastrointestinal conditions, including gas, leaky gut, indigestion, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Its antispasmodic properties also help to soothe a child’s stomach and relax the muscles for smooth movement of food through the digestive tract.
Roman chamomile oil: Blends and applications
Roman chamomile essential oil can be used on its own or mixed with similar essential oils to bring about a variety of new characteristics or promote already existing properties.
Chamomile particularly blends well with Lavender, Jasmine, Geranium, Rose, Clary Sage and Ylang-Ylang oil. The resulting blends are then diluted in carrier oils, such as jojoba, sweet almond, grapeseed, and avocado.
Roman chamomile essential oil is normally used topically on the skin or internally under the base of the tongue, but not ingested. In case of ingestion, experts recommend using only the highest quality of the oil and doing it at least once a week, under the supervision of a professional.
Anyone with existing seasonal allergy symptoms should exercise caution when using chamomile oil. For skin treatment, it's a good idea to do a patch test on a small, insensitive part of the skin to make sure you don’t have any unpleasant reactions to chamomile.
Lastly, chamomile products are considered to be mild emmenagogues, which means they stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area. Pregnant women should, therefore, seek professional advice before using Roman chamomile oil.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.