Chamomile

Chamomile is a very useful essential oil, and it is also gentle enough for children.

This is a good oil for psychological problems. Chamomile has historically been used for children who might feel impatient or tense due to colic, teething, or flatulence. It is also a mild sedative without any depressing effect.

 



 Historical Uses
Chamomile  was a sacred flower to the  Egyptians who used the flower as an offering to the sun Good Ra. In the middle ages it was thought that  chamomile was improving the air and it was scattered around the houses. Roman chamomile derives from the Greek word chamaimelon, melon means apple and chamai means ground. The name refers to its unique smell when it is fresh. The botanical name Anthemis means flower in Greek, and the name nobilis, which means noble, refers to its healing properties. Chamomile is a native of Western Europe.

Chamomile  has a long history of being used for its therapeutic properties. Culpeper knew about chamomile’s effect on the nervous system, and he recommended it to comfort the brain and the mind. Chamomile was also used for digestive complaints and skin and mucus membrane irritations. Decoctions of the whole herb were used all over Europe.


The essential oil Roman Chamomile, ( Anthemis nobilis or Chamaemelum, nobile) is sometimes referred to as English Chamomile or Chamomile Romain. It belongs to the Asteraceae family.
The toxic constituent is Pinocarvone. It may cause dermatitis, so it is recommended to conduct a skin patch test prior to application of the oil. Chamomile is also contraindicated in the first trimester of the pregnancy.

Roman Chamomile is a small perennial herb with hairy stem. The leaves are feathery, and the flowers are white and somewhat larger than the German chamomile and they smell like apple. The flowers are steam distilled to make the essential oil.

The aroma of Chamomile is warm but it feels light and summer-like. Anthemis nobilis has a typical floral scent that brings back memories of  picking wild flowers in the summers in Sweden. The aroma is very calming and relaxing. It makes me feel very relaxed  and not stressed at all.


I perform an Organoleptic testing when I try out new essential oils. Organoleptic testing means that you use your senses to test and evaluate essential oils. I try paint a picture in my head of the aroma and to see  what color, shape, gender, and temperature it has. I also pay attention to what emotional responses I get from each individual aroma.

 One way to test the aroma is that you take a perfume blotter, which is a thin strip of paper, and dip it in the bottle. This is a great way to see if the essential oils are diluted with other substances since it most likely will show on the blotter. For example, Roman Chamomile has no color and it leaves no residue on the blotter. If the essential oil is diluted with other substances I could tell by looking at the blotter, since a diluted oil may leave some residue which I know shouldn’t be there for chamomile.

 I also smell the aroma straight from the bottle to see what effect the scent have on my mind and body. After a while you learn to tell quality by smelling the essential oils straight from the bottle and you can tell an inferior aroma from a superior.

 Another way to check the essential oil is to rub it between your fingers since different oils feel different depending on viscosity etc. Chamomile dries quickly when rubbed between the fingers, but if it was diluted it might have left an oily residue.

Chamomile blends well with bergamot, clary sage, geranium, lavender, lemon, sweet marjoram, neroli, orange, rose, rosewood, sandalwood, and ylang ylang.

Chamomile also has anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties, and it is more suitable than the German Chamomile for inhalation due to its higher ester content. It’s anti-inflammatory properties are useful for the skin.

Some other properties are analgesic, carminative, emmenagogue, anti-depressant, diuretic, sedative, anti-fungal, digestive and hepatic. Chamomile also makes a good tea that will calm down the nervous system and soothes the digestion.

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