Sunday, 21 June 2009

Which Chamomile?

Chamomile Essential Oil
Photo by macroninja.
Most people have heard of Chamomile due to the herbal teas which are sold in most supermarkets. I’m not sure what type of Chamomile they contain though as there are more than one variety. In Aromatherapy, three different variations of Chamomile are used – German Chamomile, Chamomile Maroc (Moroccan), and Roman Chamomile.

I use both the Roman and Maroc variations of essential oil in my aromatherapy practice but favour the Roman version more so as it has a nicer aroma. I haven’t used German Chamomile at all, although after researching this post I think I might purchase one as it has many useful properties that the other two variations do not.

German Chamomile has a dark blue appearance due to its azulene content. Azulene is a powerful anti-inflammatory which is why German chamomile is a more effective anti-inflammatory than Roman chamomile, although it is still helpful for this.

German Chamomile is very effective at treating skin conditions, whereas Roman chamomile is better suited to calming a person.

Chamomile Maroc is not recognised as a true chamomile according to Shirley Price, author of the Aromatherapy Workbook: Understanding Essential Oils - From Plant to Bottle. It does however appear “to emulate many of the effects attributed to its aristocratic relation” – German and Roman chamomile.

Below is a table comparing the properties of all three chamomile essential oils.

PropertyGerman ChamomileChamomile MarocRoman Chamomile
AnalgesicY Y
Anti-bacterial YY
Anti-infectious Y 
Anti-inflammatoryY Y
Carminative  Y
CicatrizantY Y
Emmenagogue YY
Febrifuge  Y
Neurotonic Y 
Relaxant YY
Sedative YY
VulnaryY Y

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  1. Drinking chamomile tea soothes the nervous system so that you can sleep better. It has been used as a solution for insomnia for centuries. See the link below for more info.