German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

German chamomile

German chamomile is best known for easing the pain and inflammation of red, itchy skin but she also has lesser known spiritual and emotional benefits too.

Family: Asteraceae, Compositae

Synonyms: Blue chamomile, Hungarian chamomile

Aroma: The steam distilled oil has a sweeter, fruitier aroma than the CO2 exacted oil which smells more like newly mown grass.

Colour: Blue if steam distilled, yellowish green if CO2 extracted

German chamomilePlant: An annual herb that grows up to 60cm tall with a hairless, erect branching system. The flower has a dark yellow to orange dome shape centre with the flower head being 1.5cm broad with 15 to 18 white strap shape petals that drop downward.

Main Growing Areas: Native to Europe and Western Asia, Hungry, France

Major Constituents: Farnesene, chamazulene, alpha-bisabolol oxide A&B, beta-caryophyllene

Interesting snippets:
German chamomile is the oldest known medical herb.
In Germany it is known as good for everything, the Greeks called it ground apple and in Spain it is known as little apple.
Chamomile stands for patience in adversity in the language of flowers.

Part of Plant used /Extraction: Partly dried flower heads are used in steam distillation while fully dried flower tops are used in CO2 extraction. Steam distillation produces 0.1-0.5% essential oil while CO2 extraction produces 4-5%.

Therapeutic actions: Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, wound healing, eczema, ulcers, sprains, PMS and menstrual pain, mouth ulcers, muscular pain, eases the itchiness of insect bites.

Emotional and Spiritual:
Valerie Ann Worwood writes when confusion seems to have become prevalent in a person’s spiritual life, and the laws of the Creator seem to have no meaning to the life we live on earth, then the fragrance can often help us to understand.

According to Robbi Zeck it helps loosen the grip of old habits, ideas and beliefs that are no longer useful in living the life you want to live. She asks you to imagine your life speaking to you and consider what it would say.

Joni Keim Loughran and Ruah Bull write that it helps you to identify what is true, and also a way to speak it with grace, accuracy and power. To achieve this, it helps you to be centred, grounded and to think clearly.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Chamomile German insight card

LETTING GO
Chamomile assists you to let go of emotional worries and break patterns that are limiting your potential. Learn that you will be in more control if you let go and trust the process of the happenings around you. Allow life’s adventures to be just that, adventures. Chamomile will assist you to stop being critical of yourself and others just because events or people are not living up to your expectations. Remember your expectations are just that and move on.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitizing

Sources: Atterby D, German Chamomile Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.45 (2009)
Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Bowles E.J, The A-Z of Essential Oils. New Burlington Books (2003)
Jefferies J, Osborn. K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Keim Loughran J, Bull R, Aromatherapy Anointing Oils, Frog Books (2001)
Worwood V.A, The Fragrant Heavens. Doubleday Publishing UK (1999)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)