Roman Chamomile is a small, sturdy herb with a hairy stem and multiple branches. It has feathery, pinnate leaves and beautiful white flowers similar to those of the daisy. The plant has a distinct apple flavour to its scent, which explains the etymology of its name. The word chamomile is derived from the Greek words chamai (on the ground) and melon (apple).
#2 of 10: Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
Roman Chamomile resembles lavender in its effects. As well as lavender, it blends very well with Labdanum, Rose, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Jasmine, Geranium, Neroli and Oakmoss essential oils.
In English, Roman Chamomile has many synonyms, reflecting its perennial popularity. This versatile herb is variously called Garden Chamomile, English Chamomile, Ground Apple, Low Chamomile, True Chamomile or just Chamomile. The Latin name for Roman Chamomile has, since Linnaeus, been anthemis nobilis. Chamaemelum nobile is a new term denoting the same plant.
Roman Chamomile is native to Southern and Western Europe and naturalised in North America. It is cultivated in Belgium, Hungary, Italy, France, England and the United States.
Commercially, Roman Chamomile (and its relatives in the Compositae family) is a very important plant. It is used extensively in a wide variety of beauty products such as shampoos, conditioners, soaps, bath oils and expensive perfumes. It is also used as a flavouring agent in food production, and as an ingredient in alcohol and soft drinks.
In herbal medicine and aromatherapy, Roman chamomile is used for ailments ranging from rheumatism and acne to menopausal problems. The essential oil is extracted from the flower heads by steam distillation.
Since antiquity, Roman Chamomile has been used for digestive disorders as well as skin and mucous membrane irritations. It has also been known for its positive effects on mental health, and as a remedy for “hysterical and nervous afflictions”.
Today, Roman Chamomile is useful for women as a treatment for genito-urinary disorders, among other things. Women with menstruation problems, whether they are suffering from Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), Menorrhagia (abnormally heavy bleeding) or Amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), may find relief from suffering with this gentle, yet effective herb. Interestingly, Roman Chamomile stimulates menstrual flow when needed but discourages and harmonises it when the opposite is true.
For menstrual problems, Roman Chamomile can be used topically in massage, baths or compresses and internally in teas. For massages and baths, add 3-4 drops of essential oil to 10mL of carrier oil. If you are pregnant, especially in the first trimester, or have had a miscarriage, do not use Roman Chamomile at all.
As a disinfectant, Roman Chamomile is effective against urinary tract infections, such as cystitis. To combat these ailments, drink plenty of Chamomile tea and use Roman Chamomile in a compress on lower abdomen, as well as in baths.
If you are suffering from skin diseases or allergies, Roman Chamomile is your friend. It is high in chamazulene, a chemical compound known for its anti-inflammatory effects. Roman Chamomile is especially efficient in fighting such irritating conditions as eczema and urticaria. It will also help against insect bites, rashes, wounds, boils, cuts, chilblains as well as sensitive, dry skin in general. Teenagers with acne may find relief for their embarrassment by using Roman Chamomile in lotions, creams or douches. For a wide-spread skin condition, a Roman Chamomile bath may come in handy, as well as being soothing and relaxing.
Because of its calming qualities, Roman Chamomile has traditionally been used to treat both mind and the body. According to Nicholas Culpeper, an English 17th Century herbalist, Chamomile “comforts the head and the brain.” It is still used for nervous tension and other stress-related problems, such as migraines, headaches, and insomnia. Indeed, Roman Chamomile is particularly effective in treating all forms of anxiety and stress, common conditions which can only get worse with the increased demands of the competitive workplace.
To treat your nerves, use Roman Chamomile as an ingredient in a massage oil or a bath solution. Both treatments will work wonders on a tired and agitated mind.
Similarly, to treat aching muscles and inflamed joints, add Roman Chamomile mixed with a carrier oil into your bath water or use for massage. Roman Chamomile can also be effective against chronic conditions such as rheumatism, arthritis and neuralgia.
As a very mild essential oil, Roman Chamomile is generally regarded as safe for children. If you have an infant with teething pains, you may apply some Roman Chamomile mixed in with a carrier oil to your child’s cheek. Or feed it a few teaspoons of lukewarm Chamomile tea.
Roman Chamomile can be used for adult toothache as an emergency relief, until dentist help is available.
In some eastern philosophies, Roman Chamomile is linked to the throat chakra and is said to help you to express your “highest spiritual truth”. By easing and calming the mind, Roman Chamomile may also facilitate expression on an artistic, intellectual and practical level. In the Chinese medicinal tradition, Roman Chamomile can promote free flow of Qi-energy and thus relax nerves and ease pains.
A Roman Chamomile personality is happy, joyful and harmonious. These characteristics are all present in the soothing and calming Roman Chamomile essential oil which, whilst gentle, has been powerful enough to stand the test of time in treating pains, aches, inflammations and digestive troubles, as well as fragile mental conditions, for thousands of years.
A Word on Safety
As mentioned above, Roman Chamomile is not recommended for pregnant women or women with a history of miscarriages. It is especially important that you do not take Roman Chamomile or other members of the Compositae family during the first three months of your pregnancy. We recommend not using them at any stage of pregnancy.
Roman Chamomile may cause dermatitis for persons that are allergic to this and other chamomiles in the Compositae family. For everyone else, Roman Chamomile is safe to use being non-toxic and non-irritant.