How often have you brewed a warm mug of chamomile tea to calm the nerves or ease yourself into sleep? Chamomile tea is one of the most widely-brewed herbal teas in the world, and for good reason. The calming, relaxing properties of this herb are ideal for easing stress and promoting a peaceful sleep.
Although chamomile tea has its own benefits, the essential oil is even more potent. There are two main types of chamomile used for their medicinal properties – Roman chamomile and German chamomile. Even though both boast similar health benefits, they do differ compositionally. Here we will be focusing solely on Roman chamomile and its uses.
History of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
Roman chamomile essential oil is derived from the Roman chamomile plant, also known as common chamomile, English chamomile, and true chamomile. It is scientifically referred to as either Anthemis nobilis or Chamaemelum nobile.
Roman chamomile is native to western and southern Europe, although the oil is now produced in many countries around the world, including Hungary, Belgium, France, Italy, America, Argentina, and the United Kingdom. 1 It is often referred to as the ‘plant’s physician’ due to its ability to have positive effects on sickly plants that grow near it. 2
This particular plant has been used throughout history to treat a wide variety of symptoms. Ancient Egyptians used it to reduce fever, and Ancient Romans added it to beverages, incense, and various medicines. Greek physicians would prescribe it to patients to reduce fever and ease symptoms of female troubles. Historically, doctors in Europe and America would add chamomile to their medicines because of its ability to relieve pain, allergies, digestive upsets, and inflammation. 3
The composition of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
Roman chamomile essential oil is steam distilled from the flowers of Anthemis nobilis. The resulting oil is very light blue in color and has a delightfully sweet, fruity fragrance reminiscent of apples.
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Roman chamomile essential oil has analgesic, antispasmodic, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, carminative, cholagogue, cicatrisant, emmenagogue, febrifuge, sedative, nervine, digestive, stomachic and vermifuge properties. This is all due to its composition, which primarily consists of esters. 4
Essential oils that are high in esters are known for being calming, sedative, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory. 5 It’s no wonder that chamomile is known for its relaxing properties!
Common Uses of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
Roman chamomile essential oil can be used topically, aromatically, and even internally to treat a wide variety of health issues. It can be used to treat digestive issues, calm the nerves, soothe skin problems and more!
Ease anxiety and promote proper sleep
The high ester content of Roman chamomile essential oil makes it ideal for calming the nerves and relaxing the mind. If you’ve had a long day or are feeling anxious, depressed, angry, overwhelmed or stressed, chamomile can help.
Roman chamomile can be diffused throughout your home, added to a bath, or mixed with a carrier oil and used as a relaxing massage oil. For a quick way to combat stress on-the-go, it can be used in our Sleepy personal essential oil diffuser. It can also be mixed with water in a spray bottle and lightly sprayed on sheets and pillowcases to promote peaceful sleep.
Soothe digestive upsets
Since Roman chamomile essential oil has stomachic properties, it helps tone the stomach and promote proper digestion. It is also a cholagogue, meaning that it increases the secretion of acid, bile and enzymes in the stomach. Roman chamomile can help ease bloating, nausea, acid reflux, indigestion and diarrhea, and even ease the pain of menstrual cramps.
To soothe digestive problems, mix a few drops of Roman chamomile essential oil with a carrier oil and massage gently onto the stomach and lower abdomen. You can also add a drop of this essential oil to a glass of water and take internally.
Calm skin irritations
Roman chamomile essential oil keeps skin looking young and healthy. It can reduce the look of redness, rashes, eczema, acne, bruises, burns, minor wounds, and other irritations. It can also help reduce the risk of infection due to its antiseptic properties.
To calm the skin and keep it looking fresh and youthful, add a drop or two of Roman chamomile essential oil to your daily moisturizer. For minor cuts, scrapes and other wounds, you can dab a drop of this essential oil directly on the affected area.
Reduce muscle pain
The relaxing properties of Roman chamomile essential oil don’t end with the emotions. If you’re suffering from pain in the muscles, the analgesic properties of chamomile can help ease your discomfort. The anti-inflammatory properties help to ease the pain and swelling caused by sprains or other injuries.
To ease sore muscles, mix a few drops of Roman chamomile essential oil with a carrier oil and massage gently over the sore areas. You can also add a few drops of this essential oil to a warm bath.
Ease the symptoms of allergies
Roman chamomile essential oil is a wonderful essential oil for calming the symptoms of allergies. Commonly used treat hay fever, it helps to reduce congestion, swelling, and irritation of the nasal passages.
If you’re suffering from seasonal allergies, simply diffuse Roman chamomile essential oil throughout your home. You can also mix a few drops of this essential oil to a carrier oil and gently dab around the nose and eyes to reduce itching and sneezing.
Roman chamomile essential oil is safe for aromatic, topical and internal use when used with caution.
When purchasing essential oils, you should always be sure you are buying 100% therapeutic grade oils. If using internally, consult with a medical practitioner beforehand. Roman chamomile essential oil is safe for those with sensitive skin, but you should always conduct a patch test before using topically. If in doubt, always dilute in a carrier oil before applying. If pregnant, breastfeeding, or attempting to use essential oils to treat a chronic condition, always consult with your doctor before use.
If stored correctly in a cool, dark place, Roman chamomile essential oil should last for approximately 2-3 years. 6
Roman chamomile essential oil should be a part of everyone’s essential oil collection. It is safe for use by children, those with sensitive skin, and even pregnant women with the approval of a doctor. Its soothing properties make it ideal for those who suffer from insomnia, need an easy way to relieve stress or are looking for a natural way to calm skin irritations.
Roman chamomile essential oil can be used in massage oils, lotions, moisturizers, diffuser blends and linen sprays for an easy way to promote relaxation every day. Whether you’re young or old, male or female, an essential oil whiz or just dabbling in natural remedies, Roman chamomile essential oil should always be on hand.