Ever since my first cup of Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime tea in the late 70’s, I have been in love with chamomile!
There are several chemotypes of chamomile that are used in aromatherapy. I would like to share my appreciation of three chamomiles with you: German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis), and Cape chamomile (Eriocephalus punctulatus).
We have German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) growing abundantly in our botanical garden. It is a fabulous dried herb for tea, particularly used as an evening nightcap to encourage a deep and restful sleep. We also distilled it for hydrosols, flower essences, and as an infused oil in jojoba for facial serums, and in pain reducing aromatherapy blends.
German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) has a sweet, smoky, and herbaceous scent. It has a high level of chamazulene, which gives it the beautiful blue coloring and a-bisabolol, these two compounds account for much of the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits of German chamomile essential oil. Along with being excellent for reducing aches, pains, it is also excellent to reduce inflammatory, skin problems, and is frequently the oil of choice for insomnia or sleeping disturbances.
Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis), also known as English chamomile. It has a sweet and soothing aroma, and while it contains the blue compound chamazulene in small amounts, it has a yellow to light blue color. Roman chamomile essential oil is high in esters which are known for pain-relieving and reducing spasmolytic action. Roman chamomile essential oil is frequently used as a calming agent and is effective in treating inflammatory skin conditions such as rashes, eczema, and psoriasis.
Cape chamomile (Eriocephalus punctulatus) is from South Africa. Even though this plant is from the Asteraceae family, it looks quite different than German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis), and it has a sweeter, floral scent. It is used in aromatherapy for support of mental/emotional well-being and like other chamomile oils is known for supporting healthy muscle and joints.
Cape chamomile (Eriocephalus punctulatus) essential oil is very high in esters, is known for its anti-anxiety properties, as well as anti-spasmodic, antifungal and anti-inflammatory. It is excellent for calming the mind and is used for anti-anxiety blends, bath, compresses, adding to skin care products, and aromatic perfumery.
Soothing Bath Blend:
In 1 TBSP. of vegetable glycerin add:
3 drops Cape Chamomile (Eriocephalus punctulatus)
2 drops Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)
2 drops Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
Enjoy the healthy blessings of these sweet flowers!