Chamomile Essential Oil

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

Essential oils are made when the different parts of plants are subjected to a process of steam distillation. These potent oils aid pollination, provide a form of defence against pests, and protect the plant from other plants that compete for nutrients and sunlight.

The oils help pollination, as their scent attracts insects like bees. The production of the oils is at its highest when they insects are at their most active during the day. The oils protect the plant from disease and predators, and the main compounds in the plant that do this job are called terpenes. Terpenes are toxic to some animals and they also have antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Monoterpenes are the compounds that protect plants from competing plants, and they can even stop other plants from growing in the first place.

How to Use Essential Oils

How Can You Use Essential Oils?

Essential oils are just as good for us as they are for plants. Here’s the best ways to use them to boost your well being:

Inhalation

Steam Inhalation Recipe Method

You can inhale oils from a compress, handkerchief, from the bottle, as a steam inhalation treatment, or from a diffuser. Using this method can boost mood, reduce anxiety, treat headaches, and respiratory problems. If using inhalation, make sure you do so in a well-ventilated place, as prolonged inhalation can cause headaches and nausea.

How to Use Essential Oils

Add them to your bath along with milk or sesame oil, both of which help the oils disperse in the water. This also lessens the risk of sensitivity caused by the oil floating on the water and just sitting on the skin. Good choices for use in the bath include lavender oil, clary sage oil, rose oil, geranium oil, frankincense oil, sandalwood oil, and eucalyptus oil. Mix up to 10 drops of oil in with your bath water to treat problems with the skin, sinus congestion, muscle aches, and menstrual cramps. Avoid citrus based oils like lemongrass or bergamot in the bath as they contain skin irritants.

Apply Them to a Compress

Apply Them to a Compress

A compress can be hot or cold. Put up to 10 drops of oil in some water, soak a clean cloth in it then apply it to the affected area. This is good for muscle aches, bruises, and sore joints.

Massage

Massage

Massage increases the circulation which helps the oils to be dispersed around the body. Oils are easily absorbed through the skin, and diluting them makes them safer and even more readily absorbed. Using oils in massage can relieve stress, muscle aches, headaches, and much more.

Direct Inhalation

Inhalation

You can inhale oils from the palms, from the bottle, from a handkerchief, or they can be used in a diffuser. Inhalation aids the absorption of the therapeutic benefits of the oils via the lungs, and it can also have emotional benefits, given that the oils are carried to the part of the brain that controls mood and emotion. This is why many oils are used to boost the mood or for their calming effects.

Essential oils safety

Turn to Essential Oils

The Question on Internal Use

Internal

The most popular methods of use for oils is either inhalation or topical application, but ingesting oils is a topic for debate. Even experts sometimes don’t agree on whether it is safe and appropriate to do so. The general consensus is that ingestion of oils should only be done under the supervision of a qualified professional.

Oils Should Be Diluted

Making Your Dilutions

Some oils can be used neat on the skin to treat insect bites and similar problems, but generally, oils should be diluted before they are used on the skin to avoid a skin reaction.

Start Using a Few Oils and Increase Your Knowledge

Using lime oil actually helps protect the gums from infections and bacteria coming from food or various activities involving teeth

If you want to start using oils, choose a few that interest you and learn everything about them, including what you can use them for, how to use them, and all about their safety.

Don’t Use Oils Too Often

Essential Oil Mixes for Pneumonia

This is when an allergy can develop. Take a break from using the same oil every now and again to avoid skin reactions or possible respiratory problems.

Take Care If You’re Sensitive to Oils

Take Care If You're Sensitive to Oils

People who are likely to be more sensitive to oils including pregnant women, children, people who have an existing condition, and people who are taking medication. There is not enough conclusive evidence that oils are safe for these people, so they are best avoided, unless your doctor has confirmed that you’re able to use them.

Animals can also be at risk from oils, especially cats, whose bodies don’t have the necessary enzymes to break down oils.

Choose a Good Quality Oil

Choose a Good Quality Oil

When you are choosing an oil, look at the botanical name on the bottle, where it came from, whether it’s organic, and the safety guidelines that are provided. Look for 100% pure oils, and avoid cheaper products that have been mixed with cheaper oils or other ingredients to make them go further, as you simply don’t know how your system will react.

Chamomile Essential Oil

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Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile is one of the oldest known medicinal herbs and it has a variety of uses. The chamomile plant is a member of the Asteraceae/Compositae family. There are 2 main types of chamomile used medicinally nowadays: German chamomile and Roman chamomile.

Roman chamomile essential oil is steam-distilled from the flowers of the plants and it has a sweet, fresh, fruity aroma. After distillation, the oil can appear anything from a bright blue to a deep green when fresh, but you’ll find that it turns dark yellow after storage. Despite the change in colour, no potency is lost.

There are around 120 compounds in chamomile, including 28 terpenoids and 36 flavonoids. Roman chamomile essential oil is mainly composed of angelic acid and tiglic acid, plus farnesene and apinene, which have anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties.

Roman chamomile essential oil has traditionally been used to treat a variety of conditions because of its anti-spasmodic properties. Today, it’s often used in the treatment of nervous system problems, eczema, fever, heartburn, gout, anxiety, and insomnia.

Although it’s called Roman chamomile, its historical use goes way beyond Ancient Rome. Hieroglyphics show that chamomile has been used cosmetically for at least 2,000 years. Greek physicians prescribed it for fevers and disorders of the female reproductive system. The name Roman chamomile was given to the plant after it was seen growing around the Colosseum in the 19th century.

Chamomile was first grown in commercial quantities in the 16th century. The Romans used chamomile to add flavour to drinks and in incense, as well as for medicinal purposes to fight disease and promote longevity. Knowledge of its healing qualities meant that it became popular in Europe then North America.

Doctors in Europe and the early settlers in America included chamomile in their medicinal bags because it could cure pain, reduce inflammation, combat allergies, and treat digestive issues completely naturally. People also widely used it as a natural deodorant, shampoo, and perfume.

Many preparations of chamomile have been developed over the years, but the most popular is still chamomile tea. The essential oil is a lot more effective than the tea in many ways however.

You can get the benefits of chamomile oil by diffusing it at home or applying it topically to the skin.

Benefits of Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile - Roman (Chamaemelum Nobile) and German (Matricaria Recutica)

It Combats Anxiety and Depression

Improve poor mood and depression

Roman chamomile essential oil is effective as a mild sedative to calm nerves and reduce anxiety. Inhaling Roman chamomile oil is one of the best ways to use essential oils for anxiety. The fragrance is carried straight to the area of the brain that governs mood and emotion and it has a calming effect.

Research has shown that Roman chamomile is effective in relieving the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

A 2013 study published in the journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that an aromatherapy blend of lavender, Roman chamomile and neroli oil reduced anxiety levels in patients in intensive care. The treatment reduced anxiety levels and improved the sleep quality of patients in ICU when compared to other treatments.

It Naturally Relieves Allergies

Essential Oil Improve Allergies

Roman chamomile has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, and it’s often used to treat hay fever. It is effective for relieving congestion, skin irritations, swelling and other skin conditions that are associated with allergies. When applied topically, Roman chamomile oil can help to relieve skin irritations that might occur with food allergies.

It Can Beat PMS Symptoms

Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome:

Roman chamomile essential oil is a natural mood booster that helps to reduce feelings of depression, and its antispasmodic properties mean that it is excellent for soothing menstrual cramps and back pain associated with PMS. It can even clear up breakouts that are associated with fluctuating hormones.

It Combats Insomnia

It Combats Insomnia

The relaxing and calming properties of Roman chamomile promotes healthy sleep. A 2006 study looked at the effects of inhaling chamomile on mood and sleep. The study found that participants who had inhaled the oil felt more calm and drowsy, and reported that they found it easier to get into a restful state. Inhalation of chamomile oil the levels of stress hormones in the blood.

According to a 2005 study, chamomile extracts have a similar effect to benzodiazepines, in that they are quite sedating. In the study, rats who were given 300 mg of chamomile per kilogram of body weight took much less time to fall asleep than the rats who weren’t given it.

It Can Promote Healthy Skin

The Radiance Booster

Roman chamomile can be used to promote smooth, healthy skin and it can help to relieve irritations because of its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It has long been used as a natural remedy for eczema, wounds, ulcers, skin irritations, bruises, burns, poison ivy, and diaper rash.

It Promotes Healthy Digestion

Healthy Digestion

Chamomile is used effectively for many gastrointestinal conditions, including common digestive disorders. Roman chamomile essential oil contains anodyne compounds that are antispasmodic in nature so they are effective for treating problems such as gas, leaky gut, acid reflux, indigestion, diarrhoea, and vomiting. Because of its relaxing properties, Roman chamomile can also be used internally and topically to combat nausea.

It Promotes a Healthy Heart

LDL Particle (LDL-P) Numbers Will Shine

Roman chamomile protects cardiovascular health because of its high levels of flavonoids, which have been shown to reduce mortality from coronary heart disease when taken internally. The flavonoids also lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels.

It Might Help to Relieve Pain from Arthritis

It fights inflammation

A study found that chamomile flavonoids and essential oils penetrate into the deeper skin layers. This is why they may be effective for use as topical anti-inflammatory agents to treat pain from arthritis.  When chamomile is applied topically to the skin or added to a warm bath, it helps to reduce joint pain in the lower back, knees, wrists, and fingers.

It’s One of the Few Oils That Is Gentle Enough for Children

Essential Oil Life Journey

For hundreds of years, mothers have used chamomile to calm crying children, reduce childhood fevers, treat earaches, and soothe upset stomachs. The oil is known as the “kid calmer” because it is known to help to calm children with ADHD. It’s also gentle on their delicate systems.

A 1997 study looked at the effects of a chamomile extract and apple pectin preparation on 79 children with acute, uncomplicated diarrhoea. The study found that diarrhoea ended sooner in children treated with chamomile and pectin for three days than in the children who received a placebo. The results are proof that chamomile can be used safely on children to treat stomach problems.

It Looks Promising for Preventing Cancer

The Organic Acids

Studies have looked at the effects of chamomile oil on skin, prostate, breast and ovarian cancer and the results have shown that it appears to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. In a 2007 study, chamomile extracts were found to significantly inhibit cancer cells, but they allowed healthy cells to develop as normal. The study was the first study which appeared to show this promising effect.  

A 2009 study looked at the effects of a newly developed botanical compound containing 7 natural extracts, including Panax ginseng, cranberry, green tea, grape skin, reishi mushroom and chamomile on prostate cancer cells in mice. The treatment of prostate cancer cells with the botanical mixture resulted in inhibition of cell growth. All groups of mice with moderate or large tumours showed significant inhibition of tumour growth and there were also less incidences of it spreading to nearby lymph nodes. The botanical compound appeared to be very safe and it demonstrated no toxicity, even in high doses.

Early research also suggests that chamomile may also help to treat haemorrhoids, that it may have a protective effect on pancreatic cells, it may relieve symptoms of vaginitis, treat colds, and relieve sore throats.

How to Use Chamomile Essential Oil

How to Use Chamomile Essential Oil

Roman chamomile essential oil is available in most health stores or online. It can be diffused, applied to the skin topically and taken internally.

Here are some of the top ways to use Roman chamomile oil:

For anxiety and depression, diffuse 5 drops of the oil, or inhale it directly from the bottle.

To improve digestion and a leaky gut, apply 2–4 drops topically to the abdomen. When diluted with a carrier oil like coconut oil, it is gentle enough for use on children.

For a good sleep, diffuse chamomile oil next to your bed, rub 1–2 drops onto your temples before you go to sleep or inhale it directly from the bottle.

To help calm children down, diffuse Roman chamomile oil in your home or dilute 1–2 drops with coconut oil and apply the mixture topically to the temples, stomach, wrists, back of neck or soles of the feet.

To treat acne, skin conditions and combat the signs of ageing, add 2–3 drops to a cotton ball and apply chamomile oil to the affected area of skin, or add 5 drops to your usual face wash. If you have very sensitive skin, dilute chamomile with a carrier oil before applying it topically, just as you would with any oil.

To promote a healthy heart, apply 2–4 drops topically over the chest area or take the oil internally by placing it under your tongue.

To ease nausea, inhale Roman chamomile directly from the bottle, or combine it with ginger, peppermint, and lavender oil and diffuse. It can also be used topically on the temples for this reason.

When using any essential oil internally, only use high-quality oils that are 100 percent pure.

Roman Chamomile Safety

Roman Chamomile Safety

Because Roman chamomile oil stimulates blood flow in the pelvic area, it should not be used at all during pregnancy. When you do use chamomile oil internally, only do it for up to 2 weeks at a time and use only the highest quality, purest oil you can find.

Final Thoughts

Chamomile is one of the oldest, most widely used and well researched medicinal plants in the world and it has a wide variety of uses.

The benefits of the oil include reduced inflammation, reduced anxiety, reduced muscle cramps, better skin, and a healthier heart.

Chamomile oil can be used in a diffuser, applied to the skin topically, and taken internally for up to 2 weeks at a time.

Chamomile is yet another example of mother nature providing us with everything we need to live a healthy life.

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.