Armomatherapy - German Chamomile Vs Roman Chamomile

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Apart from the name what is different about the two oils German and Roman Chamomile?

undefinedGerman Chamomile or Matricaria chamomilla (also known as Matricaria recutita) is part of the Compositae or Asteraceae family it is an annual herb with delicate feathery leaves and simple daisylike white and yellow flowers on a single stem.  The flower heads produce a viscous, inky-blue essential oil when steam-distilled.

Roman Chamomile or Anthemis nobilis, (also known as Chamaemelum nobile) is also part of undefinedthe Compositae or Asteraceae family but it is a perennial herb with a low growing creeping habit with delicate feathery leaves and daisylike white flowers carried on the plant's hairy stems. The flower tops produce the essential oil when steam distilled.

What are the Characteristics of the oil produced?

German Chamomile has an intense odour that some find overwhelming until it is diluted.  The fragrance has strong, sweet, green herbal top notes with an almost fruity but slightly bitter undertone. German Chamomile blends well with most other floral, citruses and herbs including Patchouli, Frankincense, Petitgrain and Benzoin.

Roman Chamomile has hints of sweet, fruity apple a soothing, calming and balancing.mong bitter, herbaceous undertones and warm, flowery, grassy top notes.  Roman Chamomile blends well with most other florals and herbs including Bergamot, Frankincense, Verbena and Nutmeg.

Therapeutic uses of the oils.

German chamomile has Analgesic, ant-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, anti-viral, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, hepatic, nervine and sedative properties. It is the first choice to treat inflammation due to the presence of Azulene (which gives it the deep-blue colour) makes this essential oil a powerful anti-inflammatory. Overall German Chamomile is (NB., if the blue is turning to green avoid buying as the oil, is ageing and no undefinedlonger fresh).

Roman chamomile has analgesic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hepatic, nervine, sedative and stomachic properties. It is one of the best oils to choose for menstrual conditions as it can sooth PMT and relieve menstrual cramps.  It can also help with the mood swings and weepiness which can come with menstruation.  Roman chamomile does overlap a little with German chamomile (and Lavender) and a useful tip is to know which of these essential oils might be best for treating specific aches and pains.

Remember, whichever oil you choose always buy from a reputable supplier. German chamomile does tend to be more expensive than Roman chamomile so it is as well to look at what you want to use it for.

The above information is an extract from my forthcoming online Aromatherapy course. For further details please contact me (details below).

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Christine Craven

Complementary Therapist, Aromatherapist, Herbalist, Yoga and Meditation Teacher

Contact details:  email:  earthcenter10@gmail.com, 

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