When you think of chamomile, the first thing most people think of is tea. However, Chamomile oil can be used to benefit a number of things including your health, skin and hair!
Chamomile has been used medicinally as far back as Ancient Egypt where it was dedicated to the sun god Ra. Hippocrates used chamomile as a febrifuge and it was also used extensively by the Romans Dioscorides and Galen. The Middle Ages saw Chamomile cultivated as a domestic garden herb and in the Tudor period, it was used as an aromatic strewing herb to scent the home. Avicenna said of chamomile, ‘By its coldness it assists in clearing excess heat from the organs, and by its warmth it helps in resolving gross substances.’
The term Chamomile actually refers to a range of different daisy-like plants, which are a member of the Asteraceae family. There are many different species of chamomile, the two most commonly being German chamomile (Marticaria recutita) and Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). They have been used since Ancient times for their calming and anti-inflammatory properties, and each offer their own additional health benefits.
Chamomile oil is an essential oil extracted from the chamomile flower.
Chamomile essential oil is extracted from the blossom (flowers) of the plant. To extract oil from the plants, most manufacturers use steam distillation. The flowers are placed in a still, where hot steam is then applied. The steam—which must be hot enough to penetrate the plant without burning it—forces the essential oil out of the plant so it can be collected independently. The amount of oil each plant yields depends on the variety – fresh Roman chamomile flowers tend to yield 1.7% essential oil, while German chamomile flowers yield only 0.2–0.4% essential oil.
Find out more about chamomile oil in this video:
You can watch the process of making chamomile oil here:
Picture courtesy of http://materiaaromatica.com/ by Wendy Garner
German chamomile on left, Roman on right.
German chamomile oil is mostly cultivated in Hungary, Egypt, Eastern Europe and France, while Roman chamomile is cultivated in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Morocco and France.
Roman chamomile is a small perennial herb, with a hairy stem and feathery pinnate leaves, daisy like white flowers (larger than those of German chamomile) and grows about 25 cm high, while German chamomile grows about 60 cm high and has a hairless branching stem, with delicate feathery leaves and simple daisy like white flowers on single stems.
To the Egyptians it was a herb dedicated to the sun, to cure fevers, and to the moon, for its cooling ability. It was also recognized as a soother of nervous complaints and was used in shampoos, cosmetics and perfumes.
German chamomile contains azulene, a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. This blue crystal is not actually present in the plant, but forms in the oil and only a small quantity is needed to be effective.
Image and Directions from oilypedia.com
You will need:
- Dry chamomile flowers (1/2 cup),
- Olive oil or any other plant oil (1 quart),
- Vitamin E (1 teaspoon),
- Rosemary oil (5 drops),
- Cutting board,
- Paper towels,
- Glass jars with covers,
- First of all, you need to prepare desiccated chamomile flowers. You may buy them at a health store or pick them up by yourself. If you have fresh flowers, wash them removing all rubbish and sand and dry them well. The moisture in them may cause mold.
- Put the flowers on a cutting board in a single layer and let them desiccate completely.
- Now you should prepare glass jars, clean them and disinfect. Jars and their covers should be dry without any water in them. The covers should close the jars tightly.
- Pour the oil into the jar. Don’t fill the jar to the top, leave ½ inch for flowers. Put chamomile flowers into the jar and blend them with the oil. The oil should wrap every flower. When the flowers are soaked in the oil seal the jar with the cover.
- Put the mixture in direct sunlight. The jar should catch sunlight 6-8 hours every day.
- Every day open the jar and collect moisture from the cover using a paper towel. Close the cover again and shake the jar. Remember shaking the jar once a day. The blend needs two weeks of direct sunlight.
- Now you should drain out the flowers with the help of a cheesecloth and sieve. If some pieces of flowers are still left in the jar, sift the oil once again.
- Add rosemary oil and vitamin E to the oil and blend them thoroughly. Vitamin E will prevent deterioration. Use the chamomile oil pouring some amount from the jar. It is a good idea to label the glass jar indicating the date and content.
Gentle and soothing, chamomile has been used as a calming herb since the Roman era, and a cup of chamomile tea can work wonders to quieten frayed nerves. Used topically, chamomile essential oil can be used either diluted or neat (full strength) for:
- Dry skin
- Bee and wasp stings
You can also diffuse it to alleviate insomnia, stress and anxiety, depression, and irritability, especially when associated with PMS or menopause. Around the house, you can diffuse the oil to calm children who may be hyperactive or argumentative, and it can be dribbled near open doorways to repel mites and fleas.
Uses of Chamomile Oil for Your Health
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- Generalized Anxiety Disorder Treatment
Chamomile is a useful treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, according to a 2010 study published in the “Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology.” The study’s researchers found that GAD symptoms markedly improved when sufferers used chamomile compared with the placebo group. The results are significant because self-diagnosis and self-medication with alternative treatments is common with GAD. This is because the disorder is often not viewed as a medical problem. Chamomile essential oil can be rubbed on the skin or added to a steam treatment to treat GAD.
Bid adieu to your life-hampering arthritis pain with this oil. Dab a little warm oil in the affected region and give a gentle massage to improve circulation, and to ease inflammation and pain associated with arthritis. Those who suffer from headaches due to cold, sinusitis, and migraine can also rely on this oil for quicker relief. A steam inhalation with this oil can decongest the chest and unclog the stuffy nose. It also acts as a febrifuge and aids in faster recovery from fever.
- Antidote for Stomach Disorders
This oil is known to have a positive impact on assorted stomach disorders, including gastrointestinal issues, diarrhea, constipation, and even gallstones. It improves the digestive powers and relieves the gas accumulated in the abdomen. It is a good cure for bloating. Its antiseptic properties allow the oil to inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms in the gut, keeping you safe from various gastrointestinal disorders.
- Antiseptic, Antibiotic, Disinfectant, Bactericidal & Vermifuge:
Both varieties have very good antiseptic and antibiotic properties which do not let biotic infections develop, which are those infections due to biotic factors such as bacteria and fungi. They also eliminate infections that are already present. These are good vermifuge agents as well, which kill all sorts of intestinal worms. If applied to the hair, it kills lice and mites, keeping the hair and scalp free from infections and damage.
- Anti-Inflammatory and Sedative
While Roman Chamomile is found to be effective in calming down annoyance, anger and irritation, particularly in small children. The German variety, on the other hand, is found to be more effective on adults for curing inflammation, particularly when it is located in the digestive or urinary system. They also reduce blood pressure and curb the swelling of blood vessels.
- Good for Central Nervous System
Conditioning the central nervous system, it maintains the health of the CNS. It helps the CNS to work efficiently and prevent uninvited health conditions.
They are very good at expelling gas from the intestines and stomach while also curbing additional gas formation. This also helps to relax the body and lower blood pressure. What is even more important is that the effect of the oil also eliminates the more serious risks of excess gas, such as the trapping of gas in the wind pipe, which can even be fatal.
- Beneficial for Children
Roman chamomile is popular for children and even infants. Dilution is needed, or limit use to aromatic only. Can help calm, ease aches and pains (including ear or stomachaches), fight fevers, soothe colic, and possibly even help with toothaches.
- Beneficial for Women
Roman chamomile oil is an effective emmenagogue. Women experiencing pre-menstrual and menopausal troubles can take the help of this oil. It eases the breast tenderness. Its anti-depressant nature helps combat mood swings in a better way. A warm bath with few drops of this oil is known to alleviate menstrual pain.
- Eliminate Internal Parasites
Chamomile oil has been found to be particularly useful in getting rid of intestinal worms. External application of the oil around the belly button with a gentle circular massage relieves the sharp pain due to worm infestation. Add a few drops to tea or warm water and drink it for three to four days or until the discomfort in the tummy disappears. The oil is available in capsule form for internal use.
- Heal Wounds
Chamomile oil has been used by grandmothers of long ago to soothe the common complaints young children come up with, be it minor cuts and bruises on the their hands and knees or a slightly more serious problem of bruised egos. The oil relieves pain and swelling when applied to affected areas and promotes faster healing. It also calms ruffled feelings.
- Stomachic, Digestive, Hepatic, and Cholagogue
As being a stomachic, they tone up the stomach and are sure its proper function. Additionally they encourage the secretion of digestive juices in the stomach as well as help digestion of food. Being Hepatic, which suggests being good for the liver, they will make sure good health of the liver and also the appropriate flow of bile from it. Also, they are regarded as Cholagogues, which means that they boost the secretion of Hydrochloric Acid, bile and enzymes within the stomach, therefore promoting digestive function.
Chamomile oil is perfect for helping you drift off into a deep sleep. When used in combination with lavender, the relaxing properties of this oil work as a great remedy for insomnia.
A study in 2007 found that chamomile extract helped inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Another 2007 study using chamomile extract found that “apigenin,” which is common in chamomile, had anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties. A 2011 study found that “bisabolol,” which comes from German chamomile, inhibited the growth of leukemia cells.
One double-blind trial found that chamomile, when applied topically, was about 60 percent as effective as hydrocortisone cream. Whether you have bug bites, rashes, eczema, or other skin irritations, if you’re itching, chamomile can help.
- Urinary Tract Health
Chamomile is a natural diuretic, so it helps to keep your urinary tract clean and healthy. This can help to prevent painful urinary tract infections or kidney infections.
Uses of Chamomile Oil for Skin
- Sunburn Relief
Did you get a little too much sun? Apply some diluted chamomile oil to your sunburn to heal your skin and get some relief.
- Treat Inflammation or Redness in Skin
The same way you can drink chamomile tea to relax, you can use chamomile oil to calm your skin. It soothes redness and irritation in a matter of seconds. “It has amazing anti-inflammatory properties that make it ideal for patients with rosacea,” says Baumann.
- Treatment for Eczema
Animal and human studies have found that chamomile cream helps relieve symptoms of eczema. In Europe, the cream is used to soothe irritated skin in general, with beneficial effects against psoriasis and flaky skin problems.
- Eases Skin Rashes and Scarring
Mix 3 to 4 drops of Roman chamomile oil with coconut oil and dab it on your skin. This calms any kind of irritation your skin might be experiencing. Along with hydrating and moisturizing your skin, it also adds radiance.
It is also known to be effective in healing sun burns. Add a few drops to you bath or do a cold compress with this oil infused water for quicker healing.
Watch this video to find out more about how to use Chamomile Oil to soothe rashes:
- Good for Sensitive Skin
Because chamomile is so soothing, it’s appropriate for using on fragile skin, skin battered by medications or medical treatments like chemotherapy and radiation, or even on baby’s skin.
- Good for Acne-Ridden Skin
Put an end to the painful conditions of acne with a dab of this oil. Your inflammation and redness vanishes, plus you will be able to enjoy a scar-free skin. Mix it with Evening Primrose oil for handling the inflammations.
Below are directions on how to make a face mask to deal with acne using chamomile oil:
5 Drops of Chamomile Essential Oil
½ Cup of Regular Mayonnaise (Not Reduced-Fat)
Mix the two ingredients together in a bowl then apply to your clean face and neck. Leave on for 15-20 minutes then rinse off with warm water and a gentle cleanser. Gently pat your face and neck dry with a soft hand towel, then apply an oil-free moisturizer to retain needed moisture to your skin.
Chamomile essential oil works wonders on skin due to its anti-microbial properties and its ability to soothe inflammation and irritation on skin from sunburns, acne breakouts, and dry skin. It can minimize pain and give your skin the spa treatment it’s in need of.
Mayonnaise is part of the dairy family and contains egg yolks, oil, and vinegar, which all work well together to hydrate, tone, and soften your skin. It will soothe your skin if inflamed from acne or other skin issues and will hydrate even the driest of skin especially those who suffer most in the winter months. This face mask will be calming and hydrating to your skin so enjoy.
- Great Skin Spray
Essential oil chamomile have been known as an all-natural skin calmer that work well towards wind or sunburn, according to herbalist Janice Cox, who’s also the author of “Natural Beauty from the Garden.” You are able to make a chamomile combination by pouring it in a spray container and you may use this user-friendly skin soother. You need to include couple of drops of essential oil chamomile into boiling water (one cup) as well as allow it to stand for minimal 1 hour. Now exchange this particular liquid in a dry and clean spray bottle. Now it is all set to be used by squirting on your skin or you can also employ a cotton pad to use it as a poultice.
Chamomile Oil for Your Hair
Image Source: rainshadowlabs.com
- Deal with Dandruff
Chamomile is known to soothe the nerves and it does the same for your hair and scalp, in fact it is the most soothing of the essential oils for the hair and scalp. Chamomile helps to retract skin cells that have been inflamed from chemical procedures, and harsh weather conditions and helps with itching scaly scalp and dandruff.
- Replace Bleach with Something Natural
This essential oil can have a lightening effect and can be used as a replacement for harsh chemicals like bleach (over an extended period of time.)
- Ancient Egyptians discovered healing potentials of chamomile.
- Lifespan of chamomile depends on the species. Roman chamomile is annual plant which lives only one year. German chamomile is perennial plant that lives more than two years.
- Chamomile grows in the form of small shrub that usually reaches 8 to 12 inches in height. German chamomile grows to the height of 3 feet.
- Chamomile was used for the process of mummification in the ancient Egypt.
- Name “chamomile” originates from Greek words “chamos”, which means “ground” and “milos” which means “apple”. Chamomile is named that way because it grows close to the ground and smells like apple.
- Chamomile has green, feathery leaves that are alternately arranged on the stem.
- Flower consists of large number of individual flowers called florets. Outer part of the flower consists of 18 white ray florets. Yellow disk, located in the center of the flower, consists of miniature florets that have tubular shape.
- Besides its decorative morphology, chamomile can be very useful in the garden. It facilitates growth of the surrounding plants and even heals nearby sick plants.
- Chamomile blooms from June to July. Flies are main pollinator of chamomile flowers.
Where to Buy
You can buy chamomile oil a number of ways: online, through sites like Amazon, in person at a supermarket like Walmart, or through a distributor of essential oils and other natural products, such as Mountinroseherbs or Young Living.
Chamomile is not only useful for its tea’s calming properties, but can be used in an essential oil form to treat redness or irritation in skin, as a moisturizer for your hair, to provide relief for menstrual pain, and to help with many other issues regarding health, skin, or hair.