Essential Oils

Chamomile-German Essential Oil (Matricaria chamomilla)

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Photo of a bowl of chamomile flower heads with text "diffusing chamomile essential oil"Sources: Europe
Extraction: Steam distilled
Note: Middle
Scent: herbal, strong, sweet, slightly fruity
Key Points:

  • Calming and promotes sleep
  • Eases headaches and tension
  • Anti-inflammatory

Properties: anti-inflammatory, analgesic, immunostimulant, antispasmodic, bactericidal, sedative
Uses:  insomnia, stress, tension, nausea, headaches, anxiety, hyperactivity
Cautions:  Avoid if pregnant. May cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some.

About

German Chamomile is a star anti-inflammatory essential oil with a gorgeous blue color. These two facts are related as it is the constituent chamazulene that lends fresh chamomile oil its blue color. As the oil is exposed to air, light and time the color may fade to green or yellow.

German Chamomile has a lot in common, in terms of usage, with Roman Chamomile. German Chamomile is a stronger anti-inflammatory oil.

Chamomile can be a strong oil for the diffuser and while its scent, which reminds me of fresh hay, sounds lovely and summery, it can be overpowering. This oil is best blended in small amounts with other oils. Considering its price, blending with other oils will help a little go a long way. Chamomile has many uses, but here we will just focus on the best uses for a diffuser.

Best uses in a Diffuser

Sleep

Chamomile tea is well known for its calming effects. Combining Chamomile with Lavender is a classic combination for promoting sleep. It calms anxiety and stress, which is often what keeps us awake all hours. As both oils have strong scents, they can work well on a passive diffuser like a terracotta disc or even just a cotton ball or tissue at your bedside. This prevents needing to run a diffuser all night or worrying about overexposure, since passive diffusion is very gentle.

Photo of field of chamomile flowers with text overlay "Sleep Well Diffuser Blend, 2 drops Sweet Marjoram, 2 drops Lavender, 2 drops Chamomile

Headaches

Chamomile is also a wonderful addition to a headache blend. It is also noted for use with tension headaches and migraines. Diffuse in a room while resting. For tension headaches, I like to put a warm neck wrap around my neck (where I hold my tension). You could also rest with eyes closed and a cool compress across your forehead.

Other oils that you can incorporate into a headache blend include Sweet Basil, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Sweet Marjoram, Melissa, Rose, and Rosemary. Of those, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Melissa and Rose are especially noted as blending well with Chamomile.

Hyperactivity & Promote Calm

Chamomile has been used to calm hyperactivity in children. Again, Lavender would be a good partner or any of the oranges (Sweet Orange, Mandarin, or Tangerine). Diffuse for up to 30 minutes, or set on intermittent diffusion for 30 sec on and 30 sec off for 60 minutes.

Photo of bouquet of chamomile flowers on a wooden table. Text overlay says Chamomile Calmer Diffuser Blend 3 drops Mandarin, 1 drop Lavender, 1 drop Chamomile

Anxiety & Stress

As we have already talked a lot about the calming nature of this oil, it should go without saying that Chamomile can ease stress and anxiety. Kathi Keville & Mindy Green, in the Aromatherapy: The Complete Guide to the Healing Art quote a hospital study where chamomile “reduced anxiety and fear in new mothers” (p. 183).

For anxiety, consider blending with Bergamot, Neroli, Lavender, Melissa, or Geranium.

For stress, blend with Bergamot, Cedarwood, Clary Sage, Geranium, Marjoram, or Lavender.

 

I think by now you can see a theme here. It is so easy to get carried away and have a whole arsenal of essential oils (guilty!) but just Chamomile and Lavender in a diffuser can do so much, it justifies the cost of having a wee bit of German Chamomile on hand.

First published August 23, 2013. Last updated August 6, 2018.

 

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