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8 Jan 2009

Roman Chamomile


There are two main chamomile plant species, Roman (Anthemis nobilis) and German (Matricaria recutita). The plants have many similar properties so are used to treat many of the same conditions.

Today we will look at Roman chamomile, also known as English chamomile or camomile. It is antispasmodic, antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, analgesic, sedative and calmative. As far back in history as the Ancient Egyptians, who dedicated it to their sun god Ra, chamomile has been revered for these healing properties.

The plant is a low growing, quick spreading perennial, with daisy like flowers which have an apple-like fragrance when rubbed. Gardeners may be interested to note if you decide to grow Roman chamomile that it also makes a wonderful, fragrant, herb lawn. The flowers give off an apple fragrance when crushed.

Some of the conditions that Roman chamomile infusion, tincture and/or tea has been found to relieve (note: tea/infusion must stand for at least 10 minutes before straining to be effective):
Diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, nightmares, teething & colic in children.
Stomach cramps, indigestion, nausea, PMS and flatulence.
Stress, trauma, insomnia and tension headaches.
Externally on psoriasis, eczema, abscesses, acne and to reduce swellings.
Toothaches, earache and neuralgia.
Gargle for sore throat and gum infections.

Roman chamomile oil, freshly distilled, is a pale blue color with and if properly stored will keep for a couple of years. The oil is used by aromatherapists and masseurs to relieve muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, arthritis and a general stress reliever. It is also used on the hair and scalp to kills lice and mites.

Beauty wise chamomile oil and/or tea is used to give highlights in light brown hair and brighten blond hair. It is also good to use when steaming face to open pores.

From an esoteric point of view chamomile is said to tie in with the throat chakra, help with balancing emotions and aid the channeling process. Chamomile incense is said to attract money, luck, affection, and peaceful sleep.

Warning: If taking medication like blood thinners check with your pharmacist before using chamomile tea or oil. Not recommended in early pregnancy.

Chamomile is available in most health shops where it can be bought as a tea (tisane), tincture or oil. It is also added to many soaps, perfumes, hair, skin and health products.

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Insomnia Aromatherapy Blend
From AromaWeb

10 drops Roman chamomile
5 drops clary sage
5 drops bergamot

Blend the oils well in a clean dark-colored glass bottle. Add 1-2 drops to a tissue and place inside your pillow to aid you in falling asleep. If you prefer to make a diffuser blend that you enjoy during the hour before bedtime, make a blend with a ratio of 2 drops Roman chamomile to 1 drop clary sage to 1 drop bergamot and add to your diffuser. Lavender can also help provide relaxation and drowsiness, but using more than 1-2 drops can have the opposite effect.


Amazing Face Mask
From Make Your Own Cosmetics Submitted by Genevieve
Instantaneously gives you a glow and helps the skin release toxins which could cause blemishes later.

3 tbsps ground rolled oats
1 tbsp ground almonds
1 tbsp powdered chamomile
1 tbsp finely ground sage
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
6 drops drops chamomile essential oil
6 drops sage essential oil

Combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix together with your fingers. The mixture will have a dry, grainy consistency. Scoop a little out and spread thickly onto wet or dry skin, massaging gently with an outward, circular motion. Rinse off and pat dry. Gives 6 to 7. Shelf life 3 months in a cool dry place.


Anti-Inflammatory Skin Wash

1 part dried calendula
1 part dried chamomile flowers

Pore over boiling water, infuse for an hour, refrigerate. Dab on affected skin when required.


Chamomile Astringent
From Woman Junction

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (or 2 tbsp dried)
2 tbsp dried chamomile flowers, crushed
4 cups water

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan. Boil for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Strain liquid into a jar, cover and refrigerate. Will keep 2 weeks refrigerated. Apply with cotton balls to skin. Especially good for very oily skin.


Relaxing Bath Salts
Relaxing and soothes muscles. Woody aroma great for males or females.

1 cups of Epsom salts
1 cup sea salt or Tibetan rock salt
2 tbsps baking soda/soda bicarb
4 drops chamomile essential oil
4 drops cedarwood essential oil
2 drops black pepper essential oil

Mix salts and soda well. Mix oils and pour over salts, mix well. Leave for a couple of hours, bottle.


Blonde Highlights for Hair

2 cups brewed and cooled chamomile tea
1/2 cup lemon juice
5 drops Roman chamomile essential oil (optional)

Mix together. Pour over damp washed hair. Relax in sun for an hour. Wash out.

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6 comments:

Mariuca said...

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Amber said...

Oh, I adore Chamomile!

I make a Vanilla Bean Chamomile Honey (http://www.anchasta.etsy.com) and I use it as a face mask when I take a long bath...just pat it on and leave it for about 10 minutes while I read and relax in the tub!

It is also wonderful in warm milk and water right before bed.

Keep up the good work! :)

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Mystery Ranch said...

I know what you mean. I often feel 'guilty' for not doing that top dropper thing, but...Yes I'm back. I love your blogs. You offer so much info. And with the recipes etc., wonderful to let people know ways they can use the herbs you feature. I have made the most incredible tincture with an organically grown chamomile from nearby and 95% Demeter grown grape alcohol.

Jan said...

Thanks for sharing it. Very informative.

Rita T. said...

I use ground chamomile in some of my soaps. It's so soothing!