Thursday, August 6, 2009


German Chamomile or Matricaria recutita (or chamomilla)

A skin care herb I use a lot in my products. In fact, I often tell customers my top three herbs are the three C’s – calendula, chamomile, and comfrey; followed by marsh mallow, lavender, rosemary, peppermint, echinacea, meadowsweet, lemon grass, basil, eucalyptus, and more.

Chamomile is widely available in three species: roman, german, and wild. Interestingly, while the roman and german share many properties and appearance, they do not share the same genus. All three seem to have beneficial properties for our skin and in aromatherapy.

I personally like the essential oil of roman and the plant herb of german (although I grow the two species and the wild grows here, too). I have tried all three oils and all three herb plants – and I have my favorites.

I love the german chamomile herb. The flowers dry faster and better than the roman and have greater aromatic value than both the roman and wild. It produces a very aromatic herbal oil, especially if macerated with an odorless oil, such as almond or grape seed. (It is very important to have dried herbs when making herbal oils – otherwise rancidity will set in quite quickly.) I make this oil with elderflower for some of my products; and, I make it with st. johnswort for other of my products. Both oils are done in sweet almond, and smell just so good. I add the one with elderflower to my eye oil (MEmu), and it makes this fragrance-free oil smell deliciously and sweetly herbal.

German chamomile is better known for its anti-inflammatory properties (even though the roman and wild both have some), while it is less known for its sedating properties (while the roman is more know for this).

According to my RD Magic and Medicine of Plants, studies support many of the traditional benefits of chamomile. It seems chamomile also treats upset stomach and menstrual cramps. And, studies also support the anti-inflammatory action of chamomile. I use it in my first aid salve for that reason. I also use calendula to speed cell replacement and st. johnswort to staunch the bleeding...but the chamomile is for the pain and/or swelling resulting from the wound.

The most exciting side effect of this “medicine” is the aroma. Wow! It is so soothing and pleasing, it makes treatment a pleasure.

As always, thanks again for reading what I think I have to say. :D


  1. I've always enjoy chamomile as a tea. Helps me to relax after a hectic day. Nice site! Thanks for checking my site out too!