When we think of chamomile, it inspires ideas of comfort, relaxation, and aromatic sweetness. Some people will even imagine a warm cup of tea in their hands.
There are actually several varieties of Chamomile growing around the world today. The two most sought-after for their medicinal benefits are Roman Chamomile or German Chamomile.
We call them both “chamomile,” but they have a completely different genus and species. There are others as well. For example, Blue Chamomile has yet another genus and species!
Medicinally, both Roman and German varieties are used for calming and soothing skin, inflammation, fevers, and the nervous and digestive systems, as well as inducing perspiration to flush out toxins, allergens and infections. Both are pain relieving, antibiotic, anti-bacterial, and sedative.
The difference between German and Roman chamomile essential oils, is in their chemical properties. Though both essential oils are often used interchangeably in treating an assortment of conditions, they are not the same.
When might you use Roman Chamomile or German Chamomile?
Roman Chamomile has a light, fresh apple fragrance. It works great for anxiety, and calming the belly. If your stomach is tight and uncomfortable for any reason, this should be your go-to oil! It is a gentle, nurturing oil, that can provide restful sleep and relief from headaches and migraines. This essential oil works great in children’s Aromatherapy recipes for teething, colic, and temper tantrums.
German Chamomile smells more like sweet straw. It has effective anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties that combine well with Helichrysum and Lavender. It works great in body butters for sore joints or injuries, especially injuries to tendons or ligaments. German Chamomile also stimulates liver, kidneys and gall bladder to improve digestion, remove toxins and infections.
German Chamomile contains more active ingredients which make it a more potent oil.
Roman and German Chamomile are very emotionally and mentally calming. They’re also both skin-friendly. If you’re going to use one after a long day, decide whether you want to focus on easing tension and relaxing, or if you need to really heal some physical pain.
Though both German and Roman chamomile essential oils are considered safe to use, there are a couple of precautionary notes. Be particularly cautious if you are allergic to ragweed. It is recommended that you not use these oils internally if you are pregnant or nursing.
Common names for essential oils can change from place to place. So checking the Latin names is the only way to be sure you’ve got the right oil.
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The Refreshing Point
Roman and German Chamomile Oils are Not the Same – When Should You Use These Essential Oils