Both the above varieties of chamomile are used in aromatherapy. Anthemis nobilis is known as Roman chamomile, a low-growing herb with yellow, daisy-shaped heads that makes a soft and fragrant lawn when planted close together.(Chamomile oil) Roman chamomile is perennial, but German chamomile -Matricaria chamomilla -is an annual herb and grows wild in, among-st other places, both Germany and Great Britain. Chamomile belongs to the plant family Asteraceae (Compositae).
Chamomile has been well regarded in herbal medicine for many centuries. It is calming in effect and is useful in treating nervous tension and insomnia. The herb is also used for hair and skin care. Chamomile tea, made from an infusion of the flower heads, is a refreshing and soothing drink, good for the digestion and an aid to a restful night’s sleep.
Chamomile oil is blue in color and has many benefits, particularly in skin care. It is widely used in the cosmetics industry in soaps, creams and shampoos. Chamomile is known to enhance and brighten the color of blonde hair.
In aromatherapy, the uses of chamomile oil are many. It is soothing and relaxing, and when used for bathing can alleviate stress and anxiety, soothe menstrual cramps and relieve tension headaches. It will also do much to relieve vaginal irritation and itching. In massage its effects are equally calming and can do much to relieve muscle and joint pain and to promote relaxation in those of a fretful or irritable disposition. Chamomile is invaluable in the treatment of skin complaints such as allergies, eczema and pruritis. Its action is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. It has analgesic properties and is useful in the treatment of earache and migraine. In compresses, chamomile oil will help relieve painful breasts, especially in the early days of breastfeeding.
Suitable methods of use
Chamomile is safe to use in most circumstances, nontoxic and non-irritant, although it can cause skin irritation in those who are particularly sensitive. Warning: Some therapists recommend that chamomile is avoided during the first three months of pregnancy.