A Beautiful Blue Oil

German Chamomile essential oil

image courtesy of Itineranttrader

When researching essential oils you may see “Chamomile” mentioned. But, did you know that there are two different Chamomile essential oils? They have similar uses, but also some very distinct differences. One of the oils, Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), has been discussed previously in this blog. German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is the other essential oil, and it is finally getting time in our spotlight.

Both Chamomiles are considered relaxing and anti-inflammatory, but the German is more potent due to the presence of a compound called azulene. An interesting fact is that during distillation the azulene in German Chamomile produces an essential oil that is a deep inky blue. By comparison, Roman Chamomile essential oil is pale grey. So, if you simply want to relax, Roman should do the trick. But if you need a powerful anti-inflammatory to help heal physical pain, then choose German.

Other uses for German Chamomile essential oil are as an antispasmodic, digestive tonic, and decongestant. It is helpful in cases of arthritis, bladder infection, dyspepsia, eczema, neuralgia, scars, sprains, and wounds.

There are many instances in which the essential oil is helpful at relieving inflammation. Researchers confirmed this use when they discovered that “chamomile flavonoids and essential oils penetrate below the skin surface into the deeper skin layers. This is important for their use as topical antiphlogistic (anti-inflammatory) agents.”

The University of Maryland Medical Center offers these methods of using German Chamomile essential oil:
“Inhalation: Add a few drops of essential oil of chamomile to hot water … and breathe in the steam to calm a cough.
Bath: add 5 to 10 drops of essential oil to a full tub of water to soothe hemorrhoids, cuts, eczema, or insect bites.”

A fun aspect of the essential oil is its beautiful deep blue color. It makes for an amazing looking massage oil. But beware – it may leave behind its inky coloring on your clothing.