GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A small, stocky, perennial herb, up to 25cms high, with a much-branched hairy stem, half spreading or creeping. It has feathery pinnate leaves, daisy-like white flowers that are larger than those of the German chamomile. The whole plant has an applelike-scent.
DISTRIBUTION: Native to southern and western Europe, naturalised in North America. Cultivated in England, Belgium, Hungary, United States, Italy and France.
HERBAL/FOLK TRADITION: This herb has a medical reputation in Europe and especially in the Mediterranean region for over 2OOO years, and it is still in widespread use.
ACTIONS: Analgesic, anti-anaemic, antineuralgic, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, bactericidal, carminative, cholagogue, cicatrisant, digestive, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hepatic, hypnotic, nerve sedative, stonathic, sudorific, tonic, vermifuge, vulnerary.
EXTRACTIONS: Essential oil by steam distillation of the flower heads.
CHARACTERISTICS: A pale blue liquid with a warm, sweet, fruity-herbaceous scent. It blends well with bergamot, clary sage, oakmoss, jasmine, labdanum, neroli, rose, geranium and lavender.
PRINCIPAL CONSTITUENTS: Mainly esters of angelic and tiglic acids (approx. 85 per cent), with pinene, farnesol, nerolidol, chamazulene, pinocarvone, cineol, among others.
SAFETY DATA: Non-toxic, non-irritant; can cause dermatitis in some individuals.
AROMATHERAPY/HOME USE: See Chamomile Blue,Oil.