Chamomile Oil, Roman

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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.

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