Roman and German chamomile are among some of the most popular essential oils out there.
In many cases, it has to do with that soothing taste and calming aroma that chamomile infused tea has become very well known for. When you are home and relaxed after a hard day’s work, there is nothing quite like a cup of chamomile tea to close out your evening.
If you are an ardent enthusiast of chamomile, whether for brewing tea, as an essential oil for aromatherapy, skin lotion, or using it as a mild tranquilizer for a bruise, you never really stop to think whether what they are using is Roman chamomile or German chamomile.
That’s because to most, there appears to be no difference.
In fact, there is a marked difference between the two that, if known, will certainly influence how you use chamomile and for what ailments, in order to achieve the best results.
In this post, we will examine the differences, as well as the many similarities that these two essential oils have.
- What’s the difference between Roman and German chamomile essential oil?
- Roman chamomile and German chamomile essential oils similarities
- Benefits and uses
- Roman chamomile oil
- German chamomile oil
- How to use chamomile oil?
- Best essential oil blends that include roman or german chamomile oil
- Precautions when using German and Roman chamomile essential oils
- Growing Roman and German chamomile
- Roman and German chamomile whole herb uses
What’s the difference between Roman and German chamomile essential oil?
While it may appear impossible to tell these two apart, differentiating them is all dependent on how familiar one is with both varieties. But pointing out a few key differences in their physical and chemical composition makes a distinction between the two pretty easily.
Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) was also once scientifically referred to as Anthemis nobilis.
In many circles, you might come across Roman chamomile being referred to as English or Russian chamomile. That is because it is native to Western Europe and North Africa. It is grown on a commercial scale in countries, such as England, France, Belgium, the United States, and England.
The physical attributes of the Roman chamomile plant that help distinguish it from its German counterpart are several.
Roman chamomile is low growing and loves to hug the earth and spread on the ground sort of like a runner or creeper. It is self-sowing and propagates naturally and profusely.
The maximum height it can grow to is approximately 12 inches. It spreads on the ground via its stems and the foliage has a fine leathery feel to the touch.
The individual stems are hairy and will produce one flower at the top of the stem. Typical of a chamomile plant, the flowers are white and yellow. The dome-shaped center is yellow with white petals of about 1.2 inches diameter jutting out from it.
The Roman chamomile contains the essential oil component chamazulene but in far lesser quantities.
However, it does contains a high level of esters, which helps explain its yellow-pale blue in color, as well as having medicinal qualities, such as being anti-spasmodic and highly calming.
German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), on the other hand, is an annual plant that is propagated by seed planting.
This variety is native to Europe and Asia. It is cultivated on a commercial scale in countries, such as France, Egypt, Hungary, and Eastern Europe.
The German chamomile variety has a more physically upright posture, with an ability to grow as tall as 24 inches and therefore does not spread out on the ground like its Roman counterpart.
The foliage of the German chamomile resembles ferns with branching out stems that bear flowers with an approximate diameter of 1 inch. The center of the flower is a yellow cone with notably white droopy petals.
The German variety contains more of the essential oil chamazulene, which gives it a deep blue hue and potent anti-inflammatory and infection-fighting properties. The deep blue color is why German chamomile is also known as the German blue chamomile.
Roman chamomile and German chamomile essential oils similarities
The similarities are more on the chemical composition side and usage of the two chamomile varieties.
The essential oil from both varieties contains the following properties:
Benefits and uses
Roman chamomile oil
Roman chamomile uses include:
1. Helps with gastrointestinal issues
Chamomile can be used in the treatment of disorders of the GI system that involve spasms, such as IBS. Its ability to relax the smooth muscles is the active mechanism of an anti-spasmodic agent.
2. Promotes restful sleep
If you are stressed out after a hard day at the office, a cup of Roman chamomile tea can help relieves sore muscles and generally relax you.
One study reveals that test subjects who drank a cup of Roman chamomile tea every night reported increased levels of calmness and high antibacterial activity. Chamomile’s hypnotic effect helps lessen the time you require to fall asleep.
3. Helps alleviate tantrums
Chamomile can be used with children, as it can be helpful in dealing with temper tantrums, teething, and colic in little ones.
However, when it comes to children, it is always best to consult with a physician before using chamomile on a child.
4. Amazing at relieving irritation
Persons who are often moody and irritated may benefit greatly from the hypnotic qualities of chamomile. It is a powerful mood-altering agent when used in aromatherapy or blended in tea.
5. Can help with diabetic patients
Although more research is needed to support this claim, preliminary studies suggest that Roman chamomile improves hyperglycemia. This helps to prevent complications that result due to being diabetic by lowering blood sugar levels.
German chamomile oil
German chamomile is a beneficial oil to have around in the home for several reasons:
1. Skin care
It is excellent for promoting healing and regeneration of tissue in stubborn conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis. It does so through nourishing and calming dry, irritated or flaky skin.
Adding a drop or two of German chamomile to your moisturizer will do a great job of keeping your skin smooth and supple.
2. Improves digestion
German chamomile can help digestive complications by stimulating the kidneys and gall bladder to remove toxins and infections.
3. Stress reliever
Aromatherapy is one of the most effective ways of relaxing and calming the mind and body. The oil can be diffused into your space or it can be used as a massage oil to remove tensions in the muscles, as well as calm the mind.
4. Boosts the immune system
To benefit from the immune system boosting properties of this oil, you can simply ingest it by adding a few drops of the oil to a tea or in hot water. The comforting aroma and flavor have an added calming benefit.
5. Helps treat the common cold
The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities of German chamomile are excellent for relieving fever, and the general symptoms that come with a common cold.
A few drops in hot water in a tea will help bring a soothing feeling when suffering from a cold or flu. To help guard yourself against infections, drinking chamomile tea often will help boost your immune system.
Rubbing a few drops on the hands, wrists, as well as the neck, can help you escape flu or cold when you are going around the office or at home.
How to use chamomile oil?
Aromatherapy is one of the most effective ways of altering mood.
Since chamomile oil has a beautiful scent and mild sedative qualities, it is an excellent oil to diffuse in your space.
A spray is a hardy way to enjoy this essential oil because it is highly portable and can be carried around in the convenience of your handbag. It also makes it easy to spray the essential oil in your hands whenever you feel irritated and dealing with a contentious issue.
Instead of losing your cool, stepping away from the situation can help.
Spraying a few drops to your palms and rubbing them together then sniffing, will help calm you down and prevent you from blowing your top. When you walk back into the room, you can think more positively and feel less aggravated.
Chamomile can be used topically.
With any essential oil, it is always prudent to use it in its diluted form when being applied to the skin.
Chamomile is no exception and can be used topically for different applications. Its sedative properties can help with pain relief on a wound or a minor burn, while also it can help fight infections through its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
Best essential oil blends that include roman or german chamomile oil
Essential oil blends are awesome because they can be used to enhance your space or activity. Here are a few simple yet fun recipes on chamomile blends for different activities.
Great for meditation
Excellent for calming you
For soothing tired muscles as well as for rejuvenating tired skin
- 3 tablespoonfuls of carrier oil, such as jojoba oil
- 2 drops of German chamomile oil
- 3 drops of marjoram oil
- 3 drops of lavender oil
A point of note is to make sure you pour the essential oils first then the carrier oil follows. The significance of this is to allow the oils to fuse and create a beautiful synergistic scent.
For using as a mist spray or in a diffuser
When using as a mist spray, fill the spray bottle with 50 ml of water, then add the 25 drops of essentials oils.
The scent of this blend is amazingly fresh and calming.
Precautions when using German and Roman chamomile essential oils
If you are allergic to chamomile oil then it is best to seek another alternative that will work for your needs.
If you are using chamomile topically for the first time, you can always rub the oil or blend into a small portion of your forearm and wait for 10 minutes. Usually, there will be no reaction to your skin.
However, if your skin reacts then you know that you are allergic to the oil and therefore no need to proceed further.
For women who are pregnant or lactating, it is always advised to consult with a doctor before using any essential oils.
Like any other essential oils, it is not advised to use chamomile topically without diluting with a carrier oil.
While chamomile has numerous therapeutic benefits, it can be used to supplement other medicines but should not be used to replace mainstream medicine. That is because of its benefits and medicinal potential for diseases such as diabetes and cancer is still under research.
Roman and German chamomile are fairly easy to grow and you can easily incorporate them in your garden.
Farmers love these chamomile varieties in their gardens because they do a good job of repelling bugs and, at the same time, attracting bees, which are excellent pollinators.
Both varieties can be planted using seeds in the right type of soil that is not too rich. The soil pH should be between 5.6 and 7.5, with full sun exposure.
However, if the climate in your area is too hot, partially shaded soil will also work for both varieties.
As gentle as the plant looks, it is very hardy, drought-tolerant, and will withstand most summers below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The plant requires moderate watering and is very low maintenance.
All these attributes make chamomile a good choice to add to your garden.
Roman and German chamomile whole herb uses
Both roman and german chamomile can be used as whole herbs for making teas.
They can also be distilled into essential oils for aromatic and therapeutic purposes.
Now that you know the distinction between Roman and German chamomile, you can get the results that you desire from various chamomile products.
Chamomile offers benefits that can be used on a daily basis to improve your well-being.
Make delightful teas that boost your immune system and help you wind down after a hard day’s work.
Add the essential oil to your skin lotion for a supple and moisturizing effect.
Add chamomile essential oil to your collection for use as a stand-alone oil or for creating beautiful recipes for a wide range of applications.
Do you have any experience using roman or german chamomile oil?
How did it work for you?
We would love to hear your experience, so don’t forget to share it in the comment section below.