Organoleptic qualities, description, growth, and properties, uses and blends for all sorts of needs.
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil Profile
By Jeanne Rose ~ 2/16
Common Name/Latin Binomial: Roman, Tea or Sweet Chamomile. Chamaemelum nobile (L.) All. (syn. Anthemis nobilis)
Other Common Name/Naming Information: Also called Sweet or Tea Chamomile. Chamae means ‘on the ground’ and melum means honey-like and thus Chamaemelum refers to the scent and that it grows low to the ground.
Countries of Origins: Native to south and western Europe and the Mediterranean and naturalized worldwide.
Eden Botanicals Harvest Location: Oregon, USA organically grown
Endangered or Not: No
General description of plant habitat and growth: This perennial plant grows 20” with feathery, green leaves, and small white single or double flowers with yellow centers extending from strong stems. It grows along roadsides and damp grassland
Portion of plant used in distillation, how distilled, extraction methods and yields: Steam-distilled from fresh flower heads, particularly of a double-flowered form. “The distillation of dried calices—the part left after the petals fall off—produces a pale blue oil which quickly turns to pale yellow and which may not have the same properties as true flower Roman Chamomile herb. Yield: 1.7%
Organoleptic Characteristics: What you can see, taste and degree of intensity ~ There is more to essential oil than odor —
There are also the organoleptic qualities color, clarity, viscosity, intensity and even taste.
- Color when fresh it is pale blue that quickly fades palest yellow to colorless
- Clarity Clear
- Viscosity Non-viscous (water-like)
- Intensity of odor 3-4 on a scale of 1-10
Odor Description/ Aroma Assessment – Steffen Arctander has a lovely description of the odor as sweet herbaceous, somewhat fruity-warm and tealeaf-like odor. When charted out on the ‘Advanced Circular Vocabulary of Odor’ the scent of Roman Chamomile is predominating Fruity with a subsidiary note of Herbaceous and several back notes of Floral, Conifer, Woody, Oily-Fatty, Aldehydic and Spicy. It has a low intensity of 3 and low tenacity as well.
General Properties. Anti-inflammatory, deodorant, bacteriostatic, antimicrobial, carminative, sedative,antiseptic, anticatarrhal and spasmolytic properties are the main properties. Tea is used traditionally to treat nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and gas. EO is often used today to relieve anxiety or in skin care.
Properties and Uses: Roman Chamomile is used in flavoring liqueurs, as a tea, and especially for hair shampoos (especially blonde hair) and many other cosmetics.; formerly cultivated as a lawn that needed minimum maintenance and good drought tolerance before mowing was simplified through mechanization. It is still mixed with grass that is under heavy pressure such as at Buckingham Palace, London. The scented plant gives off perfume when crushed; seats are planted with it, although there are some who are allergic. Used on the skin, it may also reduce inflammation from cuts. and the flowers are used medicinally as oil to mitigate psoriasis. It is sometimes used to ease the discomfort from eczema and gingivitis (swollen gums) or hemorrhoids. Used in formulas for acne, couperose skin, devitalized or inflamed skin, sensitive skin or moist or sweaty skin. The herb is used to flavor alcoholic beverages such as gin.
Application/ Skincare. This is a wonderful oil to use on tender or delicate skin and in proper dilution can be used on a child’s skin after an insect bite or sunburn. It gives relief for any skin irritation and by inhalation of the product is calming as well. I like the fact that Shirley Price thinks this Chamomile is the best for all uses. I add it to any lotion that I have as an application to my sensitive skin.
Jeanne’s Age Spot Lotion – Measurements are by volume using percentage or drops – Mix carrier oils, mix waters and mix extracts, mix essential oils. Mix all together and then heat gently in a bain-marie. Cool, Bottle. Probably needs to be shaken prior to each use.
Ingredients: Sunflower seed oil 45%, + Cistus or Chamomile hydrosol 20%, Licorice root decoction 10%, Sugar cane or sugar cane alcohol like white rum 5%, Lemon juice 3% + Shea nut butter 5%, beeswax or any solid butter 10%, + Essential Oil Mixture 2% of Roman Chamomile, Lemon oil and Cypress oil. [you may need to experiment yourself with the proportions as I use very specific strengths of Licorice root and beeswax. I always use only totally natural products that are organically grown with no processing.]
Diffuse/Diffusion: This essential oil diffuses quite nicely and can be mixed with any other oil and especially those that contain esters such as Lavender or Petitgrain. Start with a 1•1 mixture of Roman Chamomile to other oil and add to your diffuser. Put the diffuser on a timer • 10 minutes on and 30 minutes off. Use to to calm people in the room and prepare for sleep.
Tomato Tales ~ A personal Story
I remember many years ago, another boy was visiting my 8-year-old and they were riding skateboards and bikes up and down my flat along the hallway which is only 15-feet long. The noise was intense. Rather than yelling at them to be quiet, I mixed together an equal quantity of sweet Lavender and Roman Chamomile and put it in the diffuser at the entrance near the hall. Within moments the two boys were calm and relaxed, had stopped skateboarding and were working on some project in the bedroom. It was a most efficient calming mechanism.
Emotional/Energetic Use: Inhale for nervous tics, asthma, insomnia, headache or depression. When you use a diffuser, make sure that you only use it for 10 minutes on and 30 minutes off. Do not let it run non-stop. Energetically, use this oil in blends for peace.
Relaxing & Skin Treatment Formula
½ oz. Calendula infused oil
10 drops sweet Lavender EO
10 drops Bergamot EO
10 drops Roman Chamomile EO
Mix these all together and succuss well. This formula can be used in the evening for dry skin by application and the scent will be useful for sleep and sweet dreams as well.
Key Use: Anti-inflammatory.
Chemical Components: Esters of Angelic, Butyric & Tiglic Acids, Bisabolol, and Farnesol. The biological activity of chamomile is mainly due to the flavonoids apigenin, luteolin, quercetin, patuletin and essential oil constituents such as α-Bisabolol and its oxides and azulenes. The ester content is very high about 85% and is considered along with Owyhee (Artemisia ludoviciana CT. esters) as the highest in essential oils. There are several Chamomile chemocultivars.
Solubility in oil and alcohol and insoluble in water. Soluble in 5-10 vol. of 70% alcohol, occasionally with turbidity. Soluble in 1-2 vol. of 80% alcohol, occasionally with turbidity
Specific Gravity @ 20° C 0.880 to 0.930
Optical Rotation —1°0’ to +3°0’
Refractive Index at 20° 1.430 to 1.490
Comparison of Main Components: The main components are esters which account for its fruity scent and gentle nature on the skin.
Blends Best with: Blends seamlessly with many oils such as Bergamot, Lavender, Neroli, Petitgrain, Rose, Sandalwood. Useful in a perfume blend with Bergamot, Grapefruit (30 drops total) as the top note, Rose (20 drops total) as the heart note and Patchouli (5-10 drops total) as base note.
Blending with formula. One of our customers say “I use it in many blends; muscular oils, joint oils, migraine and headache oils and PMS/Woman’s health. I also make body balms, salts, scrubs and massage oils that enhance the pure oil.”
Muscle Aches and Pains-Relaxing
Make a blend of equal quantities of of Roman Chamomile, sweet Basil and Cypress EOs. Take 20 drops and add to 1 ounce of carrier oil. Succuss thoroughly. Use by application.
HYDROSOL: I adore Roman Chamomile hydrosol. I use it in the bath, as a facial toner and to spray my sheets for sleeping. Ann Harman found that in testing Roman Chamomile hydrosol there was 0.0042% of EO in it and the hydrosol was composed of 61 components, mainly sorbic acid, trans-pinocarveol and lesser amounts of ketones, acids and other components.
PLEASE NOTE: A true hydrosol should be specifically distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product or even a by-product of essential oil distillation. The plant’s cellular water has many components most are lost under pressurized short steam runs for essential oil, or by using dried material. We recommend that the producers specifically distill for a product by using plant material that is fresh.
Historical Uses: Cultivated for lawns, for ornament, and for therapeutic infusions.
Interesting Information: Insoluble in glycerin. “Upon exposure to air and light and on prolonged standing the light blue color of the oil changes first to yellow to green and later to yellow-brown. They present the highest ester value of all essential oils, from 272 to 293.5” World of Aromatherapy, p. 203. Roman Chamomile has a lower concentration of azulenes than Blue/German Chamomile, and it does not stimulate liver regeneration after subcutaneous applicationContradictions: None discussed.
Key Use: Anti-inflammatory
Safety Precautions: Possibly not to be used by persons allergic to the Ragweed family. Non-toxic.
Patch Test: If applying a new essential oil to your skin always perform a patch test to the inner arm (after you have diluted the EO in an vegetable carrier oil). —Wash an area of your forearm about the size of a quarter and dry carefully. Apply a diluted drop (1 drop EO + 1 drop carrier) to the area. Then apply a loose Band-Aid and wait 24 hours. If there is no reaction, then go ahead and use the oil in your formulas. —The Aromatherapy Book, Applications & Inhalations, p. 64
Arctander, Steffen. Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. Arctander. 1960
Guenther, Ernest. The Essential Oils. Krieger Publishing. Florida. 1976
Harman, Ann. Harvest to Hydrosol. IAG Botanics. 2015 (supporter of testing hydrosols)
Herbal Studies Course/ Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-Book, 3rd edition, 2014 printing, Cambridge University Press.
Mojay, Gabriel. Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 1999.
Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne. The Aromatherapy Book: Applications & Inhalations. San Francisco, California:
Worwood, Susan & Valerie Ann. Essential Aromatherapy, a pocket guide to essential oils and aromatherapy. Novato, California: New World Library, 2003.
Scientific Data: Although chamomile is popular, there are not many studies about it. Test tube studies have shown that chamomile can kill bacteria, fungus, and viruses. It also helps relax muscle contractions, particularly in the smooth muscles that make up the intestines. There is an interesting article about both the “German and Roman Chamomile” in Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 01 (10; 2011:01-05).
DISCLAIMER: This work is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for accurate diagnosis and treatment by a qualified health care professional. Dosages are often not given, as that is a matter between you and your health care provider. The author is neither a chemist nor a medical doctor. The content herein is the product of research and personal and practical experience. Institute of Aromatic & Herbal Studies – Jeanne Rose©