Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

It was used in ancient Rome to give courage to soldiers in the time of war. The ancient Egyptians dedicated it to their Gods due to its curative properties.

We’re talking about Roman chamomile essential oil, which is known to relieve spasms, cramps, and convulsions, treat skin conditions and relieve pain.

In fact, Roman Chamomile essential oil is one of the mildest oils available and is safe for infants and the elderly.

Let us read more about this gentle essential oil and its health benefits.

What is Roman chamomile essential oil?

Roman chamomile essential oil is extracted through steam distillation from flowers of the Anthemis nobilis plant. This oil has a sweet, apple-like fragrance and is light clear blue with a watery viscosity.

The Roman camomile plant is cultivated in Germany, Italy Spain, France, and Morocco. This small perennial herb with a hairy stem and feathery pinnate leaves, daisy-like white flowers and grows about 25 cm high.

It is also known as common chamomile, English camomile, true chamomile.

The main chemicals components of Roman chamomile essential oil are alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, camphene, sabinene, myrcene, 1,8-cineole, y-terpinene, caryophyllene, propyl angelate, and butyl angelate.

History of Roman chamomile essential oil

Roman chamomile has been used for its healing properties since ancient times. In ancient Egypt, chamomile was considered a sacred plant and was associated with Ra, the Sun God.

The ancient Egyptians used it to treat acute fever. The ancient Romans used it in medicines, beverages and as incense.

Roman chamomile is listed in all ancient European herbaria and was one of the Anglo-Saxons’ nine sacred herbs.

During the middle ages, chamomile was used to create a fragrant atmosphere in public gatherings. Chamomile was also used in the beer making process.

Doctors in American and Europe would add chamomile to their medicine due to its ability to relieve pain, inflammation, allergies and digestive issues.

Benefits of roman chamomile essential oil

1. Eases anxiety and depression

The high ester content of Roman chamomile oil calms the nerves and relaxes the mind. When you inhale chamomile essential oil, its fragrance is carried directly to the brain, and it promotes relaxation.

During a study, researchers examined the antidepressant action of chamomile in subjects with co-morbid anxiety and depression symptoms. The results showed that chamomile has meaningful antidepressant activity in addition to anxiolytic activity (1).

A 2012 study from Korea investigated the effects of aromatherapy on anxiety, sleep and blood pressure of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) patients in ICU.

The patients were allocated to either a blend of lavender, Roman chamomile and neroli or regular nursing care. The results showed that aromatherapy effectively reduced anxiety levels and improved sleep quality in patients (2).

Ways to use

  • Diffuse it through your home with a diffuser.
  • Add a few drops to your bath water.

2. Alleviates allergy symptoms

Roman chamomile essential oil is a proven remedy for a wide range of allergic reactions. Its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties provide a calming effect on the respiratory system if you are suffering from sneezes, blocked sinuses, and phlegm.

Chamomile is also useful in reducing various inflammatory conditions. It can be used to treat skin inflammation and mucous membrane inflammation, which helps to calm the respiratory tract.

People who suffer from hay fever, with symptoms like congestion, swelling and itchy skin patches on the skin can benefit from topical application of chamomile oil.

People with atopic dermatitis and skin irritation due to food allergies can also benefit from Roman chamomile essential oil.

Ways to use

  • In case of seasonal allergies, diffuse this oil throughout your home.
  • Mix a few drops o chamomile oil with a carrier oil and dab around your nose and eyes to reduce itching.
  • Apply diluted chamomile oil to itchy skin for relief.

3. Reduces insomnia

Roman chamomile is one of the best known natural sedatives. It has been used as a sleep aid for centuries. Several studies have also shown chamomile’s effectiveness in reducing insomnia.

A 2006 study published in the International Journal of Aromatherapy tested the impact of Roman chamomile essential oil on mood and sleep of 80 healthy adults.

The results showed that this essential oil induces drowsiness and calmness in the volunteers. So this oil can be used to improve sleep (3).

Another study tested the effects of Roman chamomile oil on sleep-disturbed rats. The researchers observed that 300 mg per kg of chamomile showed a significant decrease in sleep latency.

They also noted that chamomile exhibits benzodiazepine-like hypnotic activity (4).

Ways to use

  • Diffuse it using a diffuser.
  • Mix it with water in a spray bottle and spray it on your pillowcases and sheets.

4. Improves digestion

Traditionally, Roman chamomile has been valued as a digestive relaxant and has been used to treat gastrointestinal ailments like flatulence, indigestion, diarrhea, anorexia, motion sickness, nausea, and vomiting.

Chamomile oil has been used to treat colic, croup, and fevers in children (5).

During one study chamomile tea was mixed with other herbs and given to infants with colic three times a day. After seven days of treatment, chamomile eliminated colic in 57 percent of the infants.

Ways to use

  • Dilute some drops of chamomile essential oil and massage it on to your stomach and lower abdomen.
  • Add a drop of this oil to a glass of water and drink it.

5. Relieves skin irritations

The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of Roman chamomile help in reducing skin inflammation. They help combat acne and its side effects.

Chamomile oil also helps to even out skin tone and lighten discolorations. According to a study published in the International Journal of Pharmacology, chamomile is one of the most potent natural products that address skin discoloration (6).

Chamomile also contains high amounts of polyphenols and antioxidants that help reduce the signs of premature aging like wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and freckles.

Polyphenols protect the skin from harmful UV rays and may even reduce the risk of skin cancer (7).

It also helps deal with skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis. According to a study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, Roman chamomile can provide relief from the pain and other uncomfortable symptoms of psoriasis (8).

Ways to use

  • Add a drop of this essential oil to your daily moisturizer.
  • Mix this essential oil with a carrier oil and use it topically.

6. Alleviates PMS symptoms

Roman chamomile contains active compounds like myrcene and alpha-pinene which relieve symptoms of stress and help in reducing the mood swings associated with PMS.

The antispasmodic properties of chamomile soothe menstrual cramps and body aches (9).  It also relaxes the mind and body, which helps in dealing with PMS symptoms like headaches and back pain.

Ways to use

  • Diffuse this oil at home to improve mood and soothe PMS symptoms.
  • Add a few drops of this oil to a warm bath to induce a feeling of relaxation.

7. Improves heart health

Roman chamomile essential oil is rich in flavonoids. Research suggests that regular use of flavonoids reduces the risk of death from coronary heart disease (10). Flavonoids reduce blood pressure, relax the heart and thus reduce the risk of heart disease.

Ways to use

  • Add a drop of this oil to your tea.
  • Add a drop of this oil to a glass of water and drink it.

8. Reduces cancer risk

Chamomile essential oil has potent anti-oxidant properties that are important for reducing cancer risk.

Many of Roman chamomile’s phytochemicals like apigenin, luteolin, terpene compounds, chamazulene, and quercetin, inhibit the proliferation of different types of cancers.

According to a study by Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, chamomile exposure resulted in differential apoptosis in cancer cells but not in the normal cells. This 2007 study represents the first reported demonstration of the anticancer effects of chamomile (11).

Ways to use

  • Add a drop of Roman chamomile essential oil to a herbal tea or any other hot beverage.

9. Relieves arthritis pain

Roman chamomile essential oil has a calming and anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Its healing and soothing effect can alleviate arthritis pain.

According to a study, the flavones in chamomile like apigenin, luteolin, and apigenin 7-O-beta-glucoside, are not only absorbed into the skin surface but they also penetrate into deep inner skin layers (12). So, they can be effectively used to treat arthritic pain.

Ways to use

  • Mix it with a carrier oil and use it topically.
  • Add it to your bath water, make sure you follow it up with an ice treatment to ensure that the swelling does not worsen.

10. Great for children

Chamomile essential oil is one of the best oils for reducing stress and promoting relaxation. It is one of the gentlest oils on the planet and can be used to calm children and infants as well. It is also known to help children with ADD and ADHD.

Ways to use

  • Dilute this essential oil with a carrier oil and apply it to the soles of the feet, head, and chest.
  • Use an aromatic diffuser so that the child can inhale the oil.

Side effects and precautions

Roman chamomile essential oil is considered safe for internal, aromatic and topical use. However, you must always use 100 percent therapeutic grade organic oils. Roman chamomile oil may stimulate blood flow to the pelvic area, so it should not be used during pregnancy.

Though it is safe for use for people with sensitive skin, you must do a patch test before you use it for the first time.

Do not use chamomile oil for more than two weeks continuously if you are using it internally.

Final thoughts

Roman chamomile essential oil has been used for its healing properties since ancient times. It is considered safe for use by children and people with sensitive skin.

Its soothing properties help reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and calm skin irritations. Its health benefits also include improved digestion and heart health.

This calming essential oil can be taken internally, diffused into the air and used topically.