Chamomile is incredibly popular, but there’re two types – Roman chamomile and German chamomile (3 if you count blue tansy). Here we’ll look at German chamomile essential oil and get into its properties, benefits and even a few uses of the oil.
German Chamomile Essential Oil Properties
German chamomile has quite a few names. You may see it sold as wild chamomile or blue chamomile. And it has multiple botanical names too but Matricaria chamomilla and Matricaria recutita are the most common ones.
You should verify these botanical names when buying this essential oil. Also, keep in mind Roman chamomile has these botanical names: Chamaemelum nobile or Anthemis noblis.
Color & Scent
You’ll find German chamomile essential oil has a wonderful deep blue color, similar to blue tansy and yarrow essential oils. The oil also has a pleasant smell, similar to straw.
What is in the oil?
There is tremendous variation in the quantities and compounds in German chamomile essential oil.
But, for the most part, the oil contains chamazulene (which is responsible for the oil’s blue color), alpha-bisabolol, alpha-bisabolol oxides, alpha-farnesene, beta-farnesene, farnesol and germacrene-d.
These compounds may have complicated names, but they are the reason for all the benefits of German chamomile essential oil.
German Chamomile Essential Oil Benefits
The benefits of German chamomile essential oil include:
- reduce inflammation
- neutralize free radicals
- inhibit cancer cells in vitro
- reduce pain
- heal cuts and wounds
- fight acne
- kill bacteria, fungi and viruses
- repel and kill insects
Here’s more about these German chamomile oil benefits.
It is antioxidant
There are several studies proving German chamomile has antioxidant benefits.
You may know free radicals are harmful compounds that can damage your cells and potentially cause wrinkles, age spots and even cancer. But antioxidants neutralize these free radicals and so reduce the likelihood of skin damage due to free radicals.
Vitamins C and E are powerful antioxidants that are used in many beauty regimes. Interestingly though, several studies including these 2010, 2014 and 2015 studies found German chamomile essential oil and its components have relatively the same antioxidant activity as these vitamins.
How amazing is this oil?! The studies went further to show chamazulene and bisabolol were the compounds responsible for the oil’s radical scavenging, antioxidant benefits.
German chamomile oil inhibits cancer cells
Again, there are quite a few studies proving these German chamomile oil benefits. One in vitro study tested ten essential oils (including lemon, grapefruit, cinnamon and thyme) on human prostate, lung and breast cancer cell lines. The results were incredible. They showed chamomile oil inhibited the cancer cells, even at very low concentrations (of less than 0.1%)!
It is anti-inflammatory
The anti-inflammatory benefits of chamomile has been well established for several decades. And a 2009 study determined alpha-bisabolol is the main compound responsible for this benefit.
German chamomile essential oil eases pain
Besides being anti-inflammatory, German chamomile oil may help with pain relief. A 2014 animal study used a modified ‘paw-pressure’ test conducted on rats to prove these effects. And the study went further to suggest bisabolol oxides were the compounds responsible for these possible benefits.
So use German chamomile to ease tired, aching muscles and inflamed joints.
It helps with wound healing
Another animal study done in 2010 looked at the effects of German chamomile extract applied topically to the wounds of Wistar rats. The results showed the extract helped to reduce the wound area faster and assisted with overall wound healing.
Way to go chamomile!
German chamomile oil for acne
Acne is typically the inflammation of the sebaceous glands. And the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes is one of the many causes of acne. It can damage your glands and causes acne scars to form. So getting rid of the bacteria is imperative to clearing up your acne.
Well, German chamomile essential oil will definitely help!
It’s anti-inflammatory and has been shown in (a 2010 study) to kill the bacteria.
The study actually tested 10 popular essential oils like ginger, lemon, grapefruit, thyme and cinnamon. The results were remarkable. They showed very little oil – in the order of a 0.125% concentration – was needed to kill the bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes.
Isn’t German chamomile essential oil amazing?
This should go without saying, given the study mentioned above! But you should know the study showed german chamomile oil had stronger bactericidal activity than grapefruit, lemon and ginger essential oils.
It is anti-fungal too
Besides being antibacterial, german chamomile also has great anti-fungal benefits. A 2012 study demonstrated these benefits.
It used the oil on 10 fungi species, some of which are responsible for athlete’s foot, jock itch, and nail infections. The results were excellent! German chamomile oil was able to inhibit all fungi species tested. And the researchers suggest this oil would be excellent in antifungal treatments for dermatophytosis and other fungal infections.
So if you got athlete’s foot, nail infections or any other fungal related skin problems, reach for German chamomile oil.
9. German chamomile is also antiviral
German chamomile oil benefits also include anti-viral effects. That is according to a 2008 study.
The in vitro study tested the inhibitory effects of several essential oils including anise, ginger and sandalwood on the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). All oils showed tremendous virucidal activity with concentrations under 0.01%.
But the study singled out chamomile essential oil as a promising candidate for developing a topical antiviral agent for the treatment of herpes genitalis. Amazing right!
It is insecticidal
This is quite a list of the benefits of German chamomile essential oil. But there’s one more! It has insecticidal properties, although it isn’t as powerful as say camphor or peppermint essential oils.
A 2009 study demonstrated these moderate effects. It tested five essential oils (camphor, onion, peppermint, rosemary and chamomile) on flies and the buffalo louse. While camphor showed the most potent insecticidal properties, chamomile at a median concentration of 19% was lethal to the insects tested.
The oil also showed repellent and ovicidal activities.
And there it is – the proven benefits of German chamomile oil.
German Chamomile Essential Oil Uses
German chamomile essential oil benefits are truly extensive and impressive. But let’s look at the uses of German chamomile oil.
You can add a few drops of German chamomile oil to your diffuser to get a wonderful straw-like smell.
As with all essential oils, you must do a skin patch test to see if you are allergic to German chamomile oil.
To do this, simply add 2-3 drops of the oil to a carrier oil (like jojoba or coconut oil) and dab a little of this mixture onto the inside of your elbow or behind your ears. Check those spots for any burning, redness or irritation. If you don’t notice anything, then you aren’t sensitive to German chamomile oil and can use it on your skin.
Also, you can add a drop or two of the essential oils mentioned above to the mix in order to create a wonderful massage blend.
There are several studies (including this 2011 one) that shows German chamomile oil is not genotoxic (i.e. doesn’t affect your cells and DNA). That means it is a pretty mild oil.
But you should still get the OK from your doctor before using German chamomile essential oil, especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
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