A Comparison of Roman, German, Wild, and Cape Chamomile
At Miracle Botanicals, we offer four different chamomile oils, and I often get questions from folks who are trying to decide which one to choose.
While our four chamomile oils have related aromas and healing properties, there is also quite a bit of difference between them. That’s why I decided to write up a little G so you can easily decide which one is right for you.
To start with, all the essential oils that are listed below come from plants in the Asteraceae, or daisy, family. These plants grow in different regions all around the world, and they are characterized by small, white flowers. All of the chamomile essential oils are gentle and they are safe for frequent use on the skin and through inhalation.
Now, let’s look at the unique aspects of each of the chamomile oils.
The best known of the chamomile oils is Blue chamomile (Matricaria recutita), also known as German or Hungarian chamomile. Blue chamomile essential oil gets its striking blue color due to chamazulene, a unique compound that’s produced during the steam-distillation of this oil.
Blue chamomile has a sweet, fruity, smoky, and herbaceous aroma. Along with its high chamazulene content, it contains high amounts of a-Bisabolol, and these two compounds account for much of the anti-inflammatory and pain-relief benefits of Blue chamomile essential oil.
Along with being great for treating aches, pains, and inflammatory skin problems, Blue chamomile essential oil is frequently the oil of choice in treating cases of insomnia or sleeping disturbances.
Blue Chamomile can be found in my Pain Formula, which has received rave reviews from customers who have tried pain relief drugs. It’s also included in Voice, which is part of my chakra series. It’s wonderful for calming anxiety and worry, which can be very helpful for speaking and singing.
The second most popular variety of chamomile oil is Roman chamomile (Anthemis Nobilis), also known as English chamomile. The aroma of this chamomile is what most people associate with chamomile tea.
It has a sweet and soothing aroma, and while it contains the blue compound chamazulene in small amounts, it has a yellow to light blue color. Roman chamomile essential oil is high in esters of angelic and tiglic acid, which are known for their pain-relieving and spasmolytic action.
As a result, Roman chamomile essential oil is frequently used as as a calming agent and to relieve sore muscles. Like Blue chamomile, Roman chamomile is effective in treating inflammatory skin conditions such as rashes, eczema, and psoriasis.
Cape chamomile essential oil is extracted from the cape snow flower (Eriocephalus punctulatus), which grows in South Africa.
Cape chamomile essential oil has a powerful aroma that is berry-like, sweet, floral and very clean-smelling. It is prized in perfumery, and is frequently used in aromatherapy for dealing with anxiety and headaches.
This one has one of my favorite aromas of all essential oils. It’s powerfully sweet yet calming, and it’s very high in esters which is known for its anti-anxiety properties. The color is crystal blue. It’s very gentle and it’s great applied directly to the nape of the neck.
Wild, or Moroccan, chamomile comes from a variety of daisy (Ormenis mixta) which grows around the Mediterranean. Its main constituents include santolina alcohol (also found in yarrow essential oil) and alpha-pinene (a compound found in frankincense).
Wild chamomile essential oil has a sweet, fresh, and herbaceous aroma that is redolent of apples. It is used in aromatherapy to soothe the mind and body, help alleviate depression and anxiety, and support skin, hair, and scalp health.
The aroma of this oil is very unique. It’s not as sweet of the other varieties and the herbaceous aspect makes it very interesting.
Which one is right for you?
If you’re looking for your first chamomile oil, you’ll probably either want to get the German (Blue) or Roman chamomile, because they have the widest range of known benefits in aromatherapy.
Both will be good for treating aches and pains, and the decision will likely come down to which aroma you prefer: more smokey for Blue chamomile, gentler and more soothing for Roman.
As for Cape Chamomile and Wild Chamomile, they are both wonderful oils. While they are less well-known than either Blue or Roman Chamomile, they definitely have a place in your essential oil collection, particularly if you are interested in making your own gorgeous perfumes.