Organic Spa Blog

Chamomile Essential Oil: Starting the New Year Off with Peace

Image courtesy of Ededaya/Wikimedia

This year I rang in the new year with a comforting dose of Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) essential oil—in my bathtub. What could be better than soaking in its deeply sweet and fruity aroma, and feeling my entire body mellow out to a peaceful state of bliss? My plan: to start the new year calmly and peacefully.

Chamomile calms us down in ways we never thought possible. It soothes our nerves, heals our skin and quiets an upset stomach. Looking at the tiny, low-growing, daisy-like flowers, it’s amazing how so much power can come from such a small and delicate plant.

The Ancient Egyptians are the first to have mentioned using the herb for both cosmetic and medicinal use in their early writings. Believing it to be a sacred gift from their Sun God, Ra, Egyptians used the plant to cure fevers and embalm their dead. Noblewomen found its properties beneficial for beautifying and nurturing the skin.

It was the Ancient Greeks, however, who gave the herb the name we call it today. Since its scent is reminiscent of crushed sweet apples, they called it: Chamomaela, or “earth-apple.” And, like the Egyptians, Greeks found the tiny flowers to be a strong healing aid to digestive upsets, fevers and skin irritations.

Centuries later, during the Middle Ages, the flowers were often strewn on garden pathways, and sometimes indoors, to help improve the atmosphere; the highly fragrant flowers release their sweetly intoxicating scent when crushed underfoot. During this period in history, as alchemists and monks deepened their study of  medicinal plants, Chamomile became a kind of “go-to” herb to combat skin irritations, hysteria, nervous disorders, stomach and digestive issues, and insomnia.

The essential oil is steam distilled from the delicate flowering tops; the oil can be very expensive because it takes acres and acres of the plant to distill just a small amount.

Like those who lived centuries before us, we find Chamomile’s sweet and tender aroma to be very comforting and supportive; it soothes our inflamed emotions, reduces puffiness and is healing for all types of skin disorders. Its most active chemical constituents soften tense muscles and relax aches and pains, while at the same time stilling the barrage of an overactive mind.

Here’s how you can use Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) essential oil:

Physical Body: Soothing to digestive tract and stomach upsets caused by food and emotional states. Calms inflammation in joints from arthritis, strains, sprains, and overworked and tired muscles. Known to support and relax the central nervous  system, and comfort those experiencing anxiety. Excellent for skin care, because it diminishes redness, reduces puffiness and soothes irritations.

Psychological/Emotional Body: Can lower anger and “inflamed” emotional states, eases worry and quiets an overactive mind. Deeply sedative and restful, and can encourage the heart center to open towards love and gratitude.

Try blending Chamomile with these essential oils:
Sweet Orange
Rose Geranium

Tweet Amy! @buddhanose or @NYIofAroma


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