Sacred Scents. November 2012 Essential oil of the Month: German chamomile. Kathy Padecky, Aromatherapist, CMT, AS, CBS

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1 Sacred Scents November 2012 Essential oil of the Month: German chamomile By Kathy Padecky, Aromatherapist, CMT, AS, CBS Botanical Name: Matricaria recutita or Matricaria chamomilla Common name: German chamomile, blue chamomile, scented mayweed, Hungarian chamomile, true chamomile, and wild chamomile. Why I love this essential oil: I inhale and apply this essential oil when my mind is too active and I am unable to sleep. It helps me get a deep, restful sleep. At times, it takes a bit to wake up and get back into my body. I love the scent because it is intoxicating, calming, and expansive for my mind. The scent lingers. Native to and history: The word Matricaria means womb. The name chamomile is derived the Greek word kamai and melon meaning ground apple because of its apple scent. The Spanish called German chamomile manzanilla or little apple and the Greeks call it ground apple or earth apple. It is cultivated in England, France, Hungary, Spain, Egypt, Germany and Belgium. The Egyptians dedicated this herb to the Sun to clear heat. Other people say it is a Moon herb because it tends to be a cooling herb. Galen and Dioscorides prescribed this essential oil for female disorders and fever. Color and scent: Because of the chemical compound azulene, it has a deep blue color. Its scent is bitter and sweet with hay like aroma. Chemistry: German chamomile has a unique reaction during the steam distillation process. A chemical compound called chamazulene makes this essential oil a blue-green. Azulene means blue. German chamomile is a complex essential oil containing at least twenty-one known chemical compounds. German chamomile contains four known types (33-57%) of oxides. Oxides are mentally simulating. They sometimes have a camphorlike smell. They are expectorant, decongestant and mucolytic. German chamomile contains six known types (35-50%) of sesquiterpenes. 1

2 Sesquiterpenes are antispasmodic, anti-viral, sedative, anti-inflammatory, immune supportive, analgesic and very calming to the body. German chamomile contains three known types (34-60%) of sesquiterpenols. Sesquiterpenols are anti-inflammatory, sedative and immune supportive. They are analgesic and calming to the body. German chamomile contains three known types (4-9%) of ethers. Ethers are anti-infectious, antispasmodic, balancing, calming, sedative, and soothing. German chamomile contains four known types (2-4%) of monoterpenes. Monoterpenes are volatile, and they absorb quickly into the bloodstream. They have the quickest physiological response on the body. They are immune stimulating, antiseptic, and a tonic. They are beneficial due to their mildness and safety. They may irritate some skin with repeated use. German chamomile contains one known type (0-1%) of ester. Esters are antispasmodic, sedative, adaptogenic, and anti-inflammatory. Part of the plant: It resembles tiny daisies with white petaled flowers and yellow centers. The plant grows to two feet tall. German chamomile flower heads are steam distilled in the summer. The seeds are picked in autumn. German chamomile flowers are slightly smaller than Roman chamomile flowers. Unethical companies will adulterate German chamomile with juniper tar oil. German chamomile may help with the following conditions: abscess, acne, allergic reactions, anemia, anger, boils, burns, cystitis, dermatitis, diaphragmatic/rib/intercostal constriction, depression, earache, eczema, gastric ulcers, inflamed skin conditions, insomnia, headaches, herpes, hyperactivity, menopause, muscle cramps, nervous indigestion, neuritis, PMS, pruritus (itching), red eyes, rheumatoid arthritis, skin rashes, stiff joints, tantrums Body, Mind and Spirit: German chamomile relaxes the body, mind and spirit. It is an essential choice for anyone experiencing depression, stress or tension in his or her personal life. It increases the production of white blood cell formation. It is found in many creams, lotion, salves for all skin types. As far back as the 1st century AD, German chamomile was used for any digestive issues. Crohn's disease, peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, acidity, bloating, gas and colic benefit from this herb. The flower heads have a strong antiallergenic compound. German chamomile encourages communication and assists in spiritual awakenings. A person applying it in meditation evokes wisdom and understanding. In homeopathic preparations, its grains are inside a baby's cheek to ease teething pain. 2

3 Dr. Jean Valnet, the Father of Aromatherapy writes azulene found in German chamomile is a fatty substance possessing healing and antiphlogistic properties. The bacteriostatic effect of azulene is produced at a concentration of one part in 2,000 against Staphylococcus aureus, haemolytic Streptococcus and Proteus vulgaris in particular. Infected wounds have been healed using concentrations of from one part in 85,000 to one part in 170,000. From a TCM perspective, German chamomile regulates Liver qi especially in the uterus, clears Liver fire and subdues Liver wind. It harmonizes Liver and the overacting effect on the Spleen/Stomach. It calms the spirit (Shen). It helps regulate a body's vital energy, relax nerves, and ease pain. It is an excellent essential oil to clear heat from an inflamed area and reducing inflammation. German chamomile stimulates liver regeneration and reformation of skin tissue. It is a immune stimulating essential oil. Gabriel Mojay writes on the psychological effect of chamomile in his book Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit, lies in grasping its energetic influence on the solar plexus, the major nerve center located in the stomach area. Lying half-way between the region of "gut instinct" and that of the empathetic heart, the solar plexus is the vital center of our psychological needs and wants. It is the focus both of our urge to control and desire to nurture, and of our search for the recognition and sense of self-worth. In keeping with the function of the Wood Element, the solar plexus channels the drives of the ego, guiding them toward self-fulfillment through the power of self-control. German chamomile essential oil blends with: Angelica, bergamot, birch, cajeput, cardamon, clary sage, cypress, fir, frankincense, geranium, grapefruit, helichrysum, jasmine, hyssop, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, marjoram, neroli, niaouli, palmarosa, patchouly, pine, ravensara, Roman chamomile, rose, rosemary, sandalwood, spearmint, spruce, melaleuca (Tea Tree), wintergreen, yarrow, ylang ylang Contraindications and Precautions: Use sparingly in low doses. It is very aromatic. Avoid the first trimester of pregnancy because it is an emmenagogue. For people sensitive to ragweed avoid using Roman and German chamomile. Recipes: Cold sore or herpes formula German chamomile 5 drops Lavender 5 drops Bergamot 5 drops Oregano 3 drops 3

4 Your favorite carrier oil 1 oz. Blend together and apply on location. Herbal tea 1/2 tsp German chamomile flower heads pick the flower heads when they open when its active compounds are the strongest. Diaper rash 5 drops German chamomile 20 ml equals 4 tsps. apricot kernel oil Note: Avoid using nut oils on babies under the age of one. Reduce itching 1 drop German chamomile 1 drop lavender 1 drop geranium Blend together and apply on itching location. Chicken pox 1 drop of German chamomile Apply on location one drop to the area. Testimonial: I applied one drop of German chamomile to my tight shoulders muscles. My pain and discomfort ended quickly as my shoulders relaxed. I had a very restful sleep. Linda R. Did you know? German chamomile added to your shampoo brightens the hair and encourages highlights. Most pests stay clear of the chamomile herb. Quote of the month: Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. Lao-tzu Resources: Aromatherapy for the Massage Practitioner Reference guide for Essential Oils The chemistry of essential oils made simple The Directory of essential oils Aromatherapy for the soul Aromatherapy for dummies Scents and scentuality Aromatherapy for Women and Children Pregnancy and Childbirth Ingrid Martin Connie and Allan Higley David Stewart, PhD. Wanda Sellar Valerie Ann Worwood Kathi Kelville Valerie Ann Worwood Jane Dye 4

5 The Encyclopedia of Aromatherapy The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Materia Medica of Essential Oils (Based on a Chinese Medical Perspective) Chrissie Wildwood Andrew Chevallier Jeffrey C. Yuen Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and techniques mentioned are for educational purposes only. The information provided is in no way intended to diagnose, treat, cure, prescribe or prevent any disease. The decision to use any of this information is the sole responsibility of the reader. 5