Camomile Oil For Skin & Hair

Chamomile is one of the oldest known medicinal plants in the world. There are a number of varieties of chamomile, with the wild chamomile or German chamomile being the most commonly used.

Chamomile teas can be ingested straight, while the essential oil needs to be blended well with any base oils such as olive oil before topical application.

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Chamomile has been used since time immemorial for a number of health benefits, and in this article, we will discuss the benefits of chamomile oil.

What are the physical properties of chamomile oil?

Chamomile oil has a watery viscosity and is light blue to deep green in color when freshly extracted. Over time, however, the color changes to a dark yellow, although its chemical composition does not undergo any alteration.

Origin of chamomile essential oil

As mentioned above, there is no certainty of when exactly chamomile started being used for medicinal purposes. Chamomile is known to exist in the wild, and it grows almost anywhere. It is a hardy plant and a perennial one. The name ‘chamomile’ itself is derived from ancient Greek and Latin sources, which literally mean ‘earth apple’, referring to the apple like fragrance of the plant.

How to extract chamomile essential oil?

Chamomile oil is extracted by the process of steam distillation. There are generally two kinds of chamomile oil that are available:

  • Roman chamomile essential oil
  • German chamomile essential oil

The difference between the two is in their chemical composition, with Roman chamomile essential oil having a slightly different composition to the German variety. In either case, the extraction process is the same.

Process of how to make chamomile oil

  • Steam is passed through chamomile leaves to break down their cells and vaporize their essential oils.
  • The resultant water is a mixture of chamomile essential oil and water.
  • The essential oil is separated by a process of fractional distillation.
  • The remaining water is reused to generate steam, completing the cycle.

Chemical composition of chamomile oil

Only about 0.5% to 1.9% of the chamomile plant is essential oil. Chamomile essential oil is a mixture of a number of separate oils, and roughly 120 secondary metabolites have been identified in it.

Twenty eight terpenoids and thirty six flavinoids have also been identified.

Some of the important constituents of chamomile oil are:

  • Chamazulene
  • Alpha Bisabolol
  • Farnesene
  • Alpha pinene
  • Sesquiterpene lactone
  • Nobilin
  • 3-epinobilin
  • Apigenin
  • Luteolin
  • Patuletin
  • Querctin
  • Herniarin
  • Umpelliferone
  • Mucilege

Benefits of chamomile oil

Chamomile is known to have a number of health benefits, and many of them have been scientifically studied in clinical trials. Starting from chamomile teas that boost the immune system to anticancer properties, chamomile is one of the most widely studied and most commonly used herbal medicines in the world. Some of its benefits are listed below.

  • Drinking five cups a day of chamomile tea is known to reduce blood pressure and stress levels.
  • It also increases urinary levels of hippuratic and glycene, which is known to happen with antibacterial activity.
  • Chamomile extract is known to inhibit the multiplication of cancer cells, whereas it does not affect normal cells in any way.
  • Chamomile oils have deep penetration properties and their flavinoids possess antiphlogistic and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Inhalation of chamomile extract with steam relieves symptoms of common cold.
  • Daily consumption of chamomile tea has an inverse association with mortality from coronary heart diseases.
  • One of the therapeutic applications of chamomile is as a topical application to relieve atopic eczema.
  • Chamomile is also useful in relieving gastrointestinal problems and has been proven to work for colic, upset stomach, flatulence and ulcers.
  • Using chamomile extract as mouth wash has been known to be effective in the treatment of mouth ulcers.
  • Chamomile extracts have also shown much benefit in the treatment of osteoporosis.

Precautions

Chamomile extracts are very safe to use and generally have no adverse reactions. However, chamomile is known to interfere with certain medication such as chemotherapeutic drugs. Additionally, topical application of chamomile tea on eyes can cause an allergic reaction. Also, ingesting concentrated extracts can have hypersensitivity reactions and lead to anaphylaxis.

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