Roman Chamomile or German Chamomile – What’s the Difference?
There are many different types of chamomile around the world but there are two which are often sought after. Roman Chamomile and German Chamomile are desirable because of their medicinal nature and health benefits. The two are similar in some ways, but they are also very different. The differences are extremely important when they are used to treat the body, mind or emotions. This of course, doesn’t mean that one is “better” than the other. It does mean you want to use the right one for the outcome you desire.
The Roman Chamomile plant is a perennial evergreen that grows close to the ground. It can be used as ground cover. The plant propagates by dividing. The flowers are a little bigger than one inch in diameter and the stems are rough and hairy. The fragrance of Roman Chamomile is light, fresh and hints of apple. It is often cultivated in the US, Belgium, Argentina, France and England but is it native to southern and western Europe, the Middle East and Eastern Africa.
The German Chamomile plant is not a perennial. It propagates through the flower going to seed. Stems are not hairy, they branch out and are longer than those on the Roman variety. The branches have just a few flowers along the tops. German Chamomile has a fragrance that makes you think of sweet straw. The plant is native to northern Asia and Europe. It is also cultivated in France, Hungary, Egypt and eastern Europe.
How are they alike?
The two varieties of chamomile are alike in many ways. Both can be used medicinally to help calm and soothe the skin, reduce inflammation, and to bring down fevers. Both can be used to treat the digestive and nervous systems. They are both known for inducing perspiration which helps the body flush out toxins, infections and allergens. They both have antibiotic, pain-relieving, anti-bacterial and sedative properties. However, it’s their chemical properties where they are different.
German Chamomile – Chemical Properties
It has a deep blue hue because it contains chamazulene. This is what gives it the infection-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties.
Can be used for treating skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis since it can calm irritated or flaky skin and help maintain normal skin. It also promotes regeneration and healing of damaged skin and skin tissues.
Stimulates the gall bladder, kidneys and liver which removes infection and toxins as well as improving digestion.
Can be useful for calming the mind and body, especially for PMS, and menopausal or menstrual problems.
Roman Chamomile – Chemical Properties
Has a pale blue to yellow hue because of a high level of esters, and it has anti-fungal, antispasmodic properties.
Has a calming effect which can help provide a restful sleep, relieve sore muscles, and painful arthritis as well as migraines or headaches.
Is often used for mood swings or rage as it can calm irritation effectively. It can also be used for children to help calm temper tantrums, ease teething pain or those suffering from colic.
Once you know the difference between these two chamomile oils, you are better able to choose the one that is right for treating emotional, physical or mental health issues.