Botanical name Matricaria recutita
Processing Method Steam Distillation
Color/Consistency A thin blue to bluish-green liquid.
Aromatic Summary / Note / Strength of Aroma A medium middle note, Chamomile Essential Oil has a soft, woody fragrance similar to that of Moroccan Chamomile.
Blends With Bergamot, Clary Sage, Lavender, Geranium, Jasmine, Neroli, Patchouli, Tea Tree, Rose, lemon and Ylang-Ylang.
German Chamomile is a herbaceous annual native plant to southern and western Europe as well as northern and western Asia. It should not be confused with Roman Chamomile, which is perennial. German Chamomile is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 8 (6). It grows best in full sun or light shade and can grow up to 3 feet tall. It should be planted in light sandy soil with good drainage and should be placed about eight inches apart. The plant requires occasional watering. German Chamomile repels cucumber beetles and is recommended to be planted in vegetable gardens along with other companion plants. Not many insects bother the plant. Sometimes, clusters of aphids may be found, and they can be sprayed off with water or insecticide.
Derived from the Greek word meaning 'ground apple', it was a plant of many uses. To the Egyptians it was a herb dedicated to both the sun and moon, and was considered to have many healing abilities.
Harvesting/ Extraction method
Harvesting your chamomile flowers is a tedious task, but worth the effort. You only want the blossoms, not their stems which means you have to pick them quite carefully. Of course, you can always go through your chamomile after picking to remove any extra bits of stem later. You can use fresh flowers for tea, but it’s more typical to dry them before use.
Dilute before use; for external use only. May cause skin irritation in some individuals, and should be avoided by those allergic to ragweed; a skin test is recommended prior to use. Contact with eyes should be avoided.
a-Bisabolol oxide B 11.2%
a-Bisabolol oxide A 8.9%
Quality Blue chamomile oil is prone to oxidation, and should be stored in light-tight, cold conditions. Blue chamomile oil may be adulterated with synthetic and natural mixtures containing bisabolol and azulenes.
Hazards Drug interaction.
Cautions (all routes) Drugs metabolized by CYP2D6.
Cautions (oral) Drugs metabolized by CYP1A2, CYP2C9 or CYP3A4
Regulatory guidelines Has GRAS status.
Adverse skin reactions Undiluted blue chamomile oil was moderately irritating to rabbits, but was not irritating to mice; tested at 4% on 25 volunteers it was neither irritating nor sensitizing. It is non-phototoxic. In a study of 200 consecutive dermatitis patients, one (0.5%) was sensitive to 2% blue chamomile oil on patch testing.
Reproductive toxicity Since a-bisabolol was not teratogenic in rats at 1 mL/kg, adverse effects in pregnancy for chamomile oils high in a-bisabolol are unlikely.
Acute toxicity Blue chamomile oil acute oral LD50 in rats >5 g/kg; acute dermal LD50 in rabbits >5 g/kg. Mouse LD50 3.5 g/kg oral, 2.95 g/kg ip.
Antioxidant/pro-oxidant activity An Iranian blue chamomile oil, high in (E)-b-farnesene, chamazulene and guaiazulene, was an efficient inhibitor of lipid peroxidation.
Carcinogenic/anticarcinogenic potential Blue chamomile oil was cytotoxic to human prostate, lung and breast cancer cells with an IC50 of 0.07%. Blue chamomile oil is antimutagenic. It demonstrated a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on SCE formed by daunorubicin and methyl methanesulfonate with no toxic effects. Chamomile oil significantly induced glutathione S-transferase activity in mouse tissues. The oil contains no known carcinogens.
Drug interactions Since chamazulene, farnesene and abisabolol inhibit CYP2D6, there is a theoretical risk of interaction between all blue chamomile oil CTs and drugs metabolized by this enzyme. The a-bisabolol/(E)-b-farnesene CT may also inhibit CYP1A2, CYP2C9 or CYP3A4. Th a-bisabolol oxide A CT may inhibit CYP1A2.
Blue chamomile oils are produced in many parts of the world, and with greatly varying composition. The data above are given as six examples of this variation, which may represent chemotypes. The countries of origin are given for interest, but it should not be assumed that only one type of chamomile oil is available from each origin. They are ordered according to percentage of chamazulene. Chemotypes high in a-bisabolol are generally preferred for therapy.