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7 min read / 5 April 2024 / yasmin sharp

10 Benefits and Uses of Chamomile Oil

Discover the transformative powers of chamomile oil in enhancing health and wellbeing across ten compelling benefits and uses.

 

Chamomile essential oil benefits have been enjoyed through the ages, extending as far back as Roman civilisations, where soldiers would use it to build-up courage before entering into combat.

Perhaps most famously this daisy-looking ingredient is infused with tea, with thousands of cups drunk every day all over the world.

The herb is also well-known for its health properties, which can be used to treat everything from lack of sleep and infected wounds to reducing depression symptoms and calming skin irritation.

We lift the lid on some of the biggest benefits of chamomile oil to give you a better idea of how it could be used to treat certain conditions.

Is Roman chamomile oil the same as German chamomile oil?

Chamomile oil is extracted via steam distillation from the chamomile plant, with the plant native to southern and eastern Europe.

There are two types of chamomile oil – Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile or Anthemis nobilis) and German chamomile (Matricaria recutita or Chamomilla recutita) which come from different species and have different chemical compositions.

However, they still share some traits, which is why they are both often used to treat similar conditions.

What are the benefits of chamomile essential oil?

1. Improve sleep patterns

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence associated with chamomile oil benefits that suggest it can be used to promote a good night’s sleep, and the world of science has also been able to verify some of those claims.

For example, a 2017 study asked one group of elderly people to take a chamomile extract twice a day, whilst a placebo was given to another group.

Researchers found that those who took the extract experienced a significant increase in sleep quality compared to the group who had taken the placebo for the same period.

2. Relieve depression symptoms

Chamomile could have the potential to calm symptoms linked to depression and anxiety, with studies discovering its grounding qualities.

A section of people taking part in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study saw depression symptoms reduce significantly over an 8-week period after being given a chamomile extract.

However, whilst chamomile extract can be consumed, this is not the case with the essential oil.

Chamomile essential oil (as is true of all essential oils) is not intended for consumption and could cause serious harm if taken orally.

As an alternative, you could try diffusing chamomile essential oil in a diffuser or oil burner, as some people find that this aromatherapeutic treatment is helpful in calming stress and anxiety.

3. Calm skin irritation

Perhaps one of the better-known chamomile oil benefits is its ability to calm and soothe irritable skin.

One study indicated that, depending on the concentration levels, chamomile essential oil could be used to reduce inflamed areas of skin.

Researchers involved in a separate animal study also found that the application of German chamomile helped to relieve atopic dermatitis symptoms.

Their results suggested that the mice who received the treatment saw a stark improvement in their condition, whilst those that weren’t given chamomile oil saw little to no change.

4. Offer pain relief

Chamomile essential oil benefits could also allow it to be used as a pain relief agent, helping to ease the symptoms of conditions that affect people across multiple age groups.

A 2015 study looked at the effectiveness of using chamomile essential oil to treat osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease.

Some participants were asked to apply the oil three times a day for three weeks, and by the end of the study, researchers found that compared to those who had not used chamomile, they had less of a need to use pain medication.

The use of chamomile oil for carpal tunnel syndrome (a nerve pressure on the wrist), has also been examined, with the results indicating that a diluted topical solution helped to reduce symptom severity after 4 weeks.

5. Help digestion issues

There is some evidence that suggests chamomile could be used to promote better digestion, helping to minimise the symptoms of certain gastrointestinal conditions.

The results of a study published in 2018 suggested chamomile oil benefits could be seen after a diluted solution was applied to ease bowel issues following birth.

Patients who had undergone a caesarean delivery applied the oil to their abdomen, and compared to those that didn’t they were able to regain their appetite more quickly and pass gas sooner.

According to the results of a 2014 animal study, chamomile extract can also be used as a protective agent against diarrhoea and the build-up of fluid in the intestines.

6. Aid wound healing

Many people are aware of how chamomile essential oil benefits can be used to treat wounds, as it has been applied to cuts and scars for hundreds of years.

More recently, researchers have attempted to verify these claims and have managed to do so with some success.

A 2018 rat study looked at the effects of using Roman chamomile extract on the infected wounds of rats.

This was done in comparison to tetracycline ointment (which is typically used to treat infected skin wounds), with the results revealing that the extract demonstrated significantly better antibacterial and wound healing ability.

7. Contain anti-cancer properties

Scientists have been looking into the potential cancer healing qualities of chamomile and whilst they are in the early stages of research, there have been some promising developments.

One study found that German chamomile extract was more likely to eliminate cancer cells in culture when the two came into contact.

The same study also stated that the cells’ ability to grow blood vessels was restricted, without which tumours would struggle to thrive.

A separate study found that a compound contained in chamomile called apigenin, possessed the ability to stop the growth of new cells and also induced cell death in a human cancer cell line.

8. Treat generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)

GAD is a long-term condition that can make it difficult for people to manage anxiety related to a wide variety of issues and situations.

The results of a study published in 2017 found that anxiety symptoms could be reduced after continued use of chamomile extract.

Participants consumed the extract for 8 weeks and by the end of the treatment, almost 60% saw a notable improvement.

Low cortisone levels in the morning could also be responsible for causing anxiety disorders.

Another study looked at his specific topic and found that symptoms could be reduced, and cortisone levels increased by chamomile therapy.

9. Provide a high dose of antioxidants

The terpenoid group of antioxidants – which includes the likes of acetylene derivative and chamazulene – are prominent in chamomile.

However, they are thought to be relatively unstable at source and are believed to be best preserved in essential oil form.

The flower is also rich in phenolic compounds, in particular flavonoids, which are said to contain a high amount of antioxidant properties.

Using a diluted mixture of chamomile essential oil benefits the body by helping to prevent cell mutation caused by free radicals.

These antioxidants can help to combat a host of issues related to better immune function, skin, nails, hair, teeth and pain and swelling.

10. Boost oral health

The aforementioned antioxidant properties of chamomile oil can make it a useful natural treatment for gums and teeth.

In 2016, researchers published a study that revealed how chamomile could be used effectively to improve oral health.

They found that a mouthwash containing 1% of chamomile extract was able to reduce bleeding and the build-up of biofilm in patients with gingivitis.

It is believed that this was possible due to the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties contained in the herb.

Final thoughts

There are plenty of chamomile oil benefits that can be enjoyed through topical and aromatherapeutic applications, making it an easy addition to your daily routine.

Whether it’s improving oral health and skin conditions or calming anxiety and helping digestion issues, the natural properties of chamomile essential oil can be put to use in lots of different ways.

First-time users should carry out a patch test before applying it to large areas of skin and the oil should never be consumed, as it could prove toxic to the body.

 


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Medical Disclaimer

The content in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please consult your personal physician for any advice or treatment regarding specific health questions. Neither the article editor, writer, nor the organisation of Nikura takes any responsibility for possible health consequences following the information given in any article. All readers should consult their physician before taking any advice given within these articles.

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