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Chamaemelum nobile

Chamaemelum nobile

[span class=alert]In regards to the Traditional Use and Therapeutic Action sections of Essential Oils, the oils are rated as is standard practice in the French school of aromatherapy and others. The ratings ranked from one (+) to four (++++) with four indicating the highest value, indicate the oil’s therapeutic value from a practicing clinician’s point of view. The French rating system mentioned are obtained from this book reference entitle ‘Les Cahiers Pratiques D'Aromatherapie Selon L'Ecole Francaise’ (Authors: Francine Baudry, Pascal Debauche & Dominique Baudoux). However, further clarification might be required and will be updated once additional information of the rating system is obtained.[/span]

Family Name


Genus Name


Vernacular Name

Roman chamomile, chamomile

Original Habitat

Chamaemelum nobile also known as Anthemis nobilis.[1]

There are three types of chamomile commonly used, one being Roman chamomile. Roman chamomile can be dated back to the Egyptians. Often used in tea form, the sedative effects of this herb can also be seen in other applications such as in the essential oil. This perennial plant is found in Western Europe as well as Northern Africa. It is a low-growing plant with white flowers, similar to daisies. The oblong leaves have an apple scent, while the taste of this plant is bitter. It is widely cultivated in countries such as Belgium and France.[2]

Plant Part Used



The oil is rarely used in perfumery today. It is used in foods, skin care products and as therapeutic aromatherapy products.


Roman chamomile oil is steam distilled from the flowers and sometimes leaves. The thin oil has a tint of blue, but becomes colourless after several weeks. It has a warm fruity fragrance with a high perfumery note.[3]

Chemical Constituents

Aliphatic esters (70-80%)
Terpenic alcohol: Pinocarveol (3%), farnesol (2%)
Terpenic cetones: Pinocarvone (10%)
Chamazulene [4][5][6][7]
Chamaemeloside [8][9]

Medicinal Uses

Pre-anesthetic +++
Anti-inflammatory ++
Paraciticidal (lambias, ankylostomes) +++
Hypoglycemic+++ [10][11][12]

Traditional Use

Rheumatic pains, neuritis, neuralgia ++
Nervous shock, surgery +++
Nervous dystonia, depression ++
Intestinal parasitosis +++

Calming: One study examined the aromatic effects of Roman chamomile essential oil on 80 participants, which were divided into four groups: Aroma and arousal expectancy, aroma and sedation expectancy, aroma and no expectancy and lastly, no aroma controls. Cognitive function was reduced the greatest in the aroma and sedation expectancy rather than aroma alone. However, calmness was also seen in those expecting arousal.[13]

Perineal Healing: The essential oils of lavender, myrrh, neroli, mandarin, orange, grapefruit, rose and Roman chamomile were applied either as a sitz bath or a soap to women who had an episiotomy. The women were assigned to the aroma-sitz bath, aroma-soap or the control group. The results showed that aromatherapy applications could be useful in perineal healing.[14]

Palliative Care: Cancer patients receiving palliative care were assigned to a massage either using only a carrier oil or carrier oil with the addition of Roman chamomile. Both groups showed decreased levels of anxiety. However, the addition of Roman chamomile improved the quality of life and physical and physiological symptoms during the massage.[15]

Contraindications and Precautions

Contact dermatitis could potentially occur, which has occurred with other plants from the Asteraceae family.[16]

Although undocumented, it is thought to be a uterine stimulant therefore should not be used during pregnancy.



[span class=alert]Keep out of reach of children as oils are highly concentrated.Essential oils are irritating to the eyes.  Avoid contact with eye area.Always dilute essential oils with carrier oil, lotion, cream or gel even when using in diffuser or bath.Essential oils are sometimes prescribed to be used internally, but should only be used internally under professional supervision.[/span]


  1. Rücker G. Peroxides as plant constituents: hydroperoxides from the blossoms of Roman camomile, Anthemis nobilis L. Arch Pharm (Weinheim). Nov1989;322(11):821-826.
  2. JE Simon, AF Chadwick, LE Craker. The scientific literature on selected herbs, and aromatic and medicinal plants of the temperate zone. Hamden CT: Archon Books; 1984.770.
  3. Lis-Balchin M. Aromatherapy science. Great Britain: Pharmaceutical Press; 2006.
  4. Williams DG. The chemistry of essential oils. Micelle Press; 1996.
  5. Lis-Balchin M. Aromatherapy science. Great Britain: Pharmaceutical Press; 2006.
  6. Antonelli A, Fabbri C. Study on Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile L. All.) oil. Journal of Essential Oil Research. 1998;10(5):571-574.
  7. Farkas P, Holla M, Vaverkova S, Stahlova B, Tekel J, Havranek E. Composition of the essential oil from the flowerheads of Chamaemelum nobile (L.) All. (Asteraceae) cultivated in Slovak Republic. Journal of Essential Oil Research. 2003;15(2):83.
  8. Tschan GM, Koenig GM, Wright AD, Sticher O. Chamaemeloside, a new flavonoid glycoside from Chamaemelum nobile. Phytochemistry. 1996;41(2):643-646.
  9. Koenig GM, Wright AD,  Keller WJ. Hypoglycaemic activity of an HMG-containing flavonoid glucoside, chamaemeloside, from Chamaemelum nobile. Planta medica. 1998;64(7):612-614.
  10. Mann C, Staba EJ. The chemistry, pharmacology, and commercial formulations of Chamomile. USA :Hawthorn Press; 1986.
  11. Steflitsch W. Clinical aromatherapy. JMH. Mar2008;5(1):74-85.
  12. Eddouks M. Potent hypoglycaemic activity of the aqueous extract of Chamaemelum nobile in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. Mar2005;67(3):189-195.
  13. Moss M. Expectancy and the aroma of Roman chamomile influence mood and cognition in healthy volunteers. Intl J Aroma. 2006;16(2):63-73.
  14. Hur MH, Han SH. Clinical trial of aromatherapy on postpartum mother's perineal healing. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe Chi. Feb2004;34(1):53-62.
  15. Wilkinson S. An evaluation of aromatherapy massage in palliative care. Palliat Med. Sep1999;13(5):409-417.
  16. Paulsen E. Contact sensitization from Compositae-containing herbal remedies and cosmetics. Contact Dermatitis. Oct2002;47(4):189-198.

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