What is Chamomile Blue?

N. Phipps

Chamomile blue is an essential oil extracted through steam distillation from the daisy-like flower heads of the German chamomile plant (Matricaria recutita), which is mostly cultivated in eastern European countries—especially Germany. This essential oil may be referred to as blue chamomile or German chamomile as well. In addition to its sweet aroma, blue chamomile is highly valued for its medicinal properties. In fact, the genus name Matricaria is derived from the Latin word meaning "womb," due to its popularity in treating issues related to women's health.

Blue chamomile can be used to treat eczema.
Blue chamomile can be used to treat eczema.

The oil can be used internally or externally. Chamomile blue can be found in various massage oils and herbal mixtures. It is oftentimes used in shampoos, cosmetics, and perfumes. Additionally, the oil is a common ingredient found in many skincare products. It is also added to various French liqueurs and tobacco for flavoring.

Chamomile blue may be added to tobacco for flavoring.
Chamomile blue may be added to tobacco for flavoring.

The dark blue color of chamomile blue is a result of the high azulene content. The azulene is also responsible for the oil’s anti-inflammatory and skin-healing properties. Interestingly, azulene is not present in the chamomile flower itself but is instead produced during the distillation process.

Chamomile blue is used to treat dry scalp and eczema rashes.
Chamomile blue is used to treat dry scalp and eczema rashes.

The historical use of the chamomile herb dates back thousands of years. Egyptians often used the oil to cure fevers and it was found helpful in soothing nerves. In fact, blue chamomile has a calming effect on the mind and body, not only easing anxiety and nervous tensions, but also helping the body fall asleep.

The anti-inflammatory qualities of chamomile blue are highly valued. In fact, it is commonly used for alleviating menstrual and menopausal problems. Chamomile oil is effective in treating headaches, migraines, inflamed joints, muscular aches and pains, and arthritis. It is also helpful in treating many types of digestive problems as well as relieving colic and teething pain in children.

In addition, the oil makes an excellent treatment for many skin problems. Chamomile blue is well known for its ability to alleviate skin conditions like psoriasis, acne, eczema, dry scalp, and rashes. It is also good for the treatment of minor skin inflammations, boils, burns, cuts, and insect bites.

While chamomile blue oil is typically considered safe, certain precautions should be taken when using the product. For instance, people who may be pregnant, have asthma, hormone-sensitive conditions, or suffer from plant allergies associated with daisies, ragweed, asters, or mums, should not use chamomile oil. In addition, excessive doses of the oil may induce vomiting and dizziness.

Chamomile blue may be useful in relieving teething pain.
Chamomile blue may be useful in relieving teething pain.

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