German Chamomile: “alles zutraut” or the Herb Capable of Anything
German chamomile is a miraculous essential oil that has been used for over two thousand years. This annual herb is referred to by the Germans as “alles zutraut” meaning capable of anything because of its many healing properties. It is similar to its sibling Roman chamomile in many ways, but is also very different containing other essential healing properties and health benefits.
Origins of German Chamomile
German chamomile or Matricaria chamomile, its botanical name which comes from the Latin word for womb, hails from southern and eastern Europe; hence the name. The Germans referred to this herb at “alles zutraut” which means capable of anything because of the many health benefits it possesses. It is also often referred to as the European ginseng because of these same health benefits.
The German chamomile plant can grow up to 16 inches or 60 centimeters in height with tall stems containing hairy leaves and flowers on the end. The flowers resemble a small white daisy with a yellow center.
German chamomile along with Roman chamomile are the only two chamomiles that can be used for medicinal purposes. German chamomile has a very pleasant scent like that of freshly cut straw; almost a dry bittersweet scent.
The essential oil when extracted is a bluish-green to deep blue color with a medium consistency. To extract the essential oil the German chamomile is harvested in the summer when the plant is in full bloom. The German chamomile is then dried out and then put through a steam distillation process to extract the essential oils.
The word chamomile comes from the Greek word chamomaela with means ground apple because of its pleasant scent like that of apples and because it grows along the ground. German chamomile also goes by the names Matricaria, Hungarian chamomile, Blue chamomile and True chamomile.
The medicinal uses of German chamomile have been documented throughout the ages.German chamomile has been used for over 2000 years in many cosmetics and perfumes as well as being commonly used medicinally for its many health benefits. Asclepius, Galen, Hippocrates and Culpepper have all written about the amazing soothing and calming properties that it possesses. Back in 78 AD German chamomile was listed in the European standard reference book Dioscorides De Materia Medica because of its many health benefits and uses.
The Egyptian god Ra was said to have used it at a symbol of his almighty power. While the Egyptian people used to use it as offerings to the gods ask for help with healing the body. The Egyptian people also worshipped the plant and had many festivals in honor of the plants many healing properties. They would often crush the flower and apply it to their skin to bring out the youthful glow in hopes to reduce the signs of aging.
The Anglo-Saxons considered German chamomile to be one of the nine scared herbs and not only wrote a poem about these herbs but gave instructions and recipes on how to use these herbs along or together to heal disease and poison.
During the Middle Ages, 476-1500 AD, German chamomile was used as a strewing herb. This means that the herb was scattered or strewn around on the floor and when walked on would release the fragrance within. This strewing was important during gatherings and festivals to help make the event not only smell nice but to give a sense of calm to those attending.
Today German chamomile is used not only as an essential oil because of its many health benefits, but it is also used in many perfumes, cosmetics, food and drinks because of its calming effect, taste, scent and of course it’s many health benefits.
The Many Health Benefits of German Chamomile
German chamomile has many health benefits. It is considered one of the 9 sacred essential oils by the Anglo-Saxons and no wonder it is because of the many medicinal purposes and uses it has.
German chamomile helps to reduce gas in the digestive system, has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, is a sedative and has antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties and also helps to remove mucus from the body.
German chamomile also helps with anxiety, depression, and stress because of its calming and relaxing properties. It can help to calm the body and skin when it comes to flare-ups from ailments such as eczema and internal infections. It can help to improve digestion as well as helping to relieve many of the symptoms that are associated with PMS or menopause.
German chamomile can also help with would care as well as reducing pain and inflammation to wounds, burns, and muscles.
It seems that the health benefits of German chamomile are endless. This is a powerful essential oil to always have on hand when needed.
15 Uses & Health Benefits of German Chamomile
German chamomile has many amazing healing properties and health benefits which make it a key essential oil to always have on hand. Here is a list of many of the common healing properties an health benefits that German chamomile has.
Allergy Aide: German chamomile can help to bring relief when allergies are present. It’s anti-inflammatory, and pain reducing properties help to soothe the affected area while opening the area up to German chamomiles healing properties. It can help with skin related allergies or with seasonal allergies, however, caution should be used by those with allergies to ragweed and other relatives to ragweed as German chamomile is a close cousin and using it could cause more problems like a worse allergy reaction and flare-up.
Related: 9 EOs for Allergies
Anti-inflammatory: German chamomile is high in anti-inflammatory properties. This means that it helps to reduce inflammation in the body due to infection or strains to the muscles. Along with this it also helps to reduce the pain associated with the injury or infection helping to ease the problem area and increase blood circulation to help with healing. The high azulen content in German chamomile make it a very powerful anti-inflammatory and skin healer.
Antiseptic: German chamomile is great for cleaning. Its antiseptic properties make it great for cleaning the house as well as for helping to clean out wounds on the body. It also helps to reduce bacteria from growing or forming in or on a wound or solid surface. It can help to clean and heal up wounds such as; eczema, mouth sores and ingrown nails. It is also great to add to your daily house cleaner not only because of its antiseptic and antibacterial properties but because of its pleasant scent as well.
Arthritis Aide: Due to German chamomiles anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties it makes it a great aide in relieving the symptoms of arthritis. The flare-ups from arthritis can be soothed and calmed by the used of German chamomile either topically or orally through a tea. It can help to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis in the affected area bringing relief to many. Not to mention its sedative properties help a person relax and sleep more easily.
Related: 10 EOs for Fibromyalgia / Fibrositis
Depression and Anxiety: When it comes to anxiety and depression German chamomile is very helpful. It helps to reduce the feelings of depression and anxiety by calming the mind and the body helping a person to relax and have a clearer head allowing a person to think more logically and not over-emotionally; creating a balance in hormones. The sedative property in German chamomile helps a person to relax and calms the nerves which help to reduce anxiety and body tension.
Digestive System: German chamomile helps to improve digestion by helping to relax the stomach allowing a person’s digestive system not to cramp up and flow more smoothly. It helps to reduce the build-up of gas in the digestive tract which therefore helps to reduce bloating and cramping. It can help to ease acid reflux symptoms as well as indigestion, diarrhea, and nausea. German chamomile’s anti-spasmodic properties help to reduce cramping and constipation allowing for the system to run more smoothly. It has also been known to help with IBS symptoms.
Headaches: German chamomiles anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties make it wonderful in helping to relive headaches. It helps to reduce the inflammation in the brain while helping to reduce the pain associated with a headache. It is great to help to relieve stress and tension headaches. German chamomiles sedative properties also help in relieving headaches because it helps to calm and relax the mind and body relieving the headaches pain and inflammation.
Related: 7 EOs for Headaches & Migraines
Motion sickness: German chamomile can help with relieving motion sickness or nausea. It does this through its anti-inflammatory and sedative properties. It helps to calm the stomach and the mind allowing a person’s body and mind to calm and relax reducing the symptoms of nausea commonly associated with motion sickness.
Muscle Aide: The anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that are in German chamomile make it perfect for helping to relieve the pain and inflammation associated with muscle pains and strains. It helps to reduce the inflammation in the affected muscle while helping to reduce the pain allowing for the muscle to calm and relax and begin healing. Its sedative properties are also important to note here because they help to reduce calm and relax the affected muscle allowing for a person to sleep better throughout the night; helping to reduce restless leg syndrome.
Related: 9 EOs for Sore Muscles / Muscle Pain
PMS Aide: The symptoms of PMS can be very debilitating for many women. German chamomile’s anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties help in relieving many of the symptoms commonly associated with PMS as well as with menopause. It can help to reduce cramping, pain, and nausea commonly associated with PMS as well as menopause. It also helps to balance the hormones which can be very unbalanced during PMS and menopause; this helps a woman to be more calm and relaxed or less irritable and emotional during this time.
Respiratory System: German chamomile helps the respiratory system in a couple of ways. First, it helps the respiratory system through its anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties which is important when a person has a chest infection such as a cold or flu. It helps to open up the airways allowing for better blood circulation which then allows the white blood cells to flow more freely to help heal the infection. Second, its anti-catarrhal properties help in removing the build-up of mucus in the chest which can occur during a respiratory infection. By reducing inflammation and pain and removing the excess build-up of mucus in the respiratory system a person can get over the infection quicker and with more ease.
Related: How to Safely Inhale Essential Oils
Sedative: German chamomile is well known for is sedative properties. It allows the body and the mind to relax and calm before bedtime allowing for a more restful and deeper sleep. This property is also important when it comes to relieving stress, depression, and anxiety because it allows the body and the mind to calm and stop racing allowing a person to relax enough to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Getting a proper night’s sleep is also very important when having a cold or flu as sleep helps to heal the body from said infection.
Skin Care: The four key properties that German chamomile has helped with the healing of the skin. The anti-inflammatory property helps to reduce inflammation of the skin which helps to calm down flare-ups and redness on the skin. The pain reducing property helps to reduce pain in the affected skin thus reducing the flare-up while soothing the area. The antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties help to reduce and clean the area from infection and the future possibility of infection. Finally, the sedative property of German chamomile helps to relax and soothe the affected area reducing the stress on the area. German chamomile helps with eczema, wound care and cleaning, rashes and any other skin ailment.
Related: 7 EOs for Cellulite
Stress Aide: When it comes to stress German chamomile can help. It helps to calm and soothe the mind and body allowing a person to be calmer and more relaxed thus helping to reduce the stress. It helps to keep a person’s mind clearer and more open reducing over-emotional reactions. By helping to reduce stress, it helps to reduce the feelings of anxiety and depression that a person might have which can also cause stress.
Related: 17 EOs for improved sleep
Wound Care: The antiseptic and antibacterial properties that German chamomile possesses make it perfect for cleaning and healing wounds. Not to mention the anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties also help in wound care helping to reduce redness and inflammation along with pain in the affected area.
Related: 11 EOs for Healing Scars
Recipes for German Chamomile Essential Oil
There are a plethora of recipes when it comes to German Chamomile because of its many health benefits. Have fun experimenting with your recipes.
- Mix all of the above ingredients in a glass jar.
- Massage the mixture into the skin focusing on sore muscles.
- Soak in a warm bath for at least 15 minutes to calm and relax the body and the mind.
- Use as needed, daily if desired.
Bedtime Face Lotion
- 15 drops German chamomile EO
- 15 drops lavender EO
- 15 drops peppermint EO
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup beeswax
- ¼ cup shea butter
- 2 Tbsp. vitamin E
- In a glass bowl add olive oil, beeswax, coconut oil and shea butter.
- Place the glass bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stove and melt together. Mix well.
- Once the four ingredients are melted and mixed well together remove from heat and place in the refrigerator for at last an hour or until solid.
- Once the mixture is solid remove the bowl from the fridge.
- Taking a hand mixer beat the mixture in the bowl until it is fluffy in texture.
- Add the essential oils and vitamin E and mix well. Place in a glass container and store in a cool, dry place.
- Apply to the face focusing on the temples before bedtime to help promote rest of the mind and body.
PMS Saver Blend
- Combine all of the essential oils in a bowl
- Pour the essential oils into a warm moist hand towel and place on the stomach for 5-10 minutes or longer as needed to help relieve the pain, inflammation, and cramping of PMS
- 10 drops lavender EO
- 6 drops German chamomile EO
- 4 drops peppermint EO
- 4 oz. fractionated coconut oil
- Melt the coconut oil over low heat on the stove
- Once melted remove from heat and add in the essential oils
- Mix well
- Transfer to a 4 oz glass jar and allow to cool
- Apply to affected area as needed at least twice a day
German Chamomile Body Wash
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup raw honey
- ⅔ cup liquid Castile soap
- 30 drops German chamomile EO
- 1 tsp. vitamin E
- 2 tsp. carrier oil of your choosing (argan, coconut, sesame, sweet almond, jojoba, grapeseed, macadamia)
- Mix all of the above ingredients in a glass bottle and mix well
- Shake before use
Bonus ways you can experiment with when it comes to using German chamomile essential oil:
- To help relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression add a few drops of German chamomile and rose essential oil to a warm bath or mix and diffuse in a room.
- To help with motion sickness, inhale a combination of German chamomile, peppermint, lavender, and ginger essential oils.
- Try having some German chamomile tea to help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also help to soothe and calm the stomach.
Possible Side Effects and Cautions when Using German Chamomile
Though German chamomile is commonly used and grown throughout the world, there are still a few side effects and cautions that should be noted before use of the essential oil.
Caution should be used with topical applications. If you have sensitive skin or are allergic to ragweed and its relatives you should use caution with the essential oil. Test the essential oil, diluted or not, on a small patch of skin before full use of the essential oil.
Caution should be used by women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant as it is believed to be a mild stimulant when it comes to the uterus causing premature labor or inducing menstruation.
Women with hormone-sensitive conditions such as cancer may want to avoid use as German chamomile may act like estrogen within the body which can flare-up and cause more problems with these hormone-sensitive conditions.
It is advised to discontinue use before surgery, at least 2 weeks prior, because it may interact negatively with the anesthesia used during surgery.
Caution should be used when using around children under the age of 12.
What to Look for When Purchasing German Chamomile Essential Oil
When it comes to purchasing the right German chamomile essential oil for you, be sure to do your due diligence and research where you are purchasing your essential oil from. Not all companies and manufacturers are the same.
Be sure that the essential oil has a bluish-green or is dark blue this will ensure that you are purchasing German chamomile and not Roman chamomile.
Research where and how the crop is harvested as well as what form of distillation they use to extract the essential oil from the plant.
Always read the ingredients to ensure you are getting the purist form of the essential oil as possible, less is more.
Note that not every batch of essential oils are the same because they are affected by the weather, temperature, moisture and other environmental elements as they grow each season.
How to Make German Chamomile Essential Oil
German chamomile can be made at home but can be difficult and time consuming to make because it is made through a steam distillation process.
Grown and cultivated mainly in Europe German chamomile is grown around the world. Its origins stem from western and southern Europe where it is still grown and harvested today for use in essential oils.
German chamomile is an annual which means its seeds need to be sewn each new year. The seeds can be planted in the fall for springtime growth or can be planted in the spring to start growing right away.
German chamomile is grown throughout the spring and into the summer when it is finally harvested. It is harvested at its peak growth when it is in full flower. Tests are preformed to ensure the peak time for harvest to ensure the quality and purity of the essential oil produced.
It is harvested in late June and into July when weather conditions and growth are at its peak. The crop needs to be harvested when it is dry to ensure a quality of the crop and to ensure a quick drying time.
The crop is then dried in the sun which can take upwards of two weeks; once fully dried the yield is then steam distilled. However, solvent distillation can be used to extract the essential oils.
Both methods of distillation can be used for extraction German chamomile essential oil at home, though each method has its many pros and cons associated with them. Be sure to choose the best method for you in your home and ensure you have the time required to complete the process properly to yield the best quality of essential oil.
Hopefully, you’ve found this post helpful. If you have any questions, comments or recommendations of your own concerning German Chamomile, please let us know in the comment section below!
Table of Contents
- Origins of German Chamomile
- 15 Uses & Health Benefits of German Chamomile
- Recipes for German Chamomile Essential Oil
- Possible Side Effects and Cautions when Using German Chamomile
- What to Look for When Purchasing German Chamomile Essential Oil
- How to Make German Chamomile Essential Oil