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Roman Chamomille

Chamaemelum nobile

Perennial plant measuring ten to thirty centimetres in height of the Asteraceae family, Roman or noble chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) grows almost everywhere in Europe, with a preference for silica rich soils.

Its stems are hairy and the whitish green leaves are finely divided in short and narrow lobes. The capitulum is formed of white ligulate florets covering each other and surrounding a yellow tubular disc flower. The fruit of chamomile is yellowish, small and ribbed.

Main aromatic molecules: Aliphatic esters (isobutyl, methyl-allyl and isoamyl angelates), monoterpenols (pinocarveol), ketones (pinocarvone).
Family: Asteraceae.
Producing organs: Flowering tops.
Yield: 400g to 1kg of essential oil per 100kg of flowers.
Equivalence: 1ml → 34 drops (dosage calculated for a calibrated dropper European Pharmacopoeia).


Skin application

Oral route

Respiratory route

The queen of herbal teas for old ladies and the early to bed, chamomile didn’t always have this kill-joy image. In the Egypt of the Pharaohs, it was dedicated to Ra the sun king, if glorified life, light and metamorphosis. The Greeks considered it a panacea and especially considered capable of curing malaria. They thought it smelled of ripe apple, thus its name kharaimelon ”earth apple”, which became camomilla in Latin. Dioscorides and Galen recommended it for women diseases. More than twenty centuries later, it was favoured by Italians. Stendhal wrote in his ”Promenades dans Rome” that they sang to their beauties: ”I bless the chamomile flower”. In Central Europe, women used it to give golden highlights to their hair. In rural France, it was used for stomach pains, insomnia, migraine and eyelid inflammation.


Extracts from the book ’Aromatherapia – All about essential oils’, by Isabelle Pacchioni, watercolors by Patrick MORIN, Aroma Thera Editions . Extracts from the book ’41 essential oils essential for treating yourself differently’ and ’48 essential oils which every home needs to be healthy’ by Isabelle Delaleu and Isabelle Pacchioni, Publications of the Mandadori France group. Botanical illustrations by Agathe Haevermans.

The properties, benefits and method of use are given for information; they cannot in any case constitute or replace medical information that only health professionals can provide. For any use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes, please consult your GP or pharmacist.

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