German chamomile oil: a versatile essential oil you should have at home
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.
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.