Roman Chamomile Hydrosol is one of the most popular and most widely used hydrosols available. Gentle enough for babies, with excellent analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties than can be helpful for many challenges no matter what the age. It can be effectively used with pets too.
Plant Description: Roman chamomile is a perennial herb which grows to a height of up to ten inches and has hairy, branching stems. The leaves are feathery, consisting of finely divided thread-like segments. The flowers, which bloom during the height of summer, are daisy-like with white petals (the wild variety commonly has eighteen petals) surrounding a golden-yellow center. The entire plant is strongly aromatic, having an apple-like scent.
History/Folklore: Roman chamomile has had a medical reputation, and especially in Europe for over 2,000 years. Ancient Egyptians and the Moors alike used the herb, and it was one of the Saxon’s nine sacred herbs, which they called ‘maythen’. It was also considered to be the ‘plant’s physician’ because it promoted the health of plants nearby.
Aroma and Taste: Suzanne Catty describes Roman Chamomile Hydrosol as having an extremely sweet, honeylike aroma and taste. Lydia Bosson describes the taste as being soft, honey and sour, while the aroma is soft, warm, withi a slight note of apple.
Stability and Shelf Life: Very Stable. Usually lasts two years or more.
pH: 3.0 – 3.3 (Suzanne Catty) 4.5 – 5.2 (Susanne Fischer-Rizzi)
Properties (Heading 5)
Roman Chamomile has antifungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiviral, bactericidal, balancing (to nervous system), calming, cicatrizant, decongestant, stimulating and uplifting properties.
Jeanne Rose says that this hydrosol’s anti-inflammatory properties make it effective for soothing irritated skin. It is also emotionally calming.
Suzanne Catty says this is the number one choice for baby care. It can safely be used right from birth, in bath water and as a soothing mist for bedding. Mothers can us it diluted to wash the breast area, and in addition to helping prevent cracked and sore nipples, its calming properties will make feeding time more relaxing.
Lydia Bosson suggests using this hydrosol as an air spray for baby’s room to help them sleep. Children having tantrums calm down quickly when they are sprayed with this hydrosol. It is a gift one should consider giving to young mothers.
I personally find that by their very nature, hydrosols are particularly helpful when used energetically. I like to include them in misters and sprays and find that they can make a subtle and effective difference.
In Dr. Bruce Berkowsky’s Spiritual PhytoEssencing, one of the most significant folkloric signatures regarding the soul-nature of Roman chamomile is the fact that it was used in the Middle Ages as an aromatic strewing herb which was purposely planted in garden walkways. When tread upon, Roman chamomile responds by strongly releasing its powerful apple fragrance. Curiously, it seems that walking upon the plant actually vitalizes it. He also says that is a theme of ambiguous loss associated with this plant and its aromatics. He says that
Ambiguous loss, sometimes referred to alternatively as ‘frozen grief’, is generally associated with a lack of closure or clear understanding of the circumstances of a person’s death or disappearance. Instead of the familiar form of grief which is characterized by the concrete certainty of loss and its ensuing consequences, ambiguous loss leaves partners, family and/or friends perpetually searching for answers. The phenomena of ambiguous loss however is not restricted to the aftermath of disappearance and/or mysterious death. In fact, the experience of ambiguous loss is nearly universal. The challenge for those who must live in the perpetual fog of frozen grief is to restore their resiliency of emotion and will despite this on-going ambiguity. Roman chamomile has specificity for a number of varieties of ambiguous loss involving feeling of guilt, difficult choices and conflicted personal leadership.
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Reference Steffen Arctander, Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin, 1960 Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils ©1998-2018 Joseph Ben Hil-Meyer Research, Inc. Suzanne Catty, Hydrosols, The Next Aromatherapy, Healing Arts Press, 2001 Ernst Guenther, The Essential Oil, Vol V, 1948 reprinted 1972| Ann Harman, Harvest to Hydrosol, IAG Botanics LLC dba botanicals, 2015 Beverley Hawkins, Essential Oils and Carriers, Aromatherapy 101, Aromatherapy 201, Aromatherapy 301, 1999-2018 Bettina Malle & Helge Schmickl, The Essential Oil Maker’s Handbook, Spikehorn Press, 2012, 2015 Len and Shirley Price, Understanding Hydrolats Churchill Livingstone, 2004 Jeanne Rose, 374 Essential Oils and Hydrosols, Frog Ltd, 1999 Lydia Bosson, Hydrosol Therapy, Singing Dragon, 2019 Susanne Fischer-Rizzi, Das Grosse Buch der Pflanzenwässer, Atverlag, 2020