German Chamomile, Matricaria recutita, is from the family Asteraceae. German Chamomile grows naturally across Europe and Asia. It has been introduced to North America and Australia. In some areas it grows as a weed along road sides and in agriculture.

The plant grows to about 60cm tall. It can be classified as a perennial but is more usually treated as an annual. There are also annual types that are not treated as perennials.

Chamomile is an excellent plant for Pots. It is also ideal for kids to grow amongst their first gardening attempts.

The Extraction process
German Chamomile is extracted from the flowers by Steam distillation. Steam extraction works by pumping steam into a chamber containing the flowers of the German Chamomile. The steam causes the oil cells to burst mixing with the steam. The steam is then cooled and the water and the oil are separated.

Uses as an Essential Oil
Chamomile is one of the more versatile Essential oils. Its uses include:

- Chamomile Essential Oil has long been regarded as a cure for headaches and is useful in treating Earaches.

- A few drops of German Chamomile oil and a few drops of Rosemary oil in a litre of water makes an excellent hair rinse. Add a few drops of Cedarwood oil and it may help with dandruff.

- The symptoms of Nausea can be relieved with German Chamomile Essential Oil is inhaled.

- Abscesses can be remedied with a few drops of German Chamomile oil (Medical intervention may also be necessary – Abscesses can cause more severe medical problems and should be dealt with quickly ).

- German Chamomile Essential Oil can also benefit – allergies, sprains, inflammation of the skin, flatulence, arthritis, boils, sores, insomnia, colic, dermatitis, cuts, stress, and more… Refer to supplier for a complete list of potential uses.

Side effects from the use of Chamomile are rare, though it has been linked to nausea and vomiting when consumed in large doses. General use should not see any adverse reactions.

Essential oils have many benefits and can aid in the prevention or healing of many complaints. Every individual is different. Some essential oils can be toxic. Some oils must never be ingested while others require limited exposure to the sun due to phototoxicity. Read the label and ask your supplier if you are in doubt of the safest use for any particular oil. Not just the one in this article.

Author's Bio: 

Eric J. Smith is an Experienced Horticulturalist with a keen interest in Organic Gardening. Eric's interest in Organics also shows in his interest in Organic Nutrition and Organic Skincare. More information can be found on these by visiting his websites or Subscribe to Eric's FREE Health and Organic Newsletters via these websites.