CHAMOMILE OIL

Botanical Name Matricaria chamomilla L.
Synonyms -
Family Compositae (Asteraceae)
Local Name Chamomile
English Name Chamomile, Scented Mayweed

Plant Description

Chamomile is native to Europe. It is cultivated in the tropical regions of Nepal (below lOOOm). It is an annual aromatic herb, reaching up to 60 to 90 em. The stem is much branched, hairless and fistular. Leaves alternate, finely dissected. Flowers are small, aromatic, size ranged from 1.3 to 2.0 em across; flower heads have white peripheral ray florets and yellow tubular disc florets.

Extraction

Chamomile oil is extracted by steam distillation of the flowering heads (inflorescence) of Matricaria chamomilla.

Uses

This plant has been used to treat various complaints regarding nervous dyspepsia, nervous bowel, tension, headache,sleeplessness, especially for children.

The oil is widely used in antiseptic ointments and in carminative,antispasmodic and tonic preparation.Similarly, it is used in manufacturing cosmetics and perfumery (such as high valued perfume, hair care products, soaps etc). It is also used in flavouring food and beverages and used in manufacturing chocolates,ice cream etc.

The Chamomile oil has wide range of therapeutic uses such as analgesic,antiallergic,antiinflammatory,antispasmodic, bactericidal, carminative, cicatrizant, cholagogue, digestive, emmenagogue, febrifuge, fungicidal, hepatic, nervous sedative, stomachic, vermifuge, stimulant of leucocyte production etc.

Similarly its aromatherapeutic uses are:

Skin Care: allergies, boils, cut and wounds, dermatitis, eczema, hair care,inflammation
Digestive System: Dyspepsia,colic,indigestion, nausea
Nervous System: Insomnia,nervous tension, migraine.

Organoleptic Properties

Appearance: A viscous fluid
Colour: A dark greenish blue
Aroma: Intensely sweet,herbaceous with fresh-fruity undertone

Active Constituents

The Chamomile oil contains 1-15% azulene, matrichin, terpen hydrocarbon, ketonic alcohol, methoxycoumarin, furfural, chamazulene, a- bisabolol, (E)- -farnesene, bisabolol oxide-A, bisabolol oxide-B, a-farnesene, geracrene D, trans- -ocimene, 1,5-heptadien-4- one, berkheyaradulen, -elemene, -caryophyllene, aromadendrene, -selinene, bicyclogermacrene,a­ amorphene, -cadinene, sesquirosefuran, cyclohexane, bisabolone oxide, etc.

Physico-Chemical Properties

Specific gravity 0.880 to 0.930 at 25°C?>
Optical rotation [-]15o to oo at 200 C?>
Refractive index 1.470 to 1.510 at 25°C?>
Acid number 4 to 15.7
Ester number 5 to 15
Ester number 65 to 110 (after acetylation)
Solubility Soluble in 90% alcohol with separation of paraffins