It’s been a long, hard day. You’re feeling stressed by the evening ahead and exhausted by all you’ve already faced today. Anxiety is cropping up in your stomach, more like an angry swarm of wasps than a few butterflies flitting about. Your mind keeps racing through the conflicts and failures behind you while at the same time you’re trying to focus on the road ahead and the challenges you’ve got to face in just twenty minutes. Your day is going to extend well into the evening. Maybe you’ll be home in time to unwind before bed…more likely you’ll arrive in time to fall into bed exhausted only to lay there thinking for an hour before sleep finally comes.
Who needs Chamomile Essential Oil?
If that sounds familiar, Chamomile Essential Oil may well be a valuable partner in your corner. Both German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile essential oils help soothe anxiety and get your mind back into a more present and sunny state. From the perspective of Chinese medicine, they soothe the flow of Qi through the body. When we’re healthy and balanced in life, Qi flows smoothly, feeding all parts of our mind-body-spirit and allowing us to keep our feet on the ground even when events or our surroundings get jumbled or jagged or chaotic. We all know people who seem to keep their cool even when life is going completely askew and they’ve all been launched abruptly into a whole new level of stress. If you’re one of those folks, you’ve got harmonious Qi that’s flowing smoothly. You feel a general sense of calm inwardly, even if life around you seems out of control. You’ve got your feet planted solidly on the ground and your head clear.
For the rest of us, and there are an awful lot of us nowadays, even the relatively calm days can be filled with anxiety or depression, upset stomach and disrupted digestion, tension in the muscles and thoughts or worries that won’t quite settle down. We’ve got disrupted Qi flow. If your Qi is disrupted long enough or often enough, you may find yourself managing a chronic condition, like IBD (Irritable Bowl Disorder, formerly IBS/Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Crohn’s Disease, Leaky Gut, food allergies and sensitivities, ulcers, migraines or persistent headaches, a variety of mood disorders, and more.
Chronic Systemic inflammation-The Root of Disease
From a Scientific perspective, all those chronic conditions are linked by inflammation, sometimes referred to as systemic inflammation. When our body is in sympathetic mode, aka fight-or-flight, all our energy shifts into survival. Our body focuses on keeping energy flowing to our extremities, keeps our heart pumping and our thoughts plugged into rapid problem-solving that sometimes skips the conscious system check where we get to choose how to be in the world in favor of the automatic response that moves us out of harm’s way just before danger strikes. In sympathetic mode, we do not digest or eliminate waste, we do not process our thoughts-emotions-experiences, and we do not fully nourish our internal organs.
What does all that have to do with inflammation?
Inflammation results at least in part when our body isn’t eliminating wastes properly. If most of your energy is going into survival, your organs of elimination, especially the liver, are under-funded, so to speak. They cannot properly break down the wastes and move them along the system and out. Instead, the body uses a variety of strategies for storing what it cannot eliminate properly in the hope, presumably, that later it’ll be more quiet, safe, and there will be time to finish the job.
Inflammation is one of those strategies. The body essentially coats the bits of waste in cholesterol or other material and sets it down somewhere in the system. As those packets of material collect, the response of the tissues is to send extra energy there, much like creating a mini-fever to fight off the offending material.
That’s the start of inflammation…and it blocks the flow of energy through the whole system as it builds. When the body doesn’t have the time or energy to get back to finish the job of eliminating the waste properly, the inflammation becomes chronic, and that often leads to a spread of inflammation as more waste builds up and the tissues try harder and harder to fight the build-up. That’s chronic systemic inflammation. Scientists are more recently beginning to recognize Chronic Systemic Inflammation is linked to just about every disease we consider to be a Disease of Civilization, which includes anxiety, depression, and the digestive disorders we’ve already talked about.
Great, so modern living is creating a whole lot of stress, much of which you’re really not empowered to change or even affect, which is contributing to Chronic Systemic Inflammation that’s causing a host of problems and now you’ve got yet another thing to worry about. Right?!?
Chamomile Essential Oil Combats Chronic Systemic Inflammation
Okay, Chamomile says, it’s all gonna be okay. Chamomile’s Essential oils are described as nervine and anti-inflammatory by aromatherapists and herbalists. They help us to calm down and get back into parasympathetic mode.
Applied topically or inhaled, both German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile Essential Oils ease the nervous system out of fight-or-flight back into rest-and-digest, allowing the firing of all those neurons to slow down a bit and let energy flow back into the body’s core to begin clearing the inflammation and processing the waste-toxins-experiences that need to be broken down properly for use or elimination. German Chamomile is particularly good at clearing heat and calming the nervous system while Roman Chamomile is particularly good at reducing pain and easing muscle spasms as a route to calming the nervous system.
Chamomile Essential Oils: Which Do I Use?
It pays to pay attention to your body when you’re sorting out which Chamomile to use. Both German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile essential oils offer nervine, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. They share a lot of common territory, being both helpful in a variety of related conditions that include Qi constraint and liver congestion, according to Peter Holmes. Despite that common ground, there are a few indications that can direct you more toward one or the other. For the greatest success with Chamomile Essential Oil, take a good look at how the body-mind is responding to the challenges at hand.
German Chamomile Essential Oil Specialty
German Chamomile focuses his energy on reducing inflammation, promoting good circulation, and smoothing the flow of energy. Folks who are particularly suited to German Chamomile Essential Oil’s specialty are likely to have a lot of instability as a key component of their responses to the challenges they’re facing. That means symptoms that fluctuate a lot, often seemingly unpredictably. Fluctuating symptoms can include mood swings, emotional instability in general, digestion that fluctuates inexplicably, pain that comes and goes or moves about the body, and other types of often rapid and seemingly unrooted shifts.
Roman Chamomile Specialty
Roman Chamomile focuses his energy on breaking up stubborn blocks or patterns by reducing whatever’s blocking the flow of energy and releasing locked-in spasms or pain. Folks who are particularly suited to Roman Chamomile Essential Oil’s specialty are likely to have rigidity as a key element to their story or symptom picture. This can look like emotions that just won’t shift and may be rooted in anger, pain that’s locked in and won’t budge, digestion that’s just plain always disturbed with seemingly no possible end in sight. Their story about the challenges they’re facing is likely to include an element of rigidity, as well. This may be the certainty that whatever’s causing the problem cannot be changed or that the results of the challenge are forever, permanent, cannot be changed under any conditions and maybe can only be managed.
Chamomile Patterns: Roman vs. German
In other words, Roman Chamomile folks are locked into the pattern of suffering and cannot take the necessary steps to leave suffering behind while German Chamomile folks are tossed about by the pattern of suffering and cannot get their feet on the ground. In either case, Folks who respond well to Chamomile Essential Oil are struggling with challenges that leave them feeling dis-empowered, like a child in many respects. Chamomile Essential oil can help one to regain a sense of quiet control and easy acceptance in the face of those challenges, according to Gabriel Mojay.
For ideas on formulating with Chamomile Essential Oils, see Chamomile Formulations.
- Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics. Principles and Profiles
- Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit: Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance with Essential Oils
- “Chronic inflammatory diseases are stimulated by current lifestyle: how diet, stress levels and medication prevent our body from recovering”