Matricaria recutita (Plant Family: Asteraceae/Compositae)
Type of plant: Plant with feathery leaves and white daisy-like flowers with yellow centers
Part used: Flowering tops
Method of extraction: Steam distillation
Data: Sometimes known as Chamomilla recutita or Matricaria chamomilla, the herb is dried before distillation, and the blue color is due to chamazulene being produced during the distillation process. The name matricaria comes from the Latin matrix, meaning “womb,” because of the plant’s widespread use by women for gynecological conditions and during childbirth. The herb is an ingredient in some French liqueurs.
Principal places of production: Germany, Hungary, Morocco, Egypt, Chile, England, France, South America, South Africa
When buying look for: A dark-blue liquid with a sweet, straw-like, herbaceous aroma
Therapeutic properties: Analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, calmative, cicatrizing, depurative, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hepatic, immunostimulant, stomachic, vulnerary
Therapeutic uses: Pain relief, inflammation, fever, rheumatism, arthritis, muscular spasm, neuralgia, endometriosis, menstrual cramp, detoxifying, abdominal cramp, stomachache, inflamed skin conditions, infected skin conditions, wounds, rashes, psoriasis, eczema, acne, pimples, chilblains
Blends well with: Bergamot, cedarwood atlas, chamomile roman, clary sage, cypress, eucalyptus radiata, frankincense, geranium, grapefruit, immortelle, juniper berry, lavandin, lavender, lemon, marjoram (sweet), niaouli, plai, ravensara, rose absolute, rosemary, spikenard, tea tree, vetiver, yarrow
Precautionary advice: No contraindications known. GRAS status.