Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)

In gastronomy its aroma makes it one of the favorite infusions of the people, these infusions in the right proportion (5 to 10 gr./l) are effective for digestive disorders; it is also useful in cases of insomnia, neuralgia and headaches. In external use it can be used for wound healing and as eye drops for conjunctivitis and eye conditions.

It is another plant to sow in our orchards, it is already scarce.



Roman chamomile is a perennial herbaceous plant, compound, with a very branched and creeping stem, topped by a head generally formed by ligulate flowers. The leaves are alternate and very segmented. It flowers in spring and summer.

It is estimated that this plant, unknown before the sixteenth century, entered Rome from England, where it gained popularity to the point of spreading throughout eastern and southern Europe, where it is widely cultivated. In the wild it can be found in dry meadows, on the edges of rural roads, sandy soils and also in cereal fields.


The open flower heads are harvested or a little before they bloom, in hot and dry weather, by hand or with the help of a tool that allows cutting the flower without the stalk. Avoid crushing the harvested heads. They are left to dry immediately on reeds in the shade in a ventilated place, or in a dryer at a temperature no higher than 35º C. Once dried, they are kept in airtight containers or closed envelopes away from humidity.

Applications and properties

Of the known chamomiles, the common chamomile has been shown since ancient times to be effective against nervous disorders and other various applications, in this case the Roman chamomile which is known only since the sixteenth century, as mentioned, has the same properties although it is more active and effective than the former, which is why in internal applications should be reduced doses to avoid side effects, these may consist of vomiting, insomnia and nervous excitement. However, in external applications the dose is usually concentrated up to ten times.

The infusion of Roman chamomile flowers is stomachic, antispasmodic and a bitter tonic. It is digestive, very useful in heavy digestions, gastrointestinal spasms, meteorism and nausea. It is used externally as a mouthwash, in neuralgia, soothing baths, fatigue, rheumatism, lumbago and sciatica. Its properties in nervous disorders reduce cramps, particularly those of gynecological origin. It contains an essential oil rich in azulene, bitter juices, glycosides and choline, which have anti-inflammatory, disinfectant and diaphoretic virtues.

Both in external applications and in cosmetics, highly concentrated infusions are used for the treatment of the skin and the lightening of blond hair (chamomile), as well as in the care of the scalp. The flowers and tops are used in liquor and essential oil is extracted from them; they are aromatic and have a bitter taste.


Infusion for nervous disorders

To a cup of boiling water add a tablespoon of Roman chamomile heads, let stand at least one hour before drinking. It is suitable against migraines, nervous vomiting and neuralgia.

Infusion for external use in soothing baths and eye washes.

Make an infusion similar to the previous one, but very concentrated (up to ten times more). This liquid can be added to bath water as a pain reliever for aches, pains, fatigue, rheumatism, etc. The same liquid can be applied warm in eye baths for conjunctivitis, and tired and reddened eyes.

Massage and friction oil

Marinate dried and very crumbled flowers in olive oil. Heat the liquid in a bain-marie and stir from time to time. Store the oil in an airtight jar previously filtered with a cloth.