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Importance of the Latin name (and chemotypes)

Important and valuable information for those involved in the world of aromatherapy!



A Latin name consists of the Genus and species of a plant and are listed like this; Genus species. This is a better identifier than simply the common name.  Essential oils can often be confusing because some have more than one common name. If someone says “Chamomile” – that could potentially be one of 4 different essential oils. Chamomile German, Moroccan Chamomile, Chamomile Roman, or Wild Chamomile.

If you don’t know what someone means when they say “Chamomile” – then you might not be getting the oil that best matches your needs. There are two different true Chamomiles:

  • Chamomile Roman Chamaemelum nobile
  • Chamomile German Matricaria chamomilla L (and it’s synonym Matricaria recutita L)

For some uses they are similar, they both are relaxing and have anti-spasmodic properties. However, Chamomile Roman Chamaemelum nobile is generally used for children and general relaxation since it has a lighter, more enjoyable fragrance. Chamomile German 

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