Cape chamomile
Heavenly enticing aroma
Essential Oil Cultivation Sites around the World

Cape Chamomile: Peace of Mind

When Cape Chamomile first entered the aromatherapy universe in the early 2000’s the entire community immediately fell in love with its outstanding activity promoting relaxation and calm. It instantly became the main ingredient in many anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic synergies. This is owed to the fact that the oil is so effective.


Then came the shortage and many formulators had to adjust or find substitutes. As is often the case, shortages provide incentive for growers to expand their cultivations. There is only one aspect that is usually not discussed: As new cultivations come online the composition of the resulting oil may turn out slightly or quite a bit dissimilar, as the newly planted clones often differ from previous ones. This is most obvious in the observed color variation of different distillates, indicating that not all oils have the same Chamazulene content.

The Site: South Africa

Cape Chamomile is not a member of the Chamaemelum genus. The commercial literature attributes this oil to Eriocephalus punctulatus, a rare shrub endemic to remote mountain areas in South Africa used traditionally for medicinal and fumigation purposes. During the early 1970’s small quantities of wildcrafted E. punctulatus oils were distilled and accepted enthusiastically by the perfume trade. As wild plants failed to regenerate after repeated severe defoliation, clonal cultivations were developed with unique chemical and fragrance qualities.

Cape Chamomile

Therapeutic Properties

Cape Chamomile is a most powerful spasmolytic and an effective sedative and anti-inflammatory analgesic. Consequently its main indications are anxiety, depression, stress, nervous shock and neuralgic complaints. It entices with a uniquely fresh and pleasant composition of unusual and fragrant esters. Dominant are two esters (components responsible for antispasmodic and relaxing activity) not commonly found in other essential oils: 2-methylpropyl 2-methyl propionate and 2-methylbutyl 2-methyl propionate.


#4137 Cape Chamomile from South Africa
The captivating, unusual fragrance combined with the unique combination of various esters has shown to be beneficial in the treatment of anxiety, especially in young people. French authors like Pierre Franchomme made it their top recommendation for civilization woes such as nervous depression.
This oil is currently so rare that one of our producers has compared it to gold. Once we run out, we may not be able to source this precious oil again for years.

Vintage Oils

There are often questions about the potential quality of oils which exceed the officially prescribed limit of three years. It is our opinion that the shelf life limit can be meaningful in the context of a number of oils, especially Citrus or Needle oils. At the same time we believe that discarding all oils exceeding the three year limit is depriving oneself of the beautiful vintage character many oils develop over the years.


To understand this it is useful to consider how essential oils are produced: Steam distillation. In other words the plant material is cooked to yield the oil. This also means the components of the oil have been exposed to water at boiling point temperatures and most (or all) of the chemical reactions that these components can undergo have already happened during this process. As a result the components in the essential oil are chemically not very reactive or almost inert. This is the reason why many oils barely change over time and also that they mostly are safe to use. Their physiological effects are not so much caused by their chemistry but by biological mechanisms.

#Vintage Cape Chamomile (2016)

There is a reason why we always keep a small stock of an oil for future comparison whenever it becomes temporarily unavailable. In this case we can offer a true rarity: Cape Chamomile from the 2016 harvest. This oil represents what Cape Chamomile was before it became temporarily unavailable. Its fragrance is an experience onto itself, heavenly enticing, almost delirious, with its color yellowish instead of light blue.


This very limited allotment of 5 ml and 15 ml from Kurt's private collection is available for a short time only. 

Thank you for reading our Authenticity Bulletin #40

Original Swiss Aromatics
PO Box 6842, San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 479-9120

Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy
PO Box 6723, San Rafael, CA 94903

Follow us on Instagram: @originalswissaromatics


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