Other Names: Camomile,
Chamomile, Wild Chamomile, Sweet Chamomile, German Chamomile, Hungarian
Chamomile, Mayweed, Scented Mayweed, Pineapple Weed
Chamomile Herb Pictures by
Karen Bergeron Copyright 2003-2007. Permission required to use any
herb pictures from this site.
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Chamomile Herbal Use and Medicinal Properties
Chamomile is one of
the most widely used flowers for herbal tea. Chamomile Tea is so
popular, it is found in most grocery stores in the tea aisle. It is
used as a mild sedative, and is good for insomnia as well as many
other nervous conditions.
It is nervine
and sedative especially suited to teething children and those who
have been in a highly emotional state over a long period of time.
Except for the small risk of allergy, Chamomile is also one of the
safest herbs to use.
Chamomile flowers are used in alternative
medicine as an anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, nervine,
stomachic, tonic, vasodilatory.
The anti-inflammatory properties make it good for rheumatism, arthritis,
and other painful swellings. Additional uses in herbal medicine include an
antispasmodic for intestinal and menstrual cramps, relieving gas pains,
and a very mild but efficient laxative. Milder tea in large doses is given
throughout the day for fevers, sore throats, the aches and pains due to
colds, flu, and allergies.
An infusion of Chamomile flowers is
used as a hair shampoo, especially for fair hair. The flowers are
sometimes added to cosmetics as an anti-allergenic agent or made into a
salve for use on hemorrhoids and wounds. The dried herb is made into
potpourri and herb pillows, and is burned for aromatherapy. Applied
externally as a wash or compress for skin inflammations, sunburn, burns,
and added to bath for relaxing tired, achy muscles and feet, and softening
Chamomile tea is used as a liquid feed and
plant tonic, effective against a number of plant diseases. An essential
oil from the whole plant is used as a flavoring and in making perfume. The
dried flowers are used as an insect repellent.
The chief constituent of Chamaemelum have
been identified as esters of angelic and tiglic, together with amyl and
isobutyl alcohol's. It also contains anthemol and a hydrocarbon anthemene.
The flowers contain various volatile oils including proazulenes. Upon
steam distillation these proazulenes produce chamazulene, this is
remarkably anti-allergenic and is useful in the treatment of asthma and
(Matricaria chamomilla) Wild Chamomile
is an annual herb originally from Europe which has escaped to the wild and
is now naturalized on almost every continent. It can now be found growing
along fence rows, roadsides, and in sunny open fields from Southern Canada
to Northern U.S. west to Minnesota. The branched stem is somewhat erect,
round, hollow, and grows to about 20 inches tall. The leaves are bipinnate,
finely divided, light green and feathery. The flowers are daisy-like about
1 inch across and bloom from May to October. The entire plant has a
pineapple scent (apple to some) and planted in the garden is said to help
sickly plants to grow. Gather the above ground parts as soon as flowers
bloom, dry for later herb use.
It is said that the Egyptians
dedicated Chamomile to their sun god and valued it over all other herbs
for its healing qualities. Due to its sedative and relaxing properties
Chamomile was an ingredient in some love potions in the middle ages.
Chamomile Herb Recipe
The flowers are edible and quite tasty in
salads or made into a refreshing cold or warm beverage.
Relaxing tea: To 1 cup boiling water add 2
tsp. dried flowers. Steep covered for 10 min.
For Bath: Use ˝ to 1 cup fresh or dried
herb tied in linen bag. Place in tub with hot water let soak for 10 min.
then add cold water to the temp. you like. Do not add soap to bath, as it
will coat your skin and not allow the Chamomile to penetrate.
Also for colds or when you feel really bad,
try the tea while you’re soaking in the bath.
Article by Deb Jackson & Karen Bergeron
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