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Chamomile
Matricaria chamomile

Other Names:  Camomile, Chamomile, Wild Chamomile, Sweet Chamomile, German Chamomile, Hungarian Chamomile, Mayweed, Scented Mayweed, Pineapple Weed

Habitat:  (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. Cultivation: Chamomile is easily cultivated, further south, from seed or root division, prefers full sun and a light well drained soil. 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.

Properties:  Chamomile is edible and medicinal. The flowers are edible and quite tasty in salads or made into a refreshing cold or warm beverage. Chamomile flowers are used in alternative medicine  as an anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, nervine, stomachic, tonic, vasodilatory. 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 hay fever. 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 are sometimes added to cosmetics as an anti-allergenic agent. Chamomile flower tea is used as a sedative and is good for insomnia and many other nervous conditions. The tea has anti-inflammatory properties, good for rheumatism, arthritis, and other painful swellings. It is also an antispasmodic for intestinal and menstrual cramps, relieving gas pains, acts as a very mild but efficient laxative, and loosens tight muscles. Milder tea in large doses is given throughout the day for fevers, sore throats, the aches and pains due to colds, flu, and allergies. 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. 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 the skin. The flowers are 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. The dried flowers are used as an insect repellent. An infusion of the flowers is used as a hair shampoo, especially for fair hair. It 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.

CLICK HERE TO FIND CHAMOMILE INFORMATION AND PRODUCTS!

Folklore:  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.

TRY THESE RECIPES

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.

 

 

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