Herb Series 4: Chamomile

Homesteading

-I am at the mercy of my computer this week. I have been trying to be more regular about posting…and my computer has decided now is the time to stop working. Figures. Sorry everyone!-

Next up in the Herb Series is Chamomile. A little plant you’ve no doubt heard about and used, this one is in my top 3 favorites. The smell is undoubtedly entrancing and relaxing and it is an herb I always have on hand for its benefits.

cornchamomile-flower-full

Matricaria chamomilla, Hungarian chamomile or wild chamomile, Camomilla, Camomille Allemande, Chamomilla recutita, Echte Kamille, Feldkamille, Fleur de Camomile, Kamillen, Kleine Kamille, Manzanilla, Matricaire, Matricaria recutita, Matricariae Flos, Pin Heads, Sweet False Chamomile, True Chamomile.

According to Mountain Rose Herbs:

“Chamomile is a low-growing relative of the sunflower native to Eastern Europe and now found around the world. It is especially abundant in Hungary, Croatia, and Serbia, although chamomile grown in Egypt has an exceptionally high content of essential oils.

Chamomile was used as a medicine by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Its name derives from the Greek chamos (ground) and melos (apple), referring to its creeping habit and the apple scent of fresh blossoms.

In the US, chamomile is one of the most widely used herbal ingredients in teas as well as in cosmetic, health, and beauty aid products. The amount of chamomile imported into the US each year is between 750,000 and one million pounds, with an estimated 90% used in teas. In commerce, chamomile is often called German chamomile or Hungarian chamomile, which are not to be confused with the rare, and more costly, Roman or English chamomile (Anthemis nobilis/Chamaemelum nobile).

Chamomile is a beloved herbal favorite, appreciated worldwide in tea infusions and liquid extracts. It has a sweet, characteristic smell and is generally used to sooth and relax, either before bedtime or during moments of mental or emotional discomfort. Acclaimed herbalist Matthew Wood refers to chamomile as “the remedy for babies of any age,” referring to its calming tendencies and its ability to promote well-being.”

The plant’s healing properties come from its daisy-like flowers, which contain volatile oils (including bisabolol, bisabolol oxides A and B, and matricin) as well as flavonoids (particularly a compound called apinegin) and other therapeutic substances.

Research has proven the plant to be antiseptic, antispasmodic, antibacterial, anti fungal and have anti-allergy activity.

Chamomile has been used to treat or ease the symptoms of rheumatic problems, rashes and other skin problems such as eczema,skin ulcers, wounds, minor burns, sunburns, skin inflammation, internal inflammation, eye inflammation/infection, mouth sores, gum disease, menstrual cramps, irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal complaints, inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn’s, hemorrhoids, nausea, heartburn, stress-related flatulence, gastritis, uclerative colitis, morning sickness, aid in digestion, upset stomach, restlessness, insomnia, aid in sleep, teething & colic in children, allergies, asthma, colds and fevers, promoting relaxation and overall well-being.

Impressive right?

The flowers are used to make teas, tinctures, infusions, extracts, oils, salves and creams.

We drink a big mug full after dinner and before bed to help with digestion and sleep. We also diffuse the essential oil in the bedroom to aid in relaxation at night. I also include it in homemade lotions to help my dry skin.

 

 

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