Chamaemelum nobile and Matricaria recutita, two species of German chamomile, are members of the Asteraceae (daisy) family (Roman chamomile). Although both are referred to as chamomile, North Americans favor the German chamomile plant while the UK prefers the Roman kind. These two unrelated chamomile plants are similar in look and aroma, share many of the same chemical components, and can be used interchangeably. Both just need moderate quantities of water and like either full sun or light shade. Chamomile is sometimes referred to as the "plant's doctor" since it appears to help ailing plants nearby.
The Plant of Chamomile
The annual German chamomile is a native of Eurasia. After the last frost in the spring, it is sown by seed. It can grow up to three feet tall and will easily self-sow. Roman chamomile has a bigger blossom, although most people think German chamomile is sweeter than Roman chamomile.
Low-growing perennial Roman chamomile is a plant that is native to Europe and North Africa. According to a proverbial saying in English, "the more it gets trodden, the more it will spread." In truth, lawns have occasionally been replaced with Roman chamomile. Roman chamomile's name, which translates to "ground apple" in Greek, was given to it because of its enticing perfume. It is best propagated by root division in the fall or spring and is mostly disseminated by root runners. Although it is feasible to propagate seeds, their viability is often only about 50%.
I'm speaking to both varieties of chamomile in this essay.
Utilizations of the chamomile plant, harvesting information, and plant energies
As the active ingredients of the plant are only found in the bloom and not the stems or leaves, harvesting chamomile can be laborious. Following harvest, dry it as soon as you can and keep it out of the sun to preserve its aromatic qualities. As soon as you can, place the dried flowers in airtight containers because they have a tendency to reabsorb moisture from the air. (Consider the weather before harvesting!) Here with us, you may also purchase dried chamomile.
The energetics of chamomile are as follows:
Bitter flavor; neutral to cooling temperature
Yang Planet - Sun Element - Water Meridians - Liver, Stomach, and Lungs - Moisture - Wet Polarity -
Do you recall Peter Rabbit's story? The tale, which was written by Beatrix Potter in the early 1900s, is about a mischievous rabbit that destroys Farmer McGregor's vegetable garden. Peter is traumatized when Mr. McGregor chases him out of the garden one day. Peter's mother gives him a warm cup of chamomile tea before putting him to bed to calm his ruffled nerves.
Long before this, the Egyptians gave chamomile to their sun god, Ra, since they thought the flower resembled the sun and its rays.
The god of knowledge, poetry, and magic was Woden (Nordic Odin), an old Germanic warrier god. Together with the other eight plants that came to be known as the Nine Holy Herbs of the Anglo-Saxons, it was thought that Woden provided chamomile to the populace as a remedy.
The souls of unfortunate warriors who perished under a curse for the misdeeds they committed while they were alive are said to be represented by chamomile flowers, according to an ancient German tale.
On June 24, St. John the Baptist Day, chamomile wreaths were traditionally put on doors to guard against lightning.
At crossroads or in fields, large bonfires were set on Midsummer's Eve, and aromatics like chamomile were added. The resulting dense smoke was said to possess magical properties. Individuals with ailments were taken near the fires to breathe in the smoke. In order to grow a stronger and more plentiful crop, it was also fanned to fields and orchards.
In Wales, chamomile flowers were placed on graves to guarantee that the deceased had a joyful afterlife. In the hopes of getting that big win, gamblers would take chamomile baths or wash their hands with it. When chamomile was sprinkled over the house, it was thought that spells and hexes would be broken. This explains why chamomile was frequently employed as a herb for strewing.
Chamomile is said to represent perseverance in hardship in the language of flowers.
From Utilizing to Harvesting the Chamomile Plant
Another plant with numerous applications and a lengthy record of usage documentation is the chamomile. While chamomile is frequently used to treat stress (read more about that here) and insomnia, it has also been used for a variety of other purposes throughout history:
The Egyptians thought it could be used for so many things that they thought it was a cure-all!
The anti-fever properties of chamomile were described by Hippocrates.
It was employed by Dioscorides and Galen for ailments of the bladder, kidneys, and liver.
It was given by Hildegard of Bingen to treat digestive ailments and female difficulties.
To "take away weary, easeth pains to whichever portion of the body soever they be applied," in Culpepper's words, was helpful.
Chamomile was utilized in Egyptian women's cosmetics. When the weather was harsh, people would rinse their skin with a weak tea. Reducing puffiness and redness around the eyes with tea bags (or a chamomile poultice) is possible. Strong infusions were used by Viking blondes and many others to highlight their hair's highlights.
Maybe the Egyptians were right all along. Many illnesses, such as cramps, gout, arthritis, colic, digestive issues, gas, fevers, headaches, insomnia, malaria, stress, sciatica, teething, ulcers, vertigo, motion sickness, depression, menopause, diarrhea, and gangrene have all been treated with chamomile.
Uses and Treatments for Chamomile
Uses for Chamomile
The adaptable chamomile has a wide range of applications!
The most popular way to utilize chamomile is via infusions. How many of us have savored chamomile tea before bed or during times of stress? (When brewing tea, avoid boiling the water to avoid destroying the aromatics.) A light tea should be adequate if you're utilizing chamomile to relieve tension. For sleep, a more potent form would be administered. However, chamomile tea can become bitter if steeped for an excessively long time, so taste it beforehand before consuming.
The following herbs pair well with chamomile:
An efficient cold and flu tea with elderberries, yarrow, and mint
Additional nervines for improvement
For better digestion, try lemon, mint, ginger, or lemon balm.
Additional anti-inflammatory drugs
If you need assistance to stop smoking, Lobelia
Another popular way to utilize chamomile is in tinctures.
Before creating your chamomile syrup, be sure to crush the flowers and drain them thoroughly.
Compresses and Poultices
You can use a chamomile poultice to treat toothaches and to lessen pain, swelling, and inflammation. For backaches, boils, and headaches, apply a chamomile compress.
cremes and lotions
Whether it comes to burns, eczema, psoriasis, or irritated and itchy skin, chamomile lotion or salve works wonders.
Additional Use for Chamomile
Use chamomile oil to relieve stiff or achy muscles and joints, steam inhalations to treat hay fever and sinus issues, or as a mouthwash. Chamomile can be used to a bath to ease arthritis pain or combined with hops and lavender to create a dream pillow. Use these bath recipes as a guide and consider adding some Epsom salts for additional relaxation.
Up to 10% of people, particularly those who have a confirmed ragweed allergy, may be allergic to chamomile. Roman chamomile appears to cause reactions in more persons than German chamomile.
Before using chamomile, consult your doctor if you are expecting or nursing.
Courmarin, a naturally occurring blood thinner, is found in chamomile. If you are using any form of blood thinner, particularly warfarin, check with your doctor.
A chamomile overdose can make you throw up.