Camomile Matricaria Chamomilla
Common Names: German camomile, chamomilla, wild camomile.
Medicinal Part: Flowers
Description: German Camomile is a Southern European annual plant found wild along roadsides, in fields, and cultivated in gardens. The round, downy, hollow, furrowed stem may be procumbent or rise upright to a height of 16 inches. The leaves are pale green, bipinnate, sharply incised, and sessile. The flower heads are like those of Roman Camomile, and the white ray-flowers are often bent down to make the disk-flowers even more prominent.
Properties and Uses: Anodyne, Antiphlogistic, antispasmodic, calmative, carminative, diaphoretic, tonic. German Camomile tea is valuable in many nervous conditions, insomnia, neuralgia, lumbago, rheumatic problems, and rashes. It also tends to reduce inflammation and to facilitate bowel movement without acting directly as a purgative. Use it as a wash or compress for skin problems and inflammations, including inflammations of mucous tissue. Keeping a mouthful in the mouth for a time will temporarily relieve a toothache. To help asthma in children or to relieve the symptoms of a cold, try a vapor bath of the tea. German Camomile can also be used as a relaxing, anti-spasmodic, anodyne bath additive. Use it for a sitz bath to help hemorrhoids, or as a foot or hand-bath for sweaty feet or hands. For hemorrhoids and for wounds, the flowers are also made into a salve.
Preparation and Dosage: Use 2 tsp. Dried (or fresh) flowers with ? cup boiling water. Take a mouthful at a time. Or add 2 tbsp. flowers to 2 cups cold water and heat to just short of boiling.
Bath Additive: Use 1 lb. Flowers with 5 qt. Cold water. Bring to a boil then steep covered for 10 minutes. Strain and add to bathwater. A less effective way is to hang a linen bag containing the flowers in the tub. Use proportionately smaller amounts for partial baths.
Chamomile is perhaps one of nature?s most benign herbs. Its calmative and restorative properties make it one of those rare ?any time? cures for whatever might ail you. For parents, whose children might be going through one of ?those days? a weak cup of chamomile tea can help to calm an overwrought child. Chamomile has been used for hundreds of years as a cure for stomach problems; from lack of appetite to an upset stomach. In my grandmother?s house, a cup of camomile was always the cure for a restless mind at bedtime.
On rare occasions, people have complained of allergic reactions to chamomile. However, because chamomile is a low growing plant, ragweed can easily become mixed with chamomile and this is where most allergic reactions occur. It is always wise to exercise caution when you are purchasing herbs. Be certain that you are using a reputable supplier that guarantees both the quality and purity of the herbs you are purchasing. You can find many quality suppliers at our website: UsingHerbs.Com
Chamomile also plays an important part in skin and hair care. Chamomile is an excellent tonic for fair hair. Use it as a rinse after shampooing to restore shine and bring out your hair?s natural highlights. Or better yet, steep together a pot of chamomile flowers and nettles for 20 minutes, then add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Place this mixture in a spray bottle and generously spray on your hair after shampooing. Do not rinse. The slightly vinegary smell will go away in a few minutes. This hair tonic is absolutely fabulous for blond hair. It will remove tangles, strengthen the hair and prevent breakage and split ends. The vinegar will also help to restore the hair to its natural ph balance and you will love the results.
For soap making, chamomile flowers can be added to any mild handmade soap. Its properties make it an excellent addition to olive oil soap and are excellent for treating dry, problem skin and soothing rashes and inflammation.
MK Welty hosts an informational website for herb enthusiasts at http://UsingHerbs.Com where visitors can find natural remedies, herbs, and instructions for their use. Or visit the sister-site http://YouCanMakeSoap.Com to learn how you can make your own handmade herbal soaps.