CHAMOMILE: “Pretty Flowers, Potent Medicine”
Arthritis, Digestion, Fever, Headache, Immune Stimulator, Ulcers
Also Known As: Anthemis, Ground Apple, Matricana
Actually, Chamomile is two herbs – German or Hungarian chamomile and Roman or English chamomile. The two plants are not related botanically but the both produce the same light blue oil that is used in healing since ancient times. British and Germans both introduced chamomile to North America. Germans have used chamomile since the dawn of history for digestion, menstrual promoter and the treat menstrual cramps. Today, chamomile is one of the top selling herbs. It’s calming abilities outweigh any tea on the market.
Take advantage of chamomile’s many healing benefits by making an infusion or tincture.
Put 2 to 3 heaping teaspoons of flowers in one cup of boiling water. Steep for about 10 to 20 minutes. Drink up to 3 cups a day.
Use one half to one teaspoon up to three times daily. Follow package directions when using a commercial preparation.
USE: (Grow Your Own)
Most chamomile bought in the US today are from the German variety. Begin to sew seeds in the spring. Scatter them on well prepared beds, then gently pat them down. German chamomile prefers a soil that is sandy and well drained. Partial shade is best because they tend to shrivel up if planted in sunny areas. Flowers start to bloom by the 6th week and continue blooming for several weeks afterwards. Plants will sow themselves. Be careful not to leave too many because they grow fast.
For Roman chamomile there are single and double flower types. Herbalists prefer the double flower variety. This type adapts to most any type of soil but grows well in moist well manured loam. Plant them 18 inches apart in the early spring. It is said that the plant does it’s best when it is stepped on. Walking on the plant releases it’s lovely apple fragrance and does not hurt the plant. After harvesting, dry flowers and store them in sealed containers to preserve their oils.
Chamomile should be used in medicinal amounts only after consulting with your doctor. The FDA regards chamomile as being generally safe for use.