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Chamomile




Description

This article is from the Herb Reference series.

Chamomile

Other Names:

Ground Apple
Whig Plant
White Stars

Latin Name:

Anthemis Nobilis : Roman Chamomile
Chamaemelum Nobilis : Roman Chamomile
Matricaria Recutita : German Chamomile
Matricaria Chamomilla : German Chamomile
Chrysanthemum Parthenium : White Stars

History:
Chamomile has had a long history of use by many cultures. Chamomile tea has been used to cure nervous disorders and many other things. The Egyptians used it for malarial chills and with Henna to bring out blond highlights in hair. It has even been used as an insect repellent.

Habitat:
Chamomile is native to Europe. Both varieties like lots of sun and can tolerate most types of soil. In Washington state I can usually find Chamomile in gravel dirveways.





Description:
M. Recutia: This Southern Euroupean annual is found along roadsides and in fields.

Stems: Round, furrowed, hollow, and downy. Usually upright but may be procumbent.

Flowers: Daisy like, white petals whith yellow centers.

Leaves: Pale green, sharply incised, bipinnate, and sessile.

Fruit: Very small, tan colored, oblong seeds.

Height: May reach a height of 16 inches.

Cultivation: full sun, not much water needed once established

A. Nobilis: This European perennial is found in dry fields, around cultivated areas, and gardens.

Stems: procumbent

Flowers: terminal with yellow centers and white petals radiating.

Leaves: Alternate, finely disected, bipinnate, and downy.

Fruit: Very small, tan colored, oblong seeds.

Height: Grows 8 to 12 inches off the ground.

Cultivation: full sun to partial shade, needs moderate watering.

Properties:
Chamomile contains an essential oil which has mucilage, coumarin, flavone glycosides, chamazulene, and isadol.
antispasmodic
diaphoretic
nervine
carminative
analgesic
antiseptic
anti inflamitory
vulnerary
Uses:
Chamomile is used in bath herbs and in face lotions to firm the tissues, keep the skin young looking, brighten the eyes and relieve weariness. A decoction of this plant is used for hysterical or nervous afflictions. If drunk before bed it will help you fall asleep. It is also excellent for dissolving kidney stones, and with sugar its good for the spleen.

A simple way to make chamomile oil, according to the Egyptians, is to take fresh flowers (1 Ounce) and beat them with pure olive oil. Steep the flowers in the oil for 24 hours or more, until their virtues have been extracted. Then strain. This can be used to rub over the body of a person afflicted with ague or rheumatism or for massaging overstrained or cramped muscles. Chamomile grown in the garden helps keep away harmful insects, but must be weeded by hand as it is easily strangled.

If you make a Tea from it be sure the container is covered while steeping or part of the properties of the plant will be lost ( the essential oils ).

In magic it is used for sleep and meditation incenses.



 

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