Chamomile: The Plant Doctor

Some gardeners call it the “Plant Doctor” because of its ability to heal other plants that are planted in the same vicinity. And many say its smell is reminiscent of apples.  In fact,  its name originates from the Greek words “ground” and “apple”.  What is this amazing plant?, you may ask.  Its chamomile!

What is it?

Chamomile is a small yellow and white daisy-like plant grown throughout Europe and North America.  There are two varieties German (Matricaria recutita)  and Roman (Anthemis nobilis).  Gentle yet powerful, it is analgesic, antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, diuretic, hepatic, nervine, sedative, stomachic, tonic, and is a vasoconstrictor.

Traditional Use

The first recorded use of Chamomile was by the ancient Egyptians as early as the first century A.D.  The Egyptians used it both cosmetically and medicinally for its healing properties.   Greek physicians prescribed it for gynecological issues, gastrointestinal disorders, liver disorders and nervous disorders.

Modern Use

The flowers are usually dried and commonly used whole or powdered in various medicinal,  herbal or cosmetic preparations.

Foods and Beverages

It is not widely used in everyday cooking there are a few adventurous types who use in cocktails,   cookies cakes and a few savory dishes, though I’ve yet to indulge.  Outside of medicinal purposes, it is ingested mainly as tea and this is how I use it.

Benefits for the body

  • Relaxing and helps calm the nervous system
  • Gastrointestinal upsets
  • Inflammation
  • Wound Healing
  • Boils
  • Burns
  • Gingivitis
  • Toothache
  • Teething 

Benefits for the mind

  • Nervous Tension
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability

Benefits for the skin

  • Eczema
  • Diaper Rash
  • Minor Wound Healing
  • Rash
  • Dermatitis
  • Acne
  • Anti-inflammatory

Benefits for hair

Natural highlighter and hair brightener for blondes.

Make It

Chamomile helps us to relax and release nervous tension and anxiety.  One of my favorite ways to use is in tea.  Use 2-4 tablespoons of the dried herb for every 8 ounces of boiled water.  I put mine in a mesh tea strainer similar to the one below.  On occasion I will also add a teaspoon or two of dried organic lavender.

tea strainer

Cover, then let steep for five minutes then strain.

Add lemon and honey to taste.  Sit back, relax and Enjoy!  Ahhhh!

 

 tea-with-lemon-783352_640

 

 

 

Try it

Made with loads of skin loving oils and herbs, this Beauty By Francesca Chamomile Calendula Soap Bar formulated for dry and sensitive lathers up fabulously and will leave your skin clean, moisturized and silky.

 

How do you use chamomile?  Leave a comment below.

 

 

References:Johnson, Rebecca L.; Foster, Steven; Low Dog, Tieraona;  Kiefer, David. National Geographic Guide To Medicinal Herbs: The World’s Most Effective Healing Plants.  Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2010.  Print.

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