Today's herb of the week is Chamomile. There are so many types of Chamomile! Most commonly used type is German Chamomile. What soothing wonder lurks in your very own door yard? Check below!
Chamomile tea has been used for centuries to sooth stress in Mamma and in babies. German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is a member of the asteracea family. The word Chamomile comes from the Greek "earth apple", and if you have ever smelled fresh Chamomile you know this is an accurate description.
German Chamomile has been used for centuries to soothe the "savage beast". Chamomile can be used as a tea, a wash, in a tincture or capsules. My favorite way to use it is in a strong tea (large amounts of strong tea can cause vomiting), or to mask the flavor of other less palatable teas, or as a wash for diaper rash or heat rash. Chamomile has been used since ancient Greece for:
Childhood diseases such as chicken pox, colic, diaper rash as a wash What does modern science have to say about this versatile herb? I will share just a couple of studies.
According to a study published in Pediatrics in Review http://pedsinreview.aappublications.org/content/28/4/e16.info 57% of colicy babies treated in a double blind study had the colic resolve in a week. They also found that Chamomile is generally considered safe for ingestion by babies.
According to Science Digest (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104112140.htm) a study showed traces of amino acids that are known to cause relaxation and have antispasmodic effectsas well as a substance that breaks down into phenols which have been shown to help the immune system. These both show that in fact the cup of chamomile tea does have a real and therepeutic action on the body and could be the reason that chamomile is so good for cramping and griping, not to mention a little boost to the immune system.
Chamomile can lower blood pressure be careful if you are on Hbp medications
There have been rare allergic reactions due to severe rag weed, daisies or chrysanthemums allergies. If you have these allergies be cautious.
GRAS (generally regarded as safe)
Asthma sufferers should not use
Can interact with blood thinners, tell your dentist if you have had Chamomile Tea within 2 weeks of oral surgery.
Chamomile Tea can make you drowsy...be careful if driving
How do I use it?
TeaTwo teaspoons of the chamomile flower in a cup, pour boiling water over and allow to steep 5-10 minutes, a sweet treat with a little honey.
To make a salve with Chamomile put some chamomile flowers in a jar, cover with oil, allow to steep for 30+ days. Strain, then melt beeswax (preferably local) to make a lovely salve.
Did I mention that you can find this in your dooryard??? Yes I did! Check out the picturebelow, this is Pineapple Chamomile (Matricaria discoidea). This grows in almost everyones yard, when you pick it it this little powerhouse smells like apples. I use the whole fresh plant for tea, this is great for children who are anxious, and have an upset tummy. Do not use if you spray your yard with pesticides or non organic weed killers, and make sure fido hasnt peed there lately :). It has many of the benefits of German Chamomile but not quite as intensely.
Enjoy! ~Mamma Moon
Welcome to the Mamma Moon Blog.
We discuss Herbs, the Science of Herbs and Aromatherapy. I also draw a Card of the Day.
Grab a cup of tea or wine and enjoy. Feel free to participate. ~Mamma Moon