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Herbology 101 - Herbal Remedies and Herb Information

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German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita L)
Photo: German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita L) A Eurasian plant with apple-scented foliage and white-rayed flowers and feathery leaves used medicinally; in some classification systems placed in genus Anthemis.

See also Roman Chamomile.

German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) is an annual plant of the composite family Asteraceae, making it a relative of asters, daisies, marigolds, lettuce, calendula, cone flowers (e.g. echinacea), chrysanthemums, and sunflowers.

Use the flowers and the leaves to make an infusion that acts as a safe, gentle sedative, and helps settle the stomach. It is often recommended for irritable bowel syndrome, and as a gentle sleep aid. For a sore stomach, some recommend taking a cup every morning without food for two to three months.

Chamomile tea is also used as a mouthwash against oral mucositis. It has acaricidal properties against certain mites, such as Psoroptes cuniculi.

Research with animals suggests antispasmodic, anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory and some antimutagenic and cholesterol-lowering effects for chamomile. Chamomile has sped healing time of wounds in animals. Essential oil of chamomile was shown to be a potential antiviral agent against herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) in vitro.

One of the active ingredients of its essential oil is the terpene bisabolol. Other active ingredients include farnesene, chamazulene, flavonoids (including apigenin, quercetin, patuletin and luteolin) and coumarin.

Chamomile tea is also thought to be useful to suppress fungal growth on plants, for example, misting it over seedlings may prevent damping off.

Chamomile is also used cosmetically, primarily to make a rinse for blonde hair, and as a yellow dye for fabrics.

Making chamomile tea

Use two teaspoons of dried flowers/leaves per cup of tea. Steep the tea in hot (near boiling) water for 10 to 15 minutes with a cover to avoid losing the volatile oils. Press the florets and leaves as this will rupture the cell walls and release the active principle inside the cells.

WARNING: · Do not use tincture or essential oil version during pregnancy.
· Chamomile may increase anticoagulant effects.
· Allergies to ragweed may be echoed in this family member.
· Very large doses of chamomile may cause nausea and vomiting.


Edible Flowers A few blossoms tossed into a salad adds a surprising twist! They taste similar to apples, and are excellent in teas, delicate soups, salads, or served in rice. You get the additional benefit of the settling effect it has on the stomach. Pesticide Chamomile is sometimes known as "the plant doctor", because it is thought to help the growth and health of many other plants, especially ones that produce essential oils. It is thought to increase production of those oils, making certain herbs, such as mints (spearmint, sage, oregano) and basil stronger in scent and flavour.

Related studies, articles, and news items

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Disclaimer: This content is provided here for informational purposes only. Do not attempt to self-diagnose or treat. Check with a qualified Health Practitioner before using any herbal treatment. Use of these reference pages signifies acceptance of this notice and our Terms and Condition.

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