What it looks like?
Chamomile can grow to three feet and the leaves, twice divided, can grow to four inches long. The daisy-like flowers have a small yellow solid cone surrounded by white rays.
A bit of history
Chamomile has been used over the centuries for both an internal and external healer. Chamomile was one of nine sacred herbs of the ancient Saxons. The Egyptians valued the herb as a cure for malaria and dedicated it to Ra.
Chamomile is one of the few medicinal plants that still have a prominent role in traditional medicine. Recent research has confirmed that the essential oil or extract of miniature daisy has anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, sedative, analgesic and antibacterial properties.
The chamomile tea has been used internally to help quiet an upset stomach, to relieve acid indigestion and intestinal gas, to bring a restful night’s sleep, to treat toothache, to reduce inflammation, to prevent peptic ulcers, to lessen cold symptoms and to ease baby colic. The infusion can also be used to calm premenstrual tension and menstrual cramps. The decoction has been used externally as part of hot compress to soothe skin rashes, scalds and burns, and sores to relieve strained muscles and aching joints.
The infusion can be used on mouth ulcers by gargling it or conjunctivitis by using it as an eye wash. In shampoos and rinses, chamomile is alleged to keep blonde hair at its golden best.
Herbal remedies using Chamomile
Athlete´s foot: Add chamomile to the bath water or apply directly to the toes.
Conjunctivitis: Mix 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers to 1 cup of boiled water and when it is cool, use it as an eyewash.
Corns and Calluses: Mix one teaspoon of lemon juice, one teaspoon of dried chamomile, and one crushed garlic clove and then apply directly to the corns or calluses.
Gastritis: Use 1 teaspoon of chamomile dried leaves per cup of boiling water and drink this tea daily. Chamomile contains apigenin that inhibits H. pylori.
Insomnia: Use 2 teaspoon of chamomile dried leaves per cup of boiling water and drink this tea before bed.
Stress: Do a tea with one teaspoon of chamomile, a cinnamon stick and one cup of water for 5 minutes.
Menstrual cramps: Take 15 drops of chamomile tincture in water three times a day.
Rinse hair and refresh body: Brew about a tablespoon of flower heads per cup of water, then sip. When cooled, the solution can also be used as a refreshing. You can also make your own body oil by steeping an ounce of flowers in olive oil for several days, then straining the oil.
Chamomile has been considered a safe herbal remedy even for children and pregnant women. However, persons who may be allergic to pollen-rich flowerheads should use it with caution. If use in moderation use of chamomile preparations for internal use has no known side effects. However, if its used in large amount, it can cause dizziness and induce vomiting.