Saturday, February 6, 2010
Easy Medicinal Herbs - Chamomile
I've written a lot about chamomile, but how can I possibly do a series without mentioning it again? I couldn't imagine my garden without some chamomile; I love the delicate daisy flowers and their sweet apple fragrance.
German chamomile, or Matricaria, grows upright to about 18 inches, while the Roman chamomile is a creeper. Both have medicinal properties but German chamomile is more often used.
Chamomile grows in full sun with a light, dry soil. Sow the fine seeds in spring or early summer on top of the soil. Do not cover. Keep moist until germination. It is an annual but can reseed itself if some flowers are left to go to seed and drop. As in most herbs, because of the self-seeding, it might pop up in others areas but generally does not travel far.
Chamomile has so many uses it's hard to know where to begin. A tea can be made for a cool compress to soothe tired eyes.
Most familiar to most of us, is a tea made with 1 teaspoon of dried flowers to one cup of boiling water for insomnia.
For acne, infuse a handful of dried flowers in 1 pint of boiling water for 10 minutes. Cool, strain, and then keep refrigerated in a tightly sealed jar until ready to use. Splash on face.
Scientists are testing chamomile in a variety of ways but, the medical community has not come out with the results on most studies. These are some of the areas listed as points of interest:
Colic in babies
Diarrhea in babies
Mouth ulcers (also baby teething)
Comfort for cancer patients
As you can see by the list, all areas of the body can benefit from chamomile. What a fantastic herb God has put on this earth for our use.
As always, be sure to consult your physician before using chamomile, especially if you are pregnant or nursing.
Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs, and also my newest blog:
Bits, Tales, and Yarns - my newest writing adventure.