Chamomile is best known as chamomile tea, but is also popular in herbal medicine as an effective medicinal herb.
German Chamomile(Matricaria recutita)
Roman Chamomile(Chamaemelum nobile)
Chamomile, being most popular as a
chamomile herbal tea, is actually two different plants. Each chamomile has common qualities, including similar daisy like blossoms and a pleasant apple
fragrance and flavor. And rest assured that each chamomile makes a great herbal chamomile tea!
the chamomile herb and its many uses:
- Chamomile herbal tea has longstanding reputation as sources of gentle healing. The early Egyptians also used chamomile to cure agues, or malarial chills. It
was used in baths or poultices to ease headaches and disorders of the bladder, kidneys and liver.
- Chamomile has long been used since medieval England as a “strewing herb,” a way to freshen air in homes where bathing was uncommon. In Spain, chamomile was used to flavor
a fine sherry. Women also used chamomile tea as a hair rinse to accentuate natural blonde highlights.
- Chamomile is also believed to regulate menstrual periods. It is also considered an ideal general tonic for children because it lowers nervous excitability and
can ease toothache, neuralgia and ear ache if taken internally or used as a poultice.
- Chamomile flowers, in an infusion or herbal tea, is taken for high-strung persons; chamomile
oil is frequently used in aromatherapy as an alternative.
The oil is also used in soothing baths or as a massage oil by mixing it with soya oil. Chamomile was also reputed to be an excellent insect repellant!
- Chamomile tea has even been used in agriculture. It is thought to be useful to suppress fungal growth
by misting it over seedlings to prevent damping off.
Chamomile oil, in some circles, is known as "the plant doctor", because it is thought to help the health of plants that produce essential oils. It is
thought to increase production of the herb's oils, making certain herbs, like mints, sage, oregano, and basil stronger.
German Chamomile: Grown as an annual, it is the variety most used in herbal tea. German Chamomile is a tall erect annual that can reach 3 feet in height and is used more in the commercial production of herbal supplements.
Roman Chamomile: A more aromatic, perennial herb that rarely reaches a height of more than nine inches and is used as a popular ground cover or border.
- German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)- Grown as an annual herb.
- Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)- USDA Plant Maturity Zones 3 to 5
Best Soil Type for growing chamomile:
- Chamomile prefers a lighter, even sandy, well-drained soil with a pH of 7.0-7.5 and should be
cultivated in full sun.
- Seeds- The tiny seeds should be barely covered with soil and never more than an 1/8 of an inch deep, in in small containers filled with a very light potting soil and kept in a warm place. Keep the soil moist but not soaked. When seedlings are big enough to handle transplant 6 inches apart. Keep them moist until they are established.
Harvest of chamomile:
- Flowers should be harvested on a clear morning after the dew is dry but
before they endure hot sun. Using scissors or a sharp knife, snip off the
Drying and storing chamomile:
- Spread the open buds on paper towel in a cool, dry place out of direct
sunlight; or use a food dehydrator set to a cool temperature, . After the
heads have become crispy dry, place them in an airtight storage container
and store out of direct light.
Chamomile side effects might produce possible allergic side effects:
Since chamomile is a relative of Ragweed, it may cross-react with ragweed pollen in sensitive individuals. Chamomile also contains a substance which may produce potential drug interactions with certain blood thinners.