CHAMOMILE (Anthemis nobilis)
Other names: Chamomilla, Roman Chamomile
Chamomile is one of the best home remedies for all sorts of modern day stresses and tensions due to its ease of use and gentle action.
The name Chamomile is derived from the Greek word ‘chamaimelon’, meaning ‘apple on the ground’ – ‘chamai’ (or ‘kamai’) meaning on the ground and ‘melon’ meaning an apple, as all parts of the herb are strongly apple-scented.
Traditionally, Chamomile symbolizes humility and patience.
Chamomile was revered by the ancient Egyptians as an ‘Herb of the Sun’, and dedicated it to their gods for their belief in its powers. Chamomile has been grown for centuries in British country gardens and has been known as the ‘Plants’ Physician’ due to its widespread use as a general remedy for stomach upsets and cramps, and indigestion. The Saxons used Chamomile for the same reasons and named it as a ‘sacred herb of the Sun’. Chamomile has been a major sacred healing herb in folk medicine throughout the centuries.
Native American Indians used Chamomile as a poultice on wounds to prevent gangrene.
Chamomile contains the amino acid tryptophan which acts as a sedative in the body and is a good source of calcium, magnesium and potassium; the essential phosphates for assisting nervous conditions such as anxiety, restlessness, insomnia and depression.
Chamomile is an anti-spasmodic, a carminative, a mild apparient, a nervine, anodyne, a wound healer, uterine relaxant and perspiration promoting tonic. Chamomile is a spasmolytic and a sedative.
Chamomile tea is an excellent herbal drink for settling the stomach, particularly after a heavy meal. It is excellent for a sluggish digestion, flatulence, dyspepsia, vomiting, nausea and other digestive complaints. It is also good for relieving painful menstruation.
Chamomile tea is more effective if taken before a meal. Chamomile tea is also used to calm the nervous system and to promote sleep. Chamomile tea is used for mild stomach aches, colds and flues, teething problems in infants, nightmares and fevers. Chamomile can also be helpful as a vapour bath for asthma, and a sitz bath to assist haemorrhoids.
Chamomile has been used as a remedy for migraines, influenza and fevers as it helps to increase perspiration. Chamomile improves the appetite and is used for constipation, diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, tension headaches, rheumatism, joint pains, muscular tension and repetitive strain injury.
Chamomile oil is a valuable remedy for cramp, rheumatic pains and for loss of voice.
Chamomile is known as a cosmetic herb for its soothing, softening properties. A Chamomile facial steam is an effective treatment for blackheads. Chamomile can be used as both a hair rinse as well as a face mask.
Chamomile is a mild bleach and gives blonde hair a golden glow and sheen. Simply leave a tea bag to infuse for 30 minutes, then pour over clean hair. Chamomile flowers can also be used in the same way.
Chamomile can be used as decoctions, infusions, extracts, oils, teas, tablets and capsules.
Chamomile is traditionally related to the Tarot card the Ace of Swords. Chamomile is used to calm all feelings of stress and nervous tension. Chamomile is excellent for indigestion and colic, for irregular bowels and cramps and is high in easily-assimilated calcium.
Excessive dosage of Chamomile produces vomiting and vertigo.