Healing Herbs along a fence drying

Healing Benefits of Chamomile

Chamomile, nature’s nerve soothing elixir. Well known to Peter Rabbit’s mother- has powerful antioxidants that protect against cancers, ease tension and relieve pain.

 

I was fortunate to have chamomile as a child. In summer, we’d harvest its tiny little flowers from waste sites and gravel, it was yellow gold. Don’t wildcraft chamomile today unless you’re certain the soil is free of poisons.

When I grew up, and became a mother, I brewed a pot of tea each evening for my children. It soothed their restless bodies and mellowed their active minds for a good night’s sleep. The children have long grown, but our tea ritual continues. Nothing calms the body (nervous system) and mind quite like chamomile’s powerful plant nutrients, among them, calcium.

Chamomile’s Historical Legacy Continues

Chamomile tea kettle and tea cup

For thousands of years, chamomile has been used in herbal remedies and was well known to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Its efficacy was not fully understood nor studied centuries ago, but evidenced by its curative powers. Chamomile and other healing herbs contain phytonutrients; plant nutrition instrumental to natural healing. Perhaps that is why herbs have healed and nourished humanity for thousands of years.

Today, science has validated its curative power to alleviate many ailments. And it may be one of the most important medicinal plants for herbal healing. Native to southern and eastern Europe and also grown in Germany, France, Russia, Hungary and Brazil. According to an article at the National Institutes.gov, published in Pharmacognosy Review, chamomile is an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic and useful for disturbance of the stomach, sluggish digestion, diarrhea, nausea and inflammation of the urinary tract and for painful menstruation…

Chamomile flower and buds

Health Benefits of Chamomile

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Antioxidant rich

  • Colic in children

  • Depression & melancholy

  • Digestive aid

  • Insomnia

  • Pain reliever

  • Skin disorders

Mortar and Chamomile dried buds

Research suggests that antioxidant rich foods such as chamomile slow signs of aging, decrease risk of dementia, and protect against stroke and heart disease.

 

As an effective alternative medicine with almost no known negative side effects, chamomile is used in standardized tea, herbal extract and personal care products to promote, vitality, tranquility and longevity.

How to Grow and Use Chamomile for Natural Healing

There are two types used in herbal medicine today. German chamomile (chamomillarecutita) and Roman chamomile (chamaemelumnobile). Chamomile is easy to grow but prefers dry soil that is not too fertile. It loves the sun but hot summers will slow its blooms.

I have grown chamomile from the Pacific Northwest to Minnesota. In early summer and fall, Roman chamomile can be found growing in gravelly areas nearby. In my yard near Seattle, I find it growing where few other plants can survive. Chamomile thrives with little attention. In mid-summer it rests, and in the fall, returns with its bouquet of golden flowers.

 

Plant chamomile as seeds sown in the garden or as plant starts. For best results, sow or plant in a dry, well-drained soil, most herbs don’t like to keep their feet wet!

Taller German chamomile is beautiful where it can share

Happy earth child in chamomile garden

space with other garden flowers. In companion gardening it will attract beneficial bugs to help protect your garden favorites. (Another reason to grown organically! Chemical sprays kill bees and all other beneficial insects.)

Harvest flowers when fully opened and fragrant. Hold the plant stem with one hand and use your fingers to gently pull several flowers off at a time. Dry in a cool, place out of the sun. A long flat basket works well. I always blow my herbs gently before bringing them into the house to ensure all the critters stay in the yard where they belong.

 

Calming Chamomile Tea

 

In a large teapot or quart jar, add 1 T. chamomile flowers per cup of tea. Bring fresh, pure water to a boil and pour over

Bee on flowering Chamomile and the harm of chemical sprays.

herbs. Cover and let steep for 5-15 minutes. Sweeten with real stevia or honey (do not give honey to children under one year of age).

 

Medicinal Infusion

In a quart glass jar add:

4-6 T. dried flowers OR 6-8 T. fresh

Pour boiling water over the herbs and fill the jar. Let steep for 30-45 minutes.

Strain and drink. Gently warm a cup or so and drink as needed, throughout your day.

Chamomile

may also be taken in supplement form or purchased in bulk.

Important Note: Only wildcraft herbs you can identify and are free of sprays/poisons.

 

Note: Although considered a safe herb, some people with ragweed allergies may be sensitive to chamomile. Discontinue use if you get itchy eyes, scratchy throat or runny nose.

Looking for a great herb growing and using guide? These are two of our favorite herbalists. They have a treasure of information to share with you. Nature’s medicine for everyday healing, for everyday life.

DISCLAIMER: Please remember these treatments options are only meant as guidelines and should not replace the advice or treatment provided by your holistic health practitioner. It is always good to seek the advice of your functional medicine doctor, homeopath, naturopath, or herbalist for professional advice in any matter related to your health. This article is for information purposes only.