Part Used: Fresh flower
Chamomille (Matricaria recutita) is an erect annual, up to 60cm in height, with wispy 2-3 pinnate leaves and terminal peduncles supporting single flowerheads. Yellow tubular florets without membranous bracts are implanted on a raised and hollow receptacle. This is surrounded by a single row of white ligulate florets which are often bent backwards. Chamomilla grows in fields and many other places throughout England, Europe, Russia and Asia, and is naturalised in Australia and the US. It has anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic, vulnerary, antimicrobial, mild sedative, carminative, antiseptic, and anticatarrhal properties. It has been used for centuries as a medicinal plant, mostly for gastrointestinal complaints.
Chamomile has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and is widely used in Europe. It is a popular treatment for numerous ailments, including sleep disorders, anxiety, digestion/intestinal conditions, skin infections/inflammation (including eczema), wound healing, infantile colic, teething pains, and diaper rash. In the United States, Chamomile is best known as an ingredient in herbal tea preparations advertised for mild sedating effects. In particular it is an excellent herb for treating various digestive disorders, nervous tension and irritability and is also used externally to treat skin problems. It is used in the treatment of insomnia, anxiety and nervous tension, for the relief of spasmodic pain such as dysmenorrhoea or migraine, and is a safe remedy for children’s problems with a nervous component. This spasmolytic action is due to the presence of flavones, bisabolol and other constituents of the volatile oil. This herb is particularly suited to digestive problems such as nervous dyspepsia and colic.
Chamomille has also been known as a ‘female’ herb and has been used to relieve morning sickness, menopausal symptoms, dysmenorrhoea, mastitis, amenorrhoea with a psychological component (e.g. anorexia nervosa), and hysteria. It has a traditional use in the treatment of asthma and hayfever, probably due to the herb’s action on the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract. It is thought to reduce the reaction to allergens such as pollen or dust in sensitive individuals.
Medline Plus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-chamomile.html
Purple Sage Botanicals. http://www.purplesage.org.uk/profiles/chamomile.htm