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Chamomile
shopping: all 3 varieties
Matricaria recutita

chamomile

plant overview
calming chamomile

German chamomile is a member of the aster and sunflower family that gets its common name from the combination of the Greek kamai and melon, or “on the ground” and “apple,” respectively. The “ground apple” reference comes from the fact that this aromatic herb gives off an apple-like scent when bruised or brushed against. As such, chamomile herb is very popular in teas and in topical products formulated for the hair and skin.

Clicking "learn more" next to each variety will take you to individual product pages for details.
Chamomile
01.
A Bit of Botany
a little botanical information about chamomile

description
Chamomile is an annual plant of the composite family Asteraceae. It has a branched, erect and smooth stem, which grows to a height of 15–60 cm (6-24 inches). The long and narrow leaves are bipinnate or tripinnate.

The flowers are borne in paniculate flower heads (capitula). The white ray florets are furnished with a ligule, while the disc florets are yellow. The hollow receptacle is swollen and lacks scales. This property distinguishes German chamomile from Corn chamomile (Anthemis arvensis), which has a receptacle with scales. The flowers bloom in early to midsummer, and have a strong, aromatic smell.

common names & nomenclature
The word chamomile comes from the Greek chamaimēlon meaning "earth-apple", which is derived from chamai meaning "on the ground" and mēlon meaning "apple". It is so called because of the apple-like scent of the plant.

Also known as:
matricaria chamomilla, german chamomile, hungarian chamomile, pin heads, camomile, wild chamomile, scented mayweed, stinking mayweed, pineapple weed


02.
Where in the World
habitat and range for chamomile

Chamomile can be found near populated areas all over Europe and temperate Asia, and it has been widely introduced in temperate North America and Australia.

03.
Cultivation & Harvesting
considerations for growing and harvesting chamomile

climate
Chamomile often grows near roads, around landfills, and in cultivated fields as a weed in full sun or light shade.

soil
Chamomile will tolerate many soils, but prefers a sandy, well-drained soil.

growing
Start your chamomile seeds indoors for later transplant, about 6 weeks before you are expecting the last frost of the winter. Plant out in the garden spaced 12-18 inches apart after the last frost. You may also plant your chamomile seeds directly into the garden; you can either sow your seeds in the early spring or even put the seeds out in the fall to overwinter.

Though an annual that will only survive for one year, chamomile will readily seed itself. That means you can have an ongoing patch of chamomile if you let some of the blossoms go to seed rather than picking them all.

harvesting
Harvest chamomile flowers during the entire blooming season; pick only the blossoms not the stems. Spread them out somewhere warm and well-ventilated to thoroughly dry. Direct sunlight can harm the chamomile oils, so don’t just leave them out in the sun to dry. Indoors is usually best.

preserving
Once dry, you can store chamomile flowers, whole or ground, in a sealed container for a year. Store in a cool, dry place.

04.
The Rest of the Story
chamomile history, folklore, literature & more

the kindness of chamomile
You probably already know that chamomile can be a great ingredient for a tea that helps you to get a little more sleep at night. But what you may not know is that it can do much more for you. In fact, chamomile is so versatile you’ll want to use it all the time.

If you have any kind of anxiety or stress, chamomile can help to sooth your stresses away. It helps to relax the body in a natural way. This is especially good for women who are pregnant and can take other types of medications or remedies for relaxation. A cup of chamomile tea is just the answer for someone who needs to calm his or her nerves.

If you suffer from irritated skin, chamomile can help you to get the relief you seek. You can create a natural chamomile herbal toner to help restore the proper pH balance to your skin. You can add a bath sachet of chamomile leaves to your tub and allow it to infuse into the water. This will help you to have soothing relief all over your skin. It also provides a nice, relaxing fragrance to the water.

Women who suffer from yeast infections and other vaginal irritations will also benefit from chamomile infused baths. You may also want to use a chamomile infusion as a douche to fight vaginal irritation.

For a fussy baby, try adding some chamomile to bath water to produce a relaxing bath. This will help to soothe your baby and help him to get a better night’s sleep. In fact, you may want to try this to help you sleep, too.

If you have puffy eyes, you may want to use a compress of chamomile to help relieve your swelling and relax your eyes. Infuse chamomile into water and then wait for it to cool. You can dip a washcloth in it and keep it in the refrigerator. Place it over your eyes for about 10 minutes to get the effect.

Rinsing the mouth with an infusion of chamomile can bring relief to sore, inflamed gums without any harsh medications or chemicals.

Using chamomile oil is also good for your teeth. If you have any type of abscess in the mouth, applying a cotton ball soaked in chamomile oil directly to the affected area can help to fight infection and bring pain relief. However, make sure to see a dental professional to finish taking care of the problem.

As you can see, chamomile is more than just a sleep aid. It can help you with a variety of problems and is a natural and safe way to heal some conditions. For more information on various herbs to help you sleep read our article on sleep herbs.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
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