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Chamomile, German
SCIENTIFIC NAME

Matricaria recutita

BIOTANICAL FAMILY

Asteraceae

PLANT PART

Flowers picked at peak development (but leaves and stems can be made into tea albeit medicinally weaker)

PREPARATIONS

Tea, tincture, glycerite, baths, water-soluble extracts, and compress

THERAPEUTIC APPLICATIONS

Antimicrobial, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, bitter, carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, hypnotic, nervine, and stomachic

EMOTIONAL/ENERGETIC QUALITIES

Grounding and calming; promotes deep sleep; mild anxiolytic; slightly cooling and drying

ETNOBOTANY LORE AND ANCIENT PRACTICES

Native of Western Europe, the common name comes from the Greek words "chamai" (on the ground) and "melon" (apple), referring to the smell of fresh flowers. Greek physician Hippocrates described the herb in the 5th century BC and chamomile also appeared in Dioscorides' De Materia Medica written in the 1st century AD. The Egyptians revered the flowers for its healing properties, believing it was a gift from the sun god Ra. It was also used for mummifying the dead. Likely introduced to North America by European colonists in the 16th century, it was prescribed in the 1800s to treat digestive problems and skin conditions. Chamomile is an hypnotic herb that helps inducing or sustaining deep sleep, calming the nervous system after a busy and challenging day. Drinking tea after a meal can help digestion and healing gastric ulcers with its antispasmodic and mild analgesic properties. External applications as compress or soak can help treat local infections. The flower is also used as a strong tea to lighten up hair color.

SAFETY

Some individuals are allergic to the Asteraceae family and might experience headaches; generally very safe for children and elders

DISCLAIMER: The information provided above is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease; these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Please consult a licensed healthcare specialist for specific medical advice.

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