Chamomile tea – Organic
Botanical Name: Matricaria recutita
Plant Family: Asteraceae
Plant description: German chamomile grows wild in Europe and other temperate regions. It is an annual growing to 1 m with erect branching stems. The leaves are mildly aromatic, pinnate with fine filiform segments. The simple daisy-like flowers are sweetly perfumed with white petals and yellow centers.
Part used: The Flower.
Harvest: Collection between late spring and late summer.
Active Constituents: Essential oil (containing chamazulene, dicycloethers, bisabolol oxides and preferably bisabolol), matricine, mucilage, coumarins, flavinoids, glycosides.
Energetics: Bitter, spicy, neutral to cooling.
Actions: Anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, carminative, sedative, diaphoretic, vulnerary, analgesic, bitter.
Uses: Chamomile is soothing and relaxing to the gastrointestinal tract and the nervous system. Frequently used for digestive complaints including irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, flatulence, colic and childhood diarrhea. It has also been used historically for gastritis, peptic ulcers and gastro-oesophageal reflux. It is thought to relieve restlessness anxiety and insomnia and is often used to settle teething children. As a steam inhalation, chamomile has been used in the treatment of hayfever, asthma and nasal catarrh. Externally, chamomile has tradiationally thought to speed up the healing of wounds and/or inflammation. It historically has been thought to be helpful in sunburn, burns, haemorrhoids, mastitis, leg ulcers, mouth ulcers and eczema.
Dosage: Infusion – pour one cup of boiling water onto one teaspoon of dried herb. Leave to infuse for five minutes. Drink up to one cup three times per day. Infusions or semisolid preparations containing 3–10% of the flowers for external use as wash or gargle. Liquid Extract (1:2) – 20—40 ml/week.
Cautions: Persons with known sensitivity to the Compositae family (such as ragweed, mugwort, daisies and chrysanthemums) should avoid topical application.
Interactions: None known.