German chamomile

German chamomile, herb, what is chamomile, what is german chamomile

Matricaria recutita, formerly Chamomilla recutita Compositae/Asteraceae.


Found throughout Europe, German chamomile grows wild in fields and along roadsides, and is cultivated in gardens. It reaches a height of about 40cm and its daisy-like flowers have an aromatic scent.


Parts used

  • Flowers
  • German chamomile grows wild and is also cultivated in the UK. . The flowers are gathered in full bloom, then dried.
  • The dried flowers have a strong smell and a very bitter taste.
  • German chamomile is used in infusions, capsules and solutions. It is also a component of many pharmaceutical preparations and body and hair-care products.

Constituents

German chamomile's bitter tasteis due to substances called sesquiterpenoid lactones, Its essential oil contains azulenes, bisabols and flavonoids. These active constituents give the herb its anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and smooth musclerelaxing properties - particularly in the gastrointestinal tract.


Medicinal uses

German chamomile has been used for centuries as a medicinal plant, mostly for digestive disorders. It is also a mild sedative, calming the nervous system. The essential oil has an anti-inflammatory effect on mucous membranes: a chamomile steam inhalation will help to ease sinusitis and asthma.


In 1979, German researchers found that bisabol was an antiinflammatory, while French scientists in 1983 proved the herb's antiviral effects against polio and herpes.


The plant's anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties make it a good remedy for stomach aches and period pains. It also eases bloating due to excessive wind.


Externally, a German chamomile cream treats skin inflammation and promotes healing. It is recommended for eczema, nappy rash and cracked nipples. It is also used as an eye bath and in antiseptic mouthwashes


PREPARATION AND DOSAGE

For internal use


TO TREAT gastric or intestinal spasms, bloating, sluggish digestion, period pains, insomnia


INFUSION Put 1 sachet or 5-8g of loose chamomile into 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Drink 3 cups a day before meals. For external use


TO TREAT skin ailments,
eye irritation, oral hygiene OINTMENTS, EYE lOTIONS, PASTillES,


MOUTHWASHES Use as directed.
TO TREAT sinusitis, asthma STEAM INHALATION Make an infusion as described above and inhale the rising steam.


IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST CONSULT A DOCTOR


Cultivation

Sow seeds in spring in well-drained, neutral to acid soil in a sunny spot.


CAUTIONS

  • No toxic or adverse effects have been reported to date.
  • Topical application may, in very rare cases, cause allergic reactions.
  • Do not use if allergic to plants from the Asteraceae family (asters and chrysanthemums).
  • Consult a doctor before use if taking anticoagulant drugs.


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