Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

German chamomile is an annual that blooms spring through summer. It is a member of the Asteraceae family, and is native to southern and eastern Europe. Growing up to 1-2 ft. in height, this plant is characterized by its thin stems, narrow leaves, and daisy-like appearance with white petals and a yellow center.

Chamomile is a wonderfully soothing herb used to treat different ailments, especially restlessness or gastrointestinal problems. It has been used for centuries for its anti-inflammatory, sedative, antibacterial, and anti-allergenic properties. When ingested, either as a tea or tincture, it may help alleviate insomnia, cold symptoms, promote bowel movement, relieve stress, and reduce any inflammations or discomfort of the muscles. When used as a balm, it may help soothe irritated skin due to eczema or rashes, prevent infection, and promote healing.

German Chamomile | DGStoreUK

A great way to utilize chamomile is in a bath soak. To start, draw your bath with lukewarm water, and once 1/3 of the tub is filled, add in your herbs. You may choose to use 6-8 drops of essential oil or 1 cup dried flowers in a soak bag or fine cloth (for fresh flowers, use 1.5 – 2 cups.) A chamomile soak can help soothe sore muscles and pains due to its anti-inflammatory and calming properties. If you would like to personalize your own recipe, here is a list of ingredients that can compliment your chamomile soak:

 

Ingredient  Properties Amount (If mixing 3-4 different herbs, use 1/4 cup or 2 drops of essential oil each)
Epsom salt Reduces swelling, irritation, aches, itching, and soothes skin. Helps detoxify body, increases magnesium level. 1-2 cups
Honey Soothes, hydrates, and softens skin. Rich with antioxidants and amino acids. 1 cup
Lavender Soothes aches, irritation, swelling, and softens skin. Perfect for relaxation and as a sleep aid. 1 cup, or 6-8 drops of essential oil
Rosemary Soothes aches and inflammation, helps congestion. Rich in antioxidants. 1 cup, or 6-8 drops of essential oil
Lemon balm Soothes skin, relieves itching, relaxes body. Good for sunburns. 1 cup, or 6-8 drops of essential oil
Calendula Reduces aches, soothes and benefits skin, used as wound wash. 1 cup, or 6-8 drops of essential oil

 

All seed from the herbs mentioned in this article can be found on our website, Etsy, and is available for pick up at the Downtown Veneta Farmer’s Market from 10-2pm. Let us know if you tried the recipe, and feel free to share yours down in the comments below!

Disclaimer: Talk to your doctor or herbalist before use, as everyone has different reactions and benefits from this plant.

Sources

  1. Srivastava, Janmejai K et al. “Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future.” Molecular medicine reports vol. 3,6 (2010): 895-901. doi:10.3892/mmr.2010.377
  2. Charlotte Gyllenhaal, Sharon L. Merritt, Sara Davia Peterson, Keith I. Block, Tom Gochenour,
    Efficacy and safety of herbal stimulants and sedatives in sleep disorders. Sleep Medicine Reviews,
    Volume 4, Issue 3,2000, Pages 229-251, ISSN 1087-0792, https://doi.org/10.1053/smrv.1999.0093 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S108707929990093X)
  3. Amsterdam, Jay D et al. “Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) may provide antidepressant activity in anxious, depressed humans: an exploratory study.” Alternative therapies in health and medicine vol. 18,5 (2012): 44-9.
  4. Srivastava, Janmejai K et al. “Chamomile, a novel and selective COX-2 inhibitor with anti-inflammatory activity.” Life sciences vol. 85,19-20 (2009): 663-9. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2009.09.007
  5. Keefe, John R et al. “Short-term open-label chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) therapy of moderate to severe generalized anxiety disorder.” Phytomedicine : international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology vol. 23,14 (2016): 1699-1705. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2016.10.013

 

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