• Chamomile, or known in the British way of spelling, camomile, is the common name for many daisy-like flowers in the family Asteraceae. It is native to many European countries. There are many different species of chamomile, however there are two main ones, the Roman chamomile, a perennial plant, and the German chamomile, an annual. Chamomile derives from the Greek χαμαίμηλον (khamaimēlon) which means “earth apple.” Its popularity grew throughout the Middle Ages when it was used for many ailments including nausea, asthma, colic, inflammation, fevers, nervous anxieties, cancer and skin diseases. Did you know that in the story of Peter Rabbit, his mother gave him chamomile tea when he wasn’t feeling good?
• German chamomile plants can grow up to about 3 feet high, depending on the environmental conditions while Roman chamomile grows very close to the ground. Each stem has only one flower on it, and it is easily recognizable since it resembles a daisy with white petals and a yellow center. Leaves on a Roman chamomile are parsley-like, thick and flat and finely divided. However on German chamomile, the leaves are light green, feathery, and fern-like.
• This flower is used in many different industries, such as skin care, medicine, and even cosmetic products. Ancient Egyptians dedicated chamomile to their gods because they firmly believed in its healing powers. They also used it to preserve deceased pharaohs by using it as the main ingredient in embalming oils. In olden days, it was referred to as the “Plant’s Physician.” It is thought that if a plant looks droopy or sick, if chamomile is planted near it, it will bring the drooping plant back to life.
• Roman chamomile and German chamomile are two very different plants. They each have their own specific qualities, which includes the environment needed for them to grow. German grows best in poor, clay soil in sunny, open locations. However it will still grow in lightly shaded places. Roman chamomile however cannot tolerate extremely hot places. It grows best in fertilized, well drained soil and thrives in open and sunny locations. Chamomile is native to eastern and southern Europe.
• Once the seeds are planted, it takes chamomile about 1-2 weeks to start growing. It should be fully grown after about a month. Its flowers resemble daisies with their long white petals and yellow centers. Roman chamomile grows very close to the ground, usually maybe reaching a foot tall, while German chamomile can grow up to 3 feet tall. It should usually be planted during spring and will usually bloom all through the summer. When it is in full bloom, chamomile usually has a strong apple smell to it.
• When planted in or near a vegetable garden, chamomile will help to repel cucumber beetles. Not many bugs or pests will bother chamomile plants, however it is susceptible to some viruses like a powdery mildew or fungi like white rust. One species of moths, the Autographa chryson, has been known to strip chamomile of its leaves sometimes. Some species of aphids have also been known to feed on chamomile plants.
Chamomile Uses in Industries
• Chamomile is mainly used as a tea, but the plant itself is edible as well. The leaves and flowers can both be eaten and will have a strong apple taste to them. Some people use them as an ingredient for salads. Chamomile can also be used as an infusion for jams, flavoring for fruit topping and even can give a sweeter taste to syrup. Chamomile tea is used to help cure many problems like lack of sleep and upset stomachs. An anti-bacterial compound, hippurate, is found in chamomile, so people who drink chamomile tea tend to have higher levels of this compound. Hippurate helps the body fight off infections caused by colds.
Bath and Body Products
• Chamomile can be used in many common products and industries. It can be used for foods, beverages, medicine, bath and body products and even used in cosmetics. For candle and soap making, the flowers can be used as a natural decoration and can be used in potpourri formulations.
• Common products that can include chamomile are creams, lotions, ointments, bath teas, shampoos, conditioners, scrubs and massage oils.
• This flower is great for skin care. It helps to soften the skin, and gives it a nice healthy glow. It also helps to heal flaky skin and reduce stretch marks and wrinkles. When used in eye and face masks, chamomile brings a wonderful aroma, relaxation and helps to soften the skin.
• Did you know chamomile is also a muscle relaxer? When used in massage oils, it helps to relieve inflammation and muscle stiffness. It is also used in bath tea recipes as a muscles relaxer.
• For hair care, chamomile infusion can be added to shampoos. When used in conditioners, it helps to make hair more manageable and shinier. Chamomile can also be used to enhance blonde hair color.
• When used in cosmetics, chamomile is used for its anti-inflammatory effects and also serves as an emollient.
• Chamomile can be used for many different reasons in medicine. It is widely used to treat stomachaches, sleep problems and help with digestion. It also helps to speed up the healing of many wounds, burns and skin ulcers. If used as a vapor, it can help treat asthma and cold symptoms. Chamomile also helps to fix bowel problems and reduce bowel inflammation. It is thought of as the European version of the tonic, Ginseng. Ginseng is a Chinese tonic used to treat many conditions like diabetes and depression.
• There are many skin problems that can be treated with chamomile as well. Rheumatic problems, rashes, burns, sunburns, inflammation are just a few. It can also help to prevent infections from bacteria.
• Insomnia can be helped with chamomile as well, especially when used in a tea. It helps people who have insomnia to fall asleep faster and easily.
• If used in a mouthwash, chamomile treats gum disease and mouth sores. It also helps to keep gums healthy.
• Chamomile can also help to relieve allergies. However, anyone allergic to ragweed could also possibly be allergic to chamomile.
• For children, restlessness, colic and teething problems can be relieved if they are given chamomile.
• Morning sickness can also be relieved for pregnant women, however Roman chamomile can possibly induce uterine contractions, which can cause miscarriages. For women who are not pregnant, chamomile can be used to relieve menstrual cramps and sleep disorders caused be the onset of premenstrual syndrome, otherwise known as PMS.
• Did you know that chamomile tea or medications with chamomile may help with muscle tics or twitching?
• Chamomile tea has also been said to be able to kill off cancer cells.
• If you are into aromatherapy, chamomile is perfect for that use as well.
• Nature’s Garden sells chamomile for external use only. We do not sell it as a food item. The information above talks about how great chamomile is for many industries, however we only sell it for external use. We provide this data for educational purposes only. Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using this product or any of this information for treatment purposes.
• Get ready to have some fun with chamomile! We have an awesome free recipe for a Chamomile Light Lotion! You’ll just love it!