Chamomile (Huang Chu Ju)
Botanical Name: Chamaemelum nobile (Roman or English Chamomile), Matricaria recutita (German Chamomile)
Chamomile is documented as being one of the most popular teas sold in the U.S. and Europe. It is a gentle but highly effective herb famous as a cure-all but best known for soothing digestion, aiding sleep and helping to soothe skin rashes and bruises. This herb is often used in magical formulas to help protect the body, mind and spirit from negative energies and forces. The flowers can be both warming and cooling.
Remember to check with your doctor before trying new medicines or herbal remedies, especially if you are taking other medication where drug interactions are possible.
Below is an overview of chamomile, combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Oriental Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore, and a wide range of healing modalities. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of chamomile.
How to use Chamomile and take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!
Find out how to safely use this powerful herb and get specific recipes you can make use of immediately. Get Eastern and Western perspectives about HOW and WHY this herb works.
Also Known As: Camomile, Roman Chamomile, English Chamomile, Russian Chamomile, Mayweed, True Chamomile, Sweet False Chamomile, Plant Physician, Earth Apple
Organs/Systems: Skin, Lungs, Digestion, Immunity, Nerves
Key Actions: Adaptogen, Alterative, Analgesic, Cardioprotective, Antispasmodic, Anti-inflammatory, Nervine Tonic, Diuretic, Nutritive Tonic, Thyroid Stimulant, Aphrodisiac, Antimicrobial, Anticancer, Anticoagulant, Tonic, Anodyne, Carminative, Sedative, Laxative, Diaphoretic, Emmenagogue
Medicinal Uses: Poor appetite, bloating, stomach cramping, intestinal cramping, menstrual cramping, muscle aches and cramping, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, depression, skin rashes, ulcers, wounds, diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), abdominal gas, improve thyroid function, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, relax the vessels and arteries, hemorrhoids, regulates blood sugar levels, reduces inflammation, cold symptoms, slowing or preventing osteoporosis.
Also Known As: N/A
Meridians: Lungs, Heart, Stomach, Liver
Key Actions: Moves Qi, Releases Qi Stagnation,Tonifies the Liver, Stops Inflammation, Soothes Pain, Strengthens the Stomach, Releases to the Exterior, Clears Heat, Stops Cough, Moves Blood, Calms Shen
Medicinal Uses: Emotional upsets, anxiety, headache, nightmares, depression, irregular menses with clotting, PMS, stomach ulcers, poor appetite, hypochondriac pain, swollen abdomen, sore throat, cramps, stomach spasms, wounds, bruises, skin rashes, nausea, aids digestion, promotes smooth bowels, colds, flus, fevers, asthma, bronchitis, chills and fevers at the Shao Yang and Shao Yin stages, menstrual cramps, difficult menses, insomnia, lowers blood pressure, palpitations.
The term chamomile refers to several species of daisy-like plants, which are all members of the Asteraceae family. Roman chamomile is a perennial plant that grows close to the ground with small flowers. German chamomile is an annual plant with large blossoms that can grow up to three feet tall. Roman chamomile has terminal single heads flowers with white florets and a yellow center. German chamomile has an erect stem with finely divided feathery leaves. The terminal flower heads have white florets and yellow central disc florets. The whole plant is aromatic.
German and Roman Chamomile are native to many countries in Europe and are now cultivated in many countries around the world. German chamomile is said to be native to Spain, and then was brought into the rest of Europe. Chamomile prefers full sun and sandy moist soil. It is often found along roads and needs a fair amount of water and a short cool season. It is most often grown in Argentina, Belgium, Egypt, Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland and Russia.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Flower, Whole Plant
Flavors/Temps: Roman – Bitter, Slightly Sweet, Aromatic. German – Sweet, Aromatic.
Caution: Not for anyone allergic to flowers in the Asteraceae (Daisy) family.
Key Constituents: Apigenin (a Flavone), Quercetin, Alpha-bisabolol, Sesquiterpenes, Terpenoids, Flavonoids, Coumarins, Umbelliferone, Phenylpropanois, Chlorogenic acid, Caffeic acid, Calcium, Potassium, Volatile oils.
History/Folklore: Chamomile has been used since ancient times by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. In the Middle Ages it was popular for treating colds, fevers, inflammations and nausea. The herb can be used internally or externally. It is one of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to mankind and is used the world over.
The Egyptians offered the flowers to their Sun God Ra, and the Germans referred to the herb as “capable of anything.”
German (Matricaria recutita) and Roman Chamomile (Chamomaeelum nobile) are two different species of plants that have very similar healing properties. Roman chamomile is the plant best known and studied as a medicinal herb. It is often called “true chamomile or Russian or English chamomile,” it is a popular ground cover plant and German chamomile can grow to be 1 to 2 feet tall. Both are used to treat digestive disorders, anxiety, and insomnia.
The name “chamomile” derives from the Greek “chamoemelon” meaning “earth apple” because its fragrance resembles apples. The Latin name “Matericaria” derives from “matrix” meaning “womb” or “mater” meaning “mother”, a reference to the herbs ability to aid female complaints.
The plant, manzanilla, also called pineapple weed, has similar uses as the German and Roman chamomiles. In Mexican folklore it is used to soothe the stomach, ease digestion and support strong lungs preventing asthma and allergies. The Spanish wine flavored with manzanilla, means “little apples”. Its Welsh name is “camri” meaning footsteps or walk, as Roman chamomile grows so close to the ground.
In the Middle Ages chamomile flowers were strewn about the floor and home to sweeten the air.
Culpeper said, “A decoction made of Camomile, and drank, taketh away all pains and stitches in the side…The flowers of Camomile beaten, and made into balls with oil, drive away all sorts of agues.”
The Mayans made tea with chamomile, orange and lime leaves to lift the spirit.
Before refrigeration, meat was immersed in a chamomile infusion to prevent it from spoiling.
Native American Indians have used the various chamomiles in a variety of ways, often making use of the whole plant. Different tribes had different purposes that included teas for stomach bloating, regulating the bowels and making perfume from the crushed dry flowers.
Related species, Asterales cotula or Anthemis cotula, commonly called dog fennel, stinking chamomile, or May weed, were once widely used in the United States to promote sweating in chronic rheumatism. Often confused with true or Roman chamomile, it is easy to tell the difference by crushing a few leaves and flowers between your fingers. Chamomile has a lovely scent and dog fennel does not!
In China, chrysanthemum would be the flower that is most similar to how we use chamomile in the West. While the Western chamomile is not a plant traditionally used in Chinese Medicine, and chrysanthemums are, chamomile has become popular for treating anxiety, colds, and digestive disorders.
To extract the oil from the plants most manufacturers use steam distillation. Roman chamomile contains more oils than the German variety. The whole plant can be used but the flowers are the most potent. The flowers are harvested when the plant is in full bloom. Most of the medicinal properties are found in the blue volatile oil contained in the flowers.
Chamomile is known to be an aid to other plants in the garden as well. It is called the “plant’s physician” as it helps cure plants that it is planted near, also keeping them free of insects and pests. Even bees do not like the scent of chamomile and will not go near it. It is also used as a protection plant for people. By sprinkling the oil around doors and windows negative energy is prevented from entering the home. Roman chamomile can be planted instead of grass as it can withstand being walked over and will in fact, release its fragrance as it is stepped on.
Chamomile has been used in hair shampoos for its ability to lighten blonde highlights in hair, and in lotions and creams for its fragrance and skin soothing abilities.
Chamomile is used as a flavoring in the liqueurs Benedictine and vermouth. The dried flowers can be used as incense to help promote sleep. And studies have shown that the plant may even aid kidney functions.
Chamomile is very safe so it is often used to treat children for restlessness, poor sleep and upset stomachs. In homeopathy it is used to treat childhood toothaches, earaches, colic and headaches.
Chamomile is a symbol for energy in action or adversity. It is an herb of the sun and is therefore associated with regeneration, healing and protection. The apple, which it is sometimes said to smell like was a sun plant totem for Ancient Greeks. For these reasons it was planted on graves as a symbol of rebirth, in the same way that the sun rises and is reborn each morning.
Chamomile was a sacred herb of the midsummer festivals and was thrown onto the festival fires, ritual cups for drinking and in garlands used to decorate the ceremonial areas.
Confirmed by Research
Chamomile Oil Uses
How to use Chamomile to take FULL advantage of it's healing powers!
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