chamomile

21st May 2014

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Calming, Healing, Co-operative, Inner Peace, Spiritual Awareness and Harmonising.

Chamomile is considered the garden’s healer and is often grown in gardens just to improve the health of all the other plants.

The name of this magic herb comes from the Greek word for “ground apple”, due to its scent, which resembles that of apples. The scent is said to keep out negative energy and to help bring understanding in confusion.  I have been making a pot with the fresh flowers in the evening and leaving a cup next to my bed to drink when I wake thirsty during the night and to drink when waking first thing in the morning.

“The aromatic component in Chamomile, stemming from the plant’s high volatile oil content, is predictably nervine, meaning that it has a discernible effect on the nervous system which effectively treats anxiety, insomnia, nervousness, and stress.  It has been used for ages to treat indigestion in children as it is very soothing to the digestive tract.  Chamomile provides relief from headaches and allergies, stomach aches, and menstrual cramps.” – See reference below.

In Ayurvedic medicine, chamomile is considered tridoshic, meaning it supports all three constitutions.

Chamomile is a good remedy for all sorts of eye inflammations and infections.  It can be used as a warm compress to wash the eyes to reduce inflammation, infection and pain in the treatment of styes, conjunctivitis, and pink eyes.

The fresh flowers are nice to add to a relaxing bath, and a rinse made from the flowers gives highlights to blond hair.

The buds or just-opened flowers can be used in salads, savouring the sweet aromatic taste of the plant with a slightly bitter after-taste.

The two most common types of plants grown are the Roman (chamaemelum nobile) and German (marticaria recutita).  I grow the German chamomile which is native to Europe.  In Germany, it is referred to as alles zutruat, which translates to “capable of anything”.  It has feathery, bright, green, fern-like flowers.  It can usually be cut a couple of times during the growing season because it takes only a few weeks to make a new crop of flowers.  Leaving the crop of flowers to go to seed, will help ensure the sprouting of seedlings everywhere for the next Spring.

When harvesting, they’re best picked when the petals are dropping down (just like droopy bunny ears) as they are less bitter.  I just pop off the flower with my fingers.  If you will be drying the flowers, I place the flowers in a net bag (stops them from flying around) in the dehydrator at 95 degrees F until no moisture remains, approx. 3 hours or laid out in a quiet dry corner in the kitchen for two or three days.  Direct sunlight can be harmful to the oils in chamomile, so it is suggested to dry them indoors.

NOTE: This herb is not recommended during pregnancy, as some herbalists consider it too relaxing to the uterus.  Some people who suffer from hay- fever who are sensitive to ragweed, asters, or related plants, may be sensitive to chamomile.

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chamomile tea

For making tea, pour a cup of boiling water over eight – ten of the fresh flowers or a teaspoon of the dried herbs.  Let it steep for 5 – 10 minutes.

Keep covered when infusing for tea in order to preserve the volatile components as long as possible.

When drunk as a tea, the blissfully apple-like scent brings a relaxed smile and an overall feeling of relaxation.

Because the flower oil is not very water-soluble, the potent medicine is diluted when making tea.  This makes the tea ideal to drink on a regular basis as the effects are likely to be increased over time.

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References: 

http://www.alchemy-works.com/herb_chamomile.html

http://www.biospiritual-energy-healing.com/chamomile.html

Goodness shared from Stacey

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