Any of us who have dabbled in herbal teas will have heard of chamomile. But do we know any more about this wonderful herb than the brand we usually buy? Ouch!
Here are a few reasons to grow some of your own….
Two main types of chamomile are widely grown; Roman Chamomile (chamaemelum nobile) and German chamomile (Matricaria recutita). Both have similar qualities and are used in similar ways.
Records show that the Egyptians worshiped chamomile and used it in medicinal aids as well as cosmetic preparations. It has been used for centuries all over Europe and was distributed further a-field during the 16th century.
Its daisy like flowers make it an attractive addition to a herb garden and, as the plant is perennial, it will grace your garden for many years.
Chamomile often grows around the edge of gardens and can be found in the wild. It re-seeds itself readily but is easily controlled.
It’s often left to grow between paving slabs and alongside pathways. When walked on, the plant releases a pleasant scent.
Chamomile can grow up to a metre in height but generally it will grow as a shrub around 2-3 feet (60-90cm) high. It makes a good edging plant especially around a lawn or grassed area.
While only the flowers are used in the home, the whole herb is used in commercial beer making. Chamomile tea is widely drunk and can be bought in most supermarkets or health shops.
Medicinal uses for Chamomile
Chamomile has mild sedative properties and has, for many years, been made into a soothing and calming tea. It can also aid digestion and alleviate symptoms of the common cold.
Chamomile is used in cosmetic preparations including hair lighteners and shampoos.
It has been found useful for reducing joint inflammation such as arthritis and also easing menstrual cramps.
*Text from 20 Occasional Herbs; a step by step guide to growing 20 fabulous herbs at home. Listed here: Herb Books
I need to get some more chamomile started 🙂