Chamomile is one of the garden herbs that have been preferred for its medicinal value. The Egyptians admired it for its worth, and from their conviction in its capability to cure diseases and offered it to their gods. It has been profusely grown in gardens because of its virtues as a medicinal plant.
Functions of Chamomile
- The plant when fresh is intensely aromatic, and is characterized by a distinctive aroma of apples.
- It was a trait that caught the attention of the Greeks who named the plant ‘ground-apple’ – kamai (on the ground) and melon (an apple) – from where the name Chamomile originates.
- The Spaniards referred it to as ‘Manzanilla,’ which denotes ‘a little apple
The presence of the plant is denoted by its powerful, perfumed smell even when it is not seen. It was due to this reason that it was used as one of the scented strewing herbs in the middle Ages, and utilized frequently to be deliberately planted in green walks in gardens. However the aromatic fragrance gives no hint of its bitterness of taste.
The Chamomile was considered in the past as the ‘Plant’s Physician,’ and it has been observed that it contributes greatly to the health of a garden with a large number of Chamomile herbs planted in it. If an herb of Chamomile is placed near a drooping or sickly plant chances are that it will recover in the majority of cases.
How Chamomile can help?
The entire plant is aromatic and useful but its worth is primarily determined by flower-heads or capitula, the portion that is utilized for medicinal purposes. The herb itself is employed in the production of herb beers.
The single as well as the double flowers are utilized for medicinal purposes. It is estimated that the healing traits of the single, wild Chamomile are more beneficial, since the primary medical advantage of the plant is related to the crucial disk of yellow florets. In the cultivated double variety the white florets of the ray are developed, while the yellow centre shrinks. The alkali content in the single flowers is, however, likely to damage the outside layer of the stomach and bowels, and it is no doubt for this reason the double, cultivated type is time and again preferred.
Conditions for growth
Chamomile requires sunny conditions to grow. The single type which is found in the wild grows ideally in a somewhat parched, sandy soil in the wilderness but the double-flowered Chamomile requires a soil that is rich.
Health Benefits of Chamomile Tea
The health benefits of chamomile tea is considered quite substantial. Chamomile tea can help not only in relieving menstrual cramps, but also in treating anxiety, burns, wounds, chicken pox, eczema, etc. The uses of chamomile tea include treating cold, stomach upset, insomnia, etc. As a poultice, chamomile tea can be effective in treating injuries. The various uses of chamomile tea has made it a “cure-all” medicine.
However at all times chamomile tea should be prepared in an enclosed vessel, so as to prevent the steam from escaping. This has to be done since the medicinal worth of the flowers is to a great extent weakened by any evaporation.
Health Benefits of Chamomile oil
Like chamomile tea, there are various benefits associated with chamomile oil. These include calming of mind by relieving stress and anxiety, toothache, headache, earache, blisters, burns, wounds, rashes, gastrointestinal problems, etc.