I walked into the raised garden beds of a property where I would be working and was delighted by the array of ground cover flowers, prolifically growing vegetables, and leafy herbs.A line of beautiful white flowers, two feet tall and smelling like sweet apples, grew between the onions and the cabbage.The soft foliage complemented the starspray flowers that bent over the cabbage heads with a dopey and relaxed abandon.Commonly known as pinhead, scented mayweed, and (my personal favorite) babuna, the latin name for this delightful flower is Matricaria chamomilla, translating to “water of youth.” It’s a plant native to central and southern Europe, although it has spread far and wide around the globe.More popularly, the dried and crushed flowers and leaves have been used to brew a relaxing tea, reputedly with the benefit of aiding a deep sleep and calming stomach pain.This variety of scented mayweed is often cultivated for its essential oils, and the aromatic flowers that go into that teabag you’re hopefully enjoying while reading this.This is partly due to the nature of the roots of chamomile – they are shallow and just barely grip onto the top soil.That also makes M. chamomilla more sensitive to water conditions during the initial stages of growth when the plant is establishing itself.If you don’t have one, pick up a rain gauge so you can measure that free watering from ol’ Mother Nature, so your own hose and sprinkler may be used effectively only a supplement.Although its flowers and leaves are suitable for harvest, the plant is typically grown instead for its benefits as a ground cover.The low-growing Roman acts well as an accent plant while the German variety is best put into a large container where it can spread out and grow freely.The naturally strong scent of chamomile offers resistance to many insects, and that benefit is extended to other plants growing near it.Growing your chamomile seeds indoors prior to popping them into the ground is the most effective, trusted method for growth.If you place your seeds in natural light (like I do), make sure to rotate them every few days so they do not grow too far in one direction.Fertilizers higher in nitrogen are more beneficial; chamomile’s weak root system has little use for phosphorus in its development.However, as with most plant diseases and pests, proper care and attention to watering minimizes any of these potential headaches you could encounter.Powdery mildew is the most common problem with scented mayweed, but it is a concern only when the weather is hot and damp for prolonged periods of time.Aphids, thrips, and mealybugs can bother M. chamomilla as well, but the plant is generally pest and problem free.Make a batch of tea at triple or quadruple strength, allow it to steep overnight, and use it the next day as an herbicide and aid against mildew.The ideal time to harvest is when the flower petals begin to curl downward, instead of growing out straight as they ordinarily do.If you’re drying the flower heads, separate them and arrange with some breathing room in between on a piece of cheesecloth or a mesh surface.You can adjust the strength of the tea by really cramming those flower heads in there for a stronger flavor, or by adding just a few if you want a milder taste.Although I’ve never used it for this purpose, you can even rinse your hair with unsweetened tea to bring a nice shine to those locks of yours. .
Two of the species, Matricaria recutita, and Anthemis nobilis are commonly used to make herbal infusions for beverages. There is insufficient scientific evidence that consuming chamomile in foods or beverages has any beneficial effect on health. It is used to "upholster" chamomile seats, raised beds which are about half a meter tall, and designed to be sat upon.Chamomile tea is a herbal infusion made from dried flowers and hot water. Unlike for tea, in which only the flowers are used, the whole plant has been used to make beers and ales, adding a bitter flavor component favored by craft breweries and homebrewers.The main constituents of chamomile flowers are polyphenol compounds, including apigenin, quercetin, patuletin, and luteolin.The use of chamomile has the potential to cause adverse interactions with numerous herbal products and prescription drugs and may worsen pollen allergies.Chamomile consists of several ingredients including coumarin, glycoside, herniarin, flavonoid, farnesol, nerolidol and germacranolide.Despite the presence of coumarin, as chamomile's effect on the coagulation system has not yet been studied, it is unknown if a clinically significant drug-herb interaction exists with antiplatelet/anticoagulant drugs.Chamomile should not be used by people with past or present cancers of the breast, ovary, uterus, endometriosis or uterine fibroids. Although oral consumption of chamomile is generally recognized as safe in the United States, there is insufficient clinical evidence about its potential for affecting nursing infants.Aphids have been observed feeding on chamomile plants and the moth Autographa chryson causes defoliation.In the No Doubt song Hey Baby, there's a line I'm just sippin' on chamomile sung by Gwen Stefani. .
How to Make Chamomile Tea with Fresh Flowers
During my most recent visit to my CSA it was an unusually chilly day and it started pouring while I was picking flowers and herbs.Author: Rachel Hanawalt Recipe type: Beverages Cuisine: American Serves: 1 Ingredients 3-4 Tbsp fresh chamomile flowers.You can even place your flowers into a heat-safe bowl or cup and, after steeping, pour your tea into your teacup through a fine mesh strainer.For the chamomile flowers, it's ideal to use them the same day they are harvested, as the delicate petals have a short shelf life.For the mint, select a small sprig about the size of a quarter off the tender top of the plant.Pour 8 oz of boiling water over the chamomile flowers and mint and then steep for 5 minutes. .
Chamomile Plant, Tea, and Oils: Health Benefits and Uses
Chamomile has been used as a traditional medicine for thousands of years to calm anxiety and settle stomachs.One product with chamomile and other herbal medicines has been shown to ease upset stomach, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting. .
8 benefits of chamomile tea
However, studies vary with some research proving clear benefits compared to alternative remedies, and others merely pointing to possible ones.Chamomile tea has long been used, as a traditional folk remedy, for a wide range of health issues.Nowadays, researchers are increasingly exploring its effectiveness in managing illnesses, including cancer and diabetes.These flavonoids are a type of nutrient present in many plants, and they play a significant role in chamomile’s medicinal effects.A 2010 study, for example, found that consuming chamomile tea for a month could reduce the pain of menstrual cramps.Research does not show that chamomile is a viable substitute for diabetes medications, but it may be a helpful supplement to existing treatments.Similarly, a 2008 study of rats found that consistent consumption of chamomile tea might prevent blood sugar from increasing.It also helped promote bone density, but the study’s authors caution that further research is needed to prove this apparent benefit.However, long-term inflammation is linked to a wide range of health problems, including hemorrhoids, gastrointestinal pain, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and even depression.In one review of the current evidence, 10 of 12 cardiovascular patients are quoted as having fallen asleep shortly after consuming chamomile tea.A handful of other studies looking at clinical models also suggest that chamomile tea may help people relax.Anecdotal evidence and some studies suggest that inhaling steam with chamomile extract can relieve some of the symptoms of the common cold. .
Chamomile: Benefits, Side Effects, and Preparations
German chamomile, which is considered the more potent variety and the type most widely used for medicinal purposes, is the plant discussed here.The generic name, Matricaria, comes from the Latin matrix, meaning womb, because chamomile was used historically to treat disorders of the female reproductive system.In modern times, chamomile is mostly taken orally to help with insomnia, anxiety, and digestive upsets, though it's also being investigated as a possible treatment for diabetes.Whether as a result of these compounds or others, research shows chamomile possesses properties that can help ease inflammation, spasms, and flatulence, promote calm and sleep, and protect against the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers.The few human studies that have been conducted are small, have design flaws (for instance, no control group), and show mixed results.When researchers compared their diaries to those who took a placebo, they found no significant difference in how fast patients fell asleep or how much sleep they got.In contrast, a 2017 study of 77 older people in nursing homes found a significant improvement in sleep quality when participants were given 400-milligram capsules of chamomile twice a day for four weeks, compared to those who didn't receive any treatment.However, the improvement went away four weeks after the women stopped drinking the tea, suggesting the positive effects of chamomile are limited to the short term.An animal study from 2014 showed that chamomile extracts have strong antidiarrheal and antioxidant properties when given to rats in a dose-dependent manner against castor oil-induced diarrhea and intestinal fluid accumulation.A 2015 study on more than 1,000 patients with acute diarrhea found that a commmercial product containing a combination of myrrh, coffee charcoal, and chamomile flower extract is well tolerated, safe, and as effective as conventional therapies.Studies show that substances in chamomile can kill viruses and bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, the cause of staph infections, reduce inflammation, and prevent and treat the growth of ulcers.Chamomile also proved superior to applying one percent hydrocortisone ointment in healing skin lesions after a surgical procedure in another study.In one partially double-blind trial carried out as a half-side comparison, a commercial chamomile cream showed a mild superiority towards a low-dose .5 percent hydrocortisone and a marginal difference compared to the placebo.In one study, 64 participants that consumed chamomile tea three times a day after meals for eight weeks saw a statistically significant decrease in markers for diabetes as well as total cholesterol compared to people who drank water.Some preliminary studies that evaluated the efficacy of chamomile mouthwash found that it significantly reduced gingivitis and plaque in comparison to controls, probably because of its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities.To make tea, steep one heaping teaspoon of chamomile flowers in two-thirds of a cup of boiling water for five to 10 minutes before straining.You may also make an oral rinse with 10 to 15 drops of German chamomile liquid extract (aka tincture) in 100 milliliters of warm water.It should not be combined with Coumadin (warfarin) or other medications or supplements that have the same effect or be used by people with bleeding disorders without a healthcare provider's supervision.An isolated case has been reported of a 70-year-old woman who developed severe internal bleeding after drinking four to five cups of chamomile tea for a sore throat and using a chamomile-based skin lotion four to five times a day. .