- First name: Chamomile
- Scientific name: Matricaria recutita
- Part used: Flowers and essential oil
- Main components: Volatile oil (including pro-Azulenes), flavonoids (inc routine), valerianic acid, coumarins, tannins, salicylates, and cyanogenic glycosides
- Actions: Anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, bitter, sedative, antiemetic, carminative and anti-allergenic
Its flowers are similar to daisies and appear from early summer to autumn. Some varieties have a double flower corolla and, as for the leaves, these are spiked and pinnate and softly aromatic. The fragrance Similar to chamomile apples will be familiar to infusion drinkers as it is very characteristic. Its sister plant, chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) is used similarly.
How to use it
1. For infusion, the most popular application of chamomile takes a cup of standard infusion of flowers as a mild digestive and for insomnia. It is a soft herb that can be used also with children in reduced doses. It can also be applied in inhalations or vapors adding 10 ml (2 spoonfuls) of flowers or 5 drops of essential oil in a bowl of boiling water to fight hay fever or mild asthma.
2. As a cream, ointment or lotion, chamomile serves to relieve discomfort when applied to insect bites, wounds or eczema. It is also used for tincture, for which 10 ml (2 teaspoons) of tincture of flowers are taken 3 times a day for irritable bowel syndrome or nervous tension.
3. If it is used to rinses, 4-5 drops of essential oil are added to the water to wash the wounds or soothe the skin. With 1 cup of essential tea infused in the bath water at night, you will help you fall asleep.
4. Another mode of application is in the form of gargles or as a mouthwash, for which we must add 10 ml (2 teaspoons) of tincture to a glass of hot water, or 1 cup of standard infusion for inflamed gums and oral problems or to gargle in case of sore throat.
How to grow it
Chamomile prefers Well-drained soils, from neutral to slightly acid, and full sun. The seeds of this plant, whose annual or biannual erect maté acquires an extension of 10 to 38 cm, are grown at any time of the year to grow in autumn or spring. Proliferate by spontaneous germination and, if you want to collect it, you must do it in summer. It is easy to confuse it with other margaritas, so, before collecting it, you should check that it has its characteristic aroma.
Warning: This plant can cause contact dermatitis. You should avoid it if you are allergic to the Asteraceae family.