Chamomile plant health benefits
Maticaria Recutita or Chamomile - its popular name - is a herbaceous, annual and hibernating plant originating in south-eastern Europe, which nowadays has spread to all continents. The scientific name "Matcaria" derives from the latin word "mater" (mother) and suggests the many uses in mothers' diseases and generally in that of women. Because it is a common plant, it can be found anywhere, in uncultivated areas, on fields, on road edges and so on. The plant loves heat, light (which influences the essential oil contained), and moist soils.
The chamomile stem, reaching growing up to 60 cm, is striated and ramified at its base, and each branch has flowers. The hemaphrodite flowers with their pleasant flavor, bloom from May until late August or early September. In this interval, the best harvesting period is noon. Noticeable is the fact that inflorescent flowers are harvested before becoming mature. For conservation the plants are put to dry in a thin layer in a dry and shady place, after which they are kept in paper bags. In ancient times, chamomile was used to control neuralgia and rheumatism (especially the articular one) and the ancient Egyptians used it to decrease fever. It is also mentioned in old books about medicinal plants that chamomile's oil drives away fatigue from the limbs.
Properties of Chamomile plant Chamomile flowers contain: essential oils (etheric oil: 0.38 - 0.81%), vitamins B1 and C, mineral substances (phosphorus, potassium, silicon, iron, manganese, calcium, copper, lead, zinc, zirconium), glucides, lipids (in small quantities) and acids. The plant has calming, analgesic, disinfecting and antiseptic, antispasmotic and tonic actions. At the same time, chamomile has an antitoxic action through disactivating the bacterian and carminative toxins, favoring the elimination of intestinal gasses. Externally, chamomile has cicatrizant, emollient and anti-inflammatory effects. Because of its antiseptic (it destroys the microorganisms from the tegument) and decongestive properties, chamomile also has many aplications in cosmetics, being recommended for irritated, damaged or fat complexions.
Treatments and mixtures Chamomile can be used for an entire series of afflictions and diseases. No matter if we're talking about gingivitis, dental abscess (and dental pains generally), tonsillectomy, stomatitis, hyperacid gastritis, ulcer, enterocolitis, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, flues, colds, sinusitis, bronchic asthma, rheumatism or insomnia, chamomile is a true adjuvant. Being a good sedative, it can be used against stress and anxiety. Chamomile also helps to drive away menstrual problems (as amenorrhea) and other pelvic diseases.
Chamomile infusion In preparing this infusion, a teaspoon of chamomile flowers is added to a liter of boiled water. The mixture is left a few minutes before being consumed. Inhaling the vapors emanated by the infusion helps in healing colds and sinusitis if the patient remains in a warm place. The tea can be administered to children, when they suffer from bad dispositions, cramps or colics - abdominal pains. Used externally, the infusion can be added to the bath water (four handfuls of flowers to a bathtub) or in the head washing water (one handful). The hair - especially the blond one - becomes silky and shiny. The complexion is also refreshed if it is cleaned with chamomile infusion. Also, conjunctivitis and eye inflammations heal faster with the help of this mixture. It can also be used for gargle (in cases of toothaches), cutaneous eruptions, or cleaning wounds.
Chamomile oil In a bottle filled with chamomile flowers, cold-pressed olive oil is poured. The bottle is then kept in the sun, well corked up, for a period of approximately two weeks. After this stage, the oil is conserved in the refrigerator.
Chamomile ointment It is obtained relatively easily, out of two handfuls of fresh chamomile flowers added to 200g of lard. The operation is done when the grease is already warmed. After it starts boiling and spume is formed at the surface, it is all covered and kept in a cool room. After 24 hours, the mixture is warmed again and filtered with the help of a cloth.
Chamomile poultices A tablespoon filled with chamomile is emptied in a liter of hot milk. After a few minutes, the mixture is filtered and used in poultices. Caution is required as the poultice has maximum effect with warmth. Another way of obtaining poultices: filling a small bag of textile material with dried chamomile flowers. The bag is then introduced into the oven on a tray and heated up for a short time. Then the bag is applied locally for eliminating corporal pains.