Use of Chamomile

Use of Chamomile

Scientific name: Matricaria chamomilla L.
Family: Asteraceae
Dialect name: camumidda
Annual herbaceous plant with a bushy habit, whose stems start from the base, more or less branched, in the upper portion.
The leaves are alternate and the flowers gathered in the head; the external flowers have a white corolla, the internal ones yellow; the fruit is an achene of about 1 mm, devoid of pappus.
The plant is distinctly aromatic. Widespread throughout Europe and Asia, it grows in meadows and in the open countryside no more than 800 m. s.l.m. The vegetation cycle is spring-summer, with flowering in late spring.

Active principles
The active ingredients are contained in the flower heads that are collected in spring, from May to June, by detaching them from the plant with the nails and putting them to dry in an airy and shaded place. They are kept in dark glass containers, away from light.

Property
Calming, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antidolorization, ocular decongestant, stomachic.

Internal use
In the case of insomnia, stress, difficulty in digestion and to relieve menstrual pains
Infusion: infuse a spoonful of flowers in 250 ml of boiling water, for a maximum of 5 minutes; filter and consume in the evening to promote sleep.
Warning! Extending the infusion time produces the opposite effect and the drink becomes exciting.
The herbal tea can also be used during the day to promote expulsion of gas or aid digestion.

External use
As a decongestant of the skin and eyeball, as a soothing treatment in case of psoriasis, or as a cosmetic.
Chamomile oil: obtained by letting the flower heads macerate for 20 days in olive oil.
This preparation has soothing, germicidal, healing, and emollient effects on the skin.
Chamomile essential oil, together with rose oil, is helpful in treating vulvar itching and also in leg ulcers.
The same oil, added to the essential oil of camphor, if rubbed on the body, treats rheumatic pains.
Warning! Although chamomile is a harmless plant, high doses can have emetic effects.

Maria Canzoneri

Generalities and Bibilography




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