Chamomile has been used over the ages as a mild sedative, natural aspirin, a tonic for the whole system and as a treatment for colds and flu. It is a cool weather plant that will keep aphids away and brighten your garden with masses of small white flowers. The Chamomile used in commercial tea is the German Chamomile (Matricaria Recutita) but it also has a closely related cousin (Chamaemelum nobile) more commonly known as Roman Chamomile or Lawn Camomile and this is a perennial variety with the same uses.
A tea made from the leaves and flowers is an excellent treatment for those who are stressed, anxious or struggling from sleeplessness. It will also aid in digestion, stomach upsets and will reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Chamomile can also be used to externally as an excellent treatment for softening and clearing the skin and as a hair rinse to lighten fair hair.
The essential oil distilled from Chamomile has excellent anti-allergenic properties and will relief the symptoms of hay-fever and asthma but should be used with caution as the essential oil is strong and may irritate sensitive skins.
For the above aliments a tea can be made by adding Â¼ cup flowers in one cup boiling water, let it stand five minutes and strain. Sweeten with a little honey if liked. Do not drink the tea for long periods at a time without a break in between.
The seedlings must be planted in well dug and composted soil by late autumn. They should be planted in a sunny part of the garden and most insects will not breed near it. Chamomile is an excellent companion to cabbages and onions and the spent plants makes an excellent addition to the compost heap. Some people have had success in growing Chamomile by scattering a chamomile tea bag in their gardens.