Tag Archives: chamomille


The Amazing Health Properties of Chamomile

Chamaemelum nobile, Asteraceae, Roman Camomile...
Roman Camomile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chamomile is one of the most commonly used medicinal herbs. This daisy-like plant is characterized by its yellow disk flowers that are normally 1-3 cm wide each, and surrounded by white rays. It also features some linear feather-like leaves that are finely divided. This wonderful herb grows in populated areas in many parts of the world, including North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

There are several species of chamomile. However, the ones that are mostly recognized for their medicinal value are the Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and the German chamomile (Matricaria recutita). These two have some stark differences in their appearance. The Roman chamomile is a short, creeping plant that does not exceed 30 cm in height. On the other hand, the German chamomile can grow up to 60 cm tall, and has many stems hence more flowers. These flowers are smaller than those of the Roman chamomile. Another difference is that the Roman chamomile is a perennial plant while the German chamomile is an annual plant. However, the two of them have the same therapeutic benefits albeit these physical differences.

Echte Kamille (Matricaria recutita)
German chamomile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The great thing about chamomile is that it blooms continuously from early summer to the start of the winter season. In fact, it blooms throughout the year in areas where there are no cold winters. This means that there is never a shortage of flowers.

Chamomile has very many health properties. First, it acts as a digestive tonic that is not only safe, but also gentle on the stomach. It is highly effective in dealing with bowel problems, vomiting, gas, indigestion and a host of other stomach issues. Chamomile is the only herb that can deal with acute or chronic gastric disorders and bowel diseases that are caused by hyper-excitability and nervousness. Its constituents contain sedative and antispasmodic agents that ease inflammation as well as nervous spasm in the digestive tract. These agents also help to expel gas, and boost the production of bile.

Chamomile is a great laxative with strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can treat all skin inflammations that arise from fungal or bacterial infections, contact allergies and flea bites. These include things like hemorrhoids, plaques, conjunctivitis, skin dryness and psoriasis. An infusion of chamomile flowers makes a nice antimicrobial rinse that not only heals the skin but also soothes it, leaving behind a very nice feeling.

Chamomile has been used for generations as a sleep aid. It is a mild sedative with relaxing and soothing properties. Apart from humans, it can be fed to animals to cure a variety of anxiety-related or spasmodic problems. Being a sweet-tasting herb, which is soluble in water, chamomile is quite easy and safe to administer to animals. It usually recommended by vets before trying other stronger sedatives and antispasmodics.

Studies have shown that the antispasmodic, antiallergenic, anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic effects of chamomile have health benefits for diabetic and cancer patients. They also improve the oral mucous membrane and help wounds to heal faster. The sedative effects of this herb are highly effective in treating insomnia, nervousness, cramps, cold and fever. Additionally, chamomile has been shown to boost the health of patients with bladder problems, bronchitis, skin eruptions, cataplasms, swelling, back pain, jaundice, heatstroke, spleen and kidney problems.

Chamomile is a proven tonic, which strengthens and constricts smooth muscle tissues in the body, including the uterus, the bladder and the heart. It’s relaxing and tonic effects help to ease dental pain. It is also used as an appetite tonic before meals. Another dietary benefit of chamomile is expelling worms. Unlike other herbal wormers such as walnut hulls and wormwood, chamomile is completely non-toxic. However, it is not as effective as the other anthelmintics.

Preparation and administration

To prepare a cup of chamomile tea, you will need 2 tablespoonfuls of  flowers.

  • Boil the water, and then add the flowers.
  • Put it in a cup and cover it with a plate.
  • Leave it to infuse for around 12 minutes, after which it will be ready for consumption.
  • You can add a teaspoon of honey or lemon juice to taste, and for additional health benefits. Lemon juice boosts the cleansing process of the digestive system. It also helps to deal with flu.
Six Amazing Indigenous Healing Plants

Six Amazing Indigenous Healing Plants

Throughout history, people have used various herbs, plants and fruits for medicinal purposes. Today we’re still discovering plants with seemingly miraculous properties. Some are used to prepare liquid healing concoctions, while others can be eaten straight. Here we take a look at six healing plants, each one native to a different continent.

North America

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) is a perennial herbaceous plant that can grow up to 3 meters tall. Also referred to as the Virginia poke, American nightshade and pigeon berry, this native North American plant is an important source of nutrition for native songbirds, such as the Northern Mockingbird and the Gray Catbird.

Pokeweed extract is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, tonsillitis, swollen glands, bronchitis and constipation, among other ailments. This medicinal herb is most commonly taken in the form of a liquid extract. It’s also available as a powder for mixing into drinks, and some use the berries of the plant to make jelly or pie.

South America

Camucamu (Myrciaria dubia) is a short, bushy, riverside tree that grows primarily in Peru and Brazil, preferring the tropical conditions of the Amazonian rainforest.

The cherry-like fruits that it produces range in hue from red to purple and are known for their incredibly high Vitamin C content, which amounts to 2 to 3% of its actual weight – before being dried. This is what gives the fruit its healing properties. In health stores, it’s often sold in the form of powder made from the pulp of the fruit.


Cheese fruit (Morinda Citrfolia) comes from a tree in the coffee family Rubiaceae, although this strange-looking fruit looks nothing like a coffee bean.

The cheese fruit plant yields anywhere between 4 and 8 kilograms of fruit per year. The fruit itself has a famously pungent odour when ripening, and is sometimes even referred to as “vomit fruit”. The fruit starts off green, and then changes from yellow almost to white as it ripens.  The fruit, as well as the leaves, roots and seeds of the plant, are used to treat many ailments, including menstrual cramps, bowel irregularities and skin inflammation.


Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita) is an annual plant that thrives all over Europe and that has now been introduced in more temperate parts of Asia.

Chamomile requires open soil to survive, and is often found growing near roads and even landfills. The chamomile plan doesn’t grow much taller than 30 to 40 cm. The dried flower is commonly used in herbal tea and is known to relieve stomach ache, treat irritable bowel syndrome and act as a gentle sleeping aid. Recent pharmaceutical studies have also indicated that chamomile may be effective in lowering cholesterol.


The Buchu plant (Agathosma betulina) is a herbaceous shrub with small oval leaves with stems that grow between 100 and 200 cm tall. It’s native to the Western Cape in South Africa. The plant has a long history of medicinal use in Southern Africa, most commonly for its anti-inflammatory properties, although it also treats a range of other ailments.

Buchu is also used to treat gastrointestinal pain and urinary tract infections. It’s also known as an effective diuretic and antiseptic. Buchu is most commonly used to make a medicinal tea, although some companies now produce a range of herbal health products that contain oil from the plant.


Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia), also known as bitter gourd or bitter squash, is a tropical vine. It’s native to India but has spread throughout the rest of Asia. It’s famous for its edible fruit, which varies in flavor and shape depending on the variety of the vine.

Bitter melon has long been used as an herbal remedy. Often it’s first soaked in either oil or honey. The plant is most famous in Asia for preventing and treating malaria. In Togo, the plant is used to treat chickenpox and measles, as well as various gastrointestinal diseases.


Guest post by Jeff from Buchulife.com, who provide a herbal health product range based on the buchu plant.