CHAMOMILE, Matricaria chamomilla
If you ask a lot of people what their favorite herb tea is, most likely over half the people would say they like camomile tea the best. Chamomile is a pleasant tasting tea that has been used for hundreds of years as a social drink or a bedtime beverage that will help to induce a relaxing sleep.
A friend came up to me and smiled and said, ‘Let me tell you about chamomile, I never thought it could mean so much to our family.” He said that his wife was naturally high-strung and kinda nervous most of the time but they got used to that. However, when it was time for her period things became very difficult, not only for her, but for the whole family. They called it ‘hell week.” She became very moody and would cry a lot. To sleep at night without drugs was almost impossible, so for a week each month she would have to spend a lot of time trying to sleep when and how she could. Someone suggested that she drink at least two cups of chamomile tea a day for the next month. At the end of the month she didn’t seem nearly as nervous and high strung as she used to be. When the week of the month came along, she added a little raspberry leaf, squaw vine, black cohosh and some false unicorn to her tea.
He said after a month or so they didn’t have “hell week” anymore. “In fact” he said, “she is a sweetheart and we all love her.”
According to some of the old herbal masters, chamomile is not just a fine-tasting tea, but it is used to induce sleep, to reduce pain, help against, or to relive spasms, to help digestion, and aid in dyspepsia. It relieves menstrual cramps, and it’s a good sedative for babies with no harmful side effects. It helps to relieve convulsions, sooth croup, helps prevent a miscarriage, is good for neuralgia, ulcers, mastitis, colic, thrush, anger, and a very good nervine. Chamomile is used in Grandma’s herbal Night Nervine formula.
Chamomile tea is made from the flower head of a very small but very fragrant flower. The tea is mild and quite pleasant. The flower, before it is picked, has the fragrance of an apple. This is why one of the common names of this herb is ground apple. A pillow can be made from the flower heads of chamomile to help promote sleep and to relive aching muscles or pain. Some herbalists spell the name charmomile with a ch and others spell it with a c, chamomile, either way is correct.
The history of chamomile goes back to the time of the early Egyptians when they dedicated it to their gods. Since the time almost every civilization, including the Greeks and the Romans, have used chamomile as a medicine against disease.
Whenever brewing up the tea leaves, never boil, and always cover the cup or tea pot with a lid or something to prevent evaporation, because much of the medicinal value of the tea is volatile and will dissipate with the fragrance. Use a teaspoon of the herb leaves to a cup of boiling water. Let stand for ten minutes or ten minutes or more and then strain off.
Some friends had a baby boy that cried quite a lot. The mother was really cranky, but everyone said it was because the baby cried so much. However, others said the baby cried because he nursed milk from a cranky mother. Someone suggested giving the baby some chamomile tea, but he was too young so the mother drank the tea. The mother became calm and mellow from the chamomile tea and the baby became calm and mellow from the mother’s chamomile milk. You know, that’s like getting two birds with one stone, or one tea.
There are many wonderful herbs. Why not grow your own herb garden and learn more about them first-hand. You will know what they look like and how they grow. Soon you will learn how to use them and they will become dear friends.