Herbs > Chamomile (anthemis nobilis)
Also know as chamomilla, Chamomile is an extremely
popular herbal remedy, due to its wide range of
applications and the safe nature of the herb.
Chamomile tea can easily be made by putting 2-3
teaspoons of the dried flowers in a teapot and
brewing like regular tea. This makes a soothing drink
which provides mild relief from insomnia, relieves
sore throats and is beneficial to menstruating women.
It also eases colic, and is particularly effective
for children and the elderly.
Adding chamomile tea to bath
water will ease inflammation of the skin and soothe
sunburn. For irritated skin and mild burns, a cold
chamomile compress can be effective. Simmer 1
tablespoon of dried flowers in 500ml of water for
20-30 minutes. Refrigerate and when cool, soak a
clean section of linen or gauze in the mixture. Apply
the cloth to the affected area. The chamomile mixture
used for the compress is not suitable for drinking.
Chamomile is often used in beauty
preparations, particularly on fair hair. To highlight
and add shine to fair hair, simmer 10g of chamomile
flowers in 500ml of water for 20 minutes. Leave to
cool and use the mixture as a final rinse when
shampooing and conditioning. This can be left in the
hair for a delicate perfume.
A chamomile shampoo is gentle
and pleasantly fragrant. In a bowl, put 1 tablespoon
of mild soapflakes (such as Lux), 1 tablespoon of
borax, 10g of powdered chamomile flowers (use a
mortar and pestle to powder them) and 500ml of hot
water. Beat the ingredients, which will form a thick
lather. Use this lather like a regular shampoo.
Chamomile is considered very safe, however, in very rare cases, as with
comfrey, people have had severe
allergic reactions resulting in anaphylactic shock.
Exercise caution if you have never used chamomile
Chamomile is a ground cover plant, and it makes an
attractive and fragrant lawn. It is a hardy plant
which actually flourishes when walked on. It will
flower in its second year of growth, and it is these
flowers which contain much of the medicinal value of
the plant. They should be picked very delicately to
prevent bruising (using tweezers is a good idea)
after 2-3 rainless days, and allowed to dry.
If raising a lawn from seeds,
they should be sewn in Spring on a very well weeded
(preferably sieved) area of ground. However, it is
much simpler to grow chamomile from root division
the splitting and transplanting of mature
plants. It will spread and cover the ground
Chamomile lawns can be mown, if
desired. Simply set the lawn-mower blades slightly
higher than you would for grass and proceed normally.
Planting chamomile alongside
other plants will help keep them disease-free and
deter flies and aphids.
Horny Goat Weed
St Johns Wort
The Complete Book of Herbs