Chamomile is probably on the top 20 list of most commonly known medicinal herbs that most people would recognize. Even Peter Rabbit's mother used chamomile tea soothe poor Peters headache. There are two different and distinct forms of chamomile. They both have the daisy looking blossom, a feathery foliage and even the scent of apple fragrance. German chamomile is which is also known as wild chamomile or mayweed is tall and can reach 2 to 3 feet in height. While this is a short, no more than 9 inches tall. The Roman Chamomile does have a stronger fragrance than its German cousin.
For centuries both kinds of chamomile have been used medicinally to cure malaria chills and headaches. Dioscorides recommended a bath to treat kidney, liver and bladder disorders. Even today the tea is broadly sold as a sleepy time tea as it is known to calm the nerves and relax the nervous system.
Chamomile remains today as one of the best loved herbs available. Germans still broadly believe that it can cure just about anything. The secret to its medicinal value lies in the flowers themselves. It is very important that when collecting chamomile in late spring into summer that the flowers are cut before the petals curl under. The oil from the flowers have three primary uses. It is used as an anti-inflammatory, anti spasmodic, and anti infectious.
Although studies have proven that chamomile is effective in its three primary uses, it discounts the most widely spread medicinal use of tea. It is thought that the leaves would have to be in such concentration that it would be near impossible to brew a tea strong enough to have any true effect on the nervous system enough to cause sleepiness or anti infectious properties.
Despite the studies findings, many herbalist and tea drinkers alike swear by the soothing effects of chamomile. It is also thought that the effects of chamomile are cumulative. Thus, most herbalist recommend that a cup of chamomile tea be sipped on every day to build up the medicinal properties within your body.
There are some side effects for some people. The flowers do have pollen, so anyone who has allergies may wish to stay away from using chamomile in any form. It has been shown that people with sensitivity or allergy to ragweed for example, develop similar symptoms when drinking or using chamomile oils.
Source by Carla Goddard, Msc.D.