Herb Spotlight - Chamomile
Chamomile is a widely used herb to help calm the body for better sleep, but it also helps soothe the stomach and reduce inflammation. There are two types of chamomile used medicinally, German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). German chamomile is more frequently used in teas due to its sweeter nature and its soothing effect on the body. This plant is an annual and has larger white blossoms with yellow centers. The longest and most studied health benefit of camomile is its sleep-aiding ability, but it also helps with stomach ailments, and inflammation and has antiseptic, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-allergenic properties. These plants are in the sunflower family, and the daisy-like flowers are where the healing oils come from. Certain volatile oils such as bisabolol, matricin, and flavonoids are what helps to aid sleep, indigestion and inflammation. Chamomile can be taken many ways, but it is most commonly used as a tea, salve, vapor or tincture. German chamomile is an easy plant to grow in any yard, just spread seeds on to prepared soil that gets full sun and water when the soil is dry, careful not to overwater. Harvest the blossoms as soon as the white petals start to recurve downwards, dry out the blossoms and a homegrown tea is ready to brew.
How to grow: