An herb entry from the Ancient Herbs and Modern Herbs book by James K. Sayre, Copyright, 2001. All rights reserved.


Chamomile, German - Matricaria recutita (Matricaria chamomilla) (Chamomilla recutita) - Family: Asteraceae (Compositae) (Sunflower Family) (Composite Family).

This aromatic annual plant grows to about two feet high. It has delicate foliage and in the spring and summer it has daisy-like flowers with yellow centers and white petals. Its dried flower heads have been traditionally used in Europe as a remedy for anxiety, arthritis, diarrhea, fever, flu, gall bladder problems, heartburn, indigestion, insomnia and nervousness. Traditional European folk use of flower heads as a bitter digestive aid. Traditional European folk use of dried flower heads to stuff an herbal "sleep pillow." Modern American and European folk use of dried flower heads as an internal remedy for anorexia, asthma, constipation, Crohn's disease, eczema, inflammatory bowel disease, migraine headache, nausea, psoriasis, sciatica, stress and vomiting. Approved by the German Commission E as a remedy for bronchitis, burns, gum inflammation, skin inflammations, sore throats, wounds and for immune system support. Leaves are currently used internally in North America as a remedy for allergies, diverticulosis, diverticulitis, intestinal gas, menstrual cramps, hay fever and nasal congestion. In Europe, its leaves have been used in a poultice as a remedy for burns, swellings and wounds. Modern American folk use of leaves or leaf tea as a topical remedy for canker sores, conjunctivitis, cuts, eczema, hemorrhoids, inflammations, psoriasis, sunburn and varicose veins. Modern American folk use of essential oil made from flowerheads in aromatherapy for lowering high blood pressure. Note: Chamomile tea may be toxic to anyone allergic to Ragweed pollen. Note: excessive doses ingested may cause vomiting. Note: do not use essential oil internally. Note: do not use essential oil externally if pregnant or nursing. Listed in the United States Pharmacopoeias from 1840 to 1910. Native to Europe and Asia. Naturalized in North America. Naturalized in eastern United States. Cultivated as an ornamental in North America.



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Web page last updated on 20 May 2003.