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Medicinal Herbs & Therapeutic Botanicals
Botanicals: German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla, M. recutita)
Wild Chamomile or German Chamomile was previously called M. Chamomilla, but in botanical terms it is not a true chamomile and it is also sometimes called Sweet False Chamomile. Although now considered slightly inferior to Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) - even its aroma being somewhat less pronounced - there is no certainty which of the chamomiles was meant by the chamaimelon of Dioscorides (Stuart, 1979).
Today both C. nobile and M. recutita are used for similar purposes. The name, Matricaria, is either from the root word mater meaning mother or from matrix, the Latin for womb, after its use for treating female complaints (Stuart, 1979).
Botanicals: German Chamomile
Biological Name: Matricaria chamomilla
Other Names: Camomile, matricaria, anthemis, ground apple, Roman camomile, garden camomile, low camomile, whig plant, German camomile, wild camomile
Parts Used: Flowers
Active Compounds: The flowers of chamomile provide 1-2% volatile oils containing alpha-bisabolol, alpha-bisabolol oxides A & B, and matricin (usually converted to chamazulene).
Other active constituents include the bioflavonoids apigenin, luteolin, and quercetin.
These active ingredients contribute to chamomile's anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and smooth muscle-relaxing effects, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract.
Chamomile has been used for centuries as a medicinal plant, mostly for gastrointestinal complaints. This practice continues today.
Chamomile was supposedly dedicated to the sun by the Egyptians because of its curative value in the treatment of ague. It is used in various parts of the world as a table tea. It was used to regulate monthly periods. It is splendid for kidneys, spleen, colds, bronchitis, bladder troubles, to expel worms, for argue, dropsy, and jaundice. The tea was believed to make an excellent wash for sore and weak eyes and also for other open sores and wounds.
Chamomile was used as a poultice for pains and swellings. Used for hysteria and nervous diseases, prevention of gangrene, for breaking up typhoid and in combination with bittersweet for bruises, sprains, calluses and corns.
Traditional Applications in Herbal Medicine:
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