- Botanical: Chamaemelum nobile L.
- Family: Asteraceae
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BotanicalChamaemelum nobile L.
Known asRoman Chamomile, Kamille, Chamaemelum nobile
Parts Usedflowers, leaves
Medicinalacne, anxiety, asthma, arthritis, boils, blood forming, constipation, cramps, cramps stomach, cystitis, dermatitis, diarrhea, digestion, fever, flatulence, headache, herpes, liver weakness, immunity, indigestion, insomnia, kidney weakness, menopausal symptom, migraine, neuralgia, nervousness, pain relief, perspiration, psoriasis, rheumatism, stress relief, toothache, wounds, worm
Hormone & Sexual Organsmenstrual problems, menopausal symptom, uterine bleeding, uterine cramps
Muscle & Jointsarthritis, joint inflammation, joint pain, rheumatism
Mind & Nervesanxiety, headache, irritability, neuralgia, neurasthenia, neuritis, nervousness, pain relief
Respiratory Systemasthma, bronchitis, cough
Stomach & Intestinalabdominal pain, diarrhea, digestion, flatulence, gastritis, gastrointestinal, laxative, indigestion
Skin & Hairacne, bruises, burns, dermatitis
Propertiesanalgesic, antibacterial, antispasmodic, antidepressant, anti inflammatory, carminative, cholagogue, diuretic, fungicide
Chamaemelum nobile has daisy-like white flowers and procumbent stems; the leaves are alternate, bipinnate, finely dissected, and downy to glabrous. The solitary, terminal flowerheads, rising 8-12 in above the ground, consist of prominent yellow disk flowers and silver-white ray flowers. The flowering time is June and July, and its fragrance is sweet, crisp, fruity and herbaceous.
Properties & Uses
Camomile is a common herb with a long history of safe and effective medicinal use - it is widely used as a household herbal remedy. It is particularly useful as a remedy for various problems of the digestive system, as a sedative and a nervine, it is especially suited for young children. A tea is made from the flowers and this should be prepared in a closed vessel to prevent loss of the essential oils. The flowers are anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, nervine, stomachic, tonic, vasodilator. The single-flowered form is the most potent medicinally, though it can in large doses damage the lining of the stomach and bowels. For this reason, the double-flowered form is usually preferred since this contains less of the alkaloid that causes the problem. The flowers are gathered in the summer when they are fully open and are distilled for their oil or dried for later use. They should not be stored for longer than 12 months. The whole herb is used to make a lotion for external application in the treatment of toothache, earache, neuralgia etc. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. The German Commission E Monographs, a therapeutic guide to herbal medicine, approve Chamaemelum nobile for coughs and bronchitis, fevers and colds, inflammations of the skin, inflammation of the mouth and pharynx, tendency to infection - improve immunity, wounds and burns.
An infusion of the flowers is used as a hair shampoo, especially for fair hair. It is also used as a liquid feed and general plant tonic, effective against a number of plant diseases. It has fungicidal properties and its use is said to prevent damping off in seedlings. The flowers are an ingredient of 'QR' herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost. The whole plant was formerly used as a strewing herb. The whole plant is insect repellent both when growing and when dried. An essential oil from the whole plant is used as a flavouring and in perfumery. Yellow to gold dyes are obtained from the flowers. The plant makes a very good ground cover and can also be used as an edging plant. It does tend to become bare in patches.
Patients with severe allergic responses to ragweed (ragwort) should be warned about the possible cross-sensitivity to chamomile and other members of the Asteraceae/Compositae family (e.g. echinacea, feverfew, milk thistle).
Western Europe, including Britain, from Belgium south to N. Africa and the Azores.
alpha-bisabolol (up to 50%), chamazulene, alphabisabolol oxide A, B and C, (-)-alpha-bisabolone oxide A, 1,8-cineole, en-yn-dicycloether, alpha-pinene, amyl and isobutyl alcohols, angelic acid esters, anthemol, anthemic acid, apigenin, choline, coumarins, farnesol, germacranolide, heniarin, inositol, lueteolin, nerolidol, nobilin, patuletin, phenolic and fatty acids, phytosterol, quercetin, scopoletin-7-glucoside, spiroethers (e.g., cis- and trans-en-yn-dicycloether), sesquiterpenes (e.g., anthecotulid), tricontane, cadinene, farnesene, furfural, spanthulenol, tiglic acid esters, flavonoids (e.g., apigenin and luteolin), proazulenes (e.g., matricarin and matricin), and umbelliferone.