Chamomile (German chamomile) (Matricaria recutita) is one of the most soothing plants in the world. Generally taken as a tea, it calms jangled nerves, acts as a sedative and soothes an upset digestive system. The fresh plant is strongly and agreeably aromatic, with a distinct scent of apples.
The dried flowers.
Chamomile’s healing properties are due in large part to its volatile oils, which contain a compound called apigenin, along with anthemic acid, tannic acid and a glucoside. Studies reveal that these components act on the same parts of the brain and nervous system that are affected by anti-anxiety drugs, promoting tranquillity.
- Promotes relaxation and eases anxiety.
- Helps in sleeping problems.
- May soothe bowel discomfort and heartburn.
- May relieve symptoms of respiratory tract infection.
- A tablespoon of chamomile leaves steeped in boiling water with a little fresh ginger can help relieve menstrual cramps.
- In cream form, may alleviate skin rashes and sunburn
Flora Force Products containing Chamomile
Domestic & culinary uses
Although it is usually brewed as a tea, chamomile adds a sweetish, rounded edge to a number of recipes. Try the recipe below for Chamomile Cauliflower Soup.
Chamomile is also used to add a calming fragrance to soaps and bath essences.
German chamomile, the species used mainly in natural remedies, is an attractive annual plant with downy grey-green foliage topped with attractive white, daisy-like flowers. Indigenous to southern and western Europe and north and west Asia, in South Africa it is grown mostly in the Free State, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, North West and Mpumalanga provinces, where conditions are temperate. To produce an abundance of flowers, chamomile needs well-drained sandy-loam soil, warm summer days and full sun to produce optimum oil yields. Although chamomile is drought tolerant, it needs enough water to germinate and for the young plants to develop. German chamomile requires little extra care once properly established.
Chamomile Cauliflower Soup
3 cups water
6 chamomile tea bags
1 large head cauliflower, chopped
60 ml chopped onion
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
Boil the water and steep the tea bags in it for five minutes. Remove the bags, squeezing out the extra liquid. Pour the liquid into a saucepan, add the cauliflower, cover and boil for 15 minutes. Drain, retaining some of the liquid, and set aside. In a pan, heat the butter and sauté the onion and celery until translucent and softened. Place the vegetables in a blender and pulse until the desired consistency. Add some of the chamomile water if the mixture is too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve drizzled with a swirl of olive oil and a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg.
- by kallerna (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
- By Greg (Chamomile Tea) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons