pharmaceutical camomile

Name: Chamomile

Asteraceae – Asteraceae (Compositae).

Common name: maiden flower.

Parts used: inflorescences.

Pharmacy name: chamomile flowers – Matricariae flos (formerly: Flores Chamomillae), chamomile oil – Chamomillae aetheroleum (formerly: Oleum Chamomillae).

Botanical description. An annual plant with a short root and a stem 20-50 cm tall, on which leaves are twice or thrice pinnately dissected. Inflorescences-baskets are placed singly at the ends of the branches. Baskets consist of white ligulate marginal flowers and many (up to 400-500) yellow tubular median ones. The fruits are very small – approximately 20,000 fruits weigh 1 g. The bed of the basket is curved with an elevated narrow cone, hollow. Blooms from May to June. Chamomile is a hardy plant. It grows almost all over Europe in cultivated and fallow fields, wastelands, roadsides, slopes, forest edges and, of course, in grain crops. For a peasant, this medicinal plant is a vile weed.

Collection and preparation. In chamomile, first of all, inflorescences are collected, but flower stalks and some of the shoots with leaves are also taken for baths. Since the quality of chamomile depends to a large extent on the time of collection and the type of drying, you will need to be very careful. The best time to collect is the 3rd – 5th day after the blooming of the flowers. By this time, most of the active substances are produced in it. Drying must be carried out in dryers with free access of air at not too high a temperature (not higher than 45 “C). A ventilated shaded place is suitable for drying. For baths, all the grass is collected and dried in bunches. Usually only the upper parts are cut off (inflorescences with a peduncle and upper leaves).Camomile oil is obtained by steam distillation.

active ingredients.The most important component of chamomile is essential oil, which in good raw materials is at least 0.4 g per 100 g. It has a very complex composition. Chamazulene, a-bisabolol are the most important components of this essential oil, which, unlike other essential oils, has a blue color. Other important components of chamomile are flavonoids and coumarins, but only the relationship of all components gives a known healing effect. Healing action and application. Chamomile is used internally and externally. Inside, you can successfully use chamomile (in the form of tea) for acute gastric diseases. It brings quick relief and “soothes” the stomach, and after a short treatment eliminates indigestion. But also in chronic inflammatory conditions of the gastric mucosa, even with a stomach ulcer, it makes sense to recommend a course of treatment with chamomile tea: 3 times every day before meals, drink a cup of unsweetened tea. For diseases that may be based on diseases of the gallbladder, it is recommended to prepare tea from a mixture of chamomile and peppermint (in equal parts). If the stomach disease is partly or mainly of a nervous nature, then a combination of chamomile and lemon balm (ratio 1: 1) will give the best effect. As an external agent, chamomile – due to its anti-inflammatory properties – is used in the treatment of poorly healing wounds. Baths with chamomile additives or wet compresses on wounds are as proven remedies as rinses for inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat. Washing with chamomile tea and chamomile steam baths have a positive effect on inflammation and irritation in the anus and vagina. To combat chronic rhinitis, acute and chronic inflammation of the nasal mucosa and nasopharynx, with inflammation of the accessory cavities of the nose, chamomile steam baths are also very good. The German National Health Service recommends the use of chamomile only for “gastrointestinal diseases, irritation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and pharynx, as well as the upper respiratory tract.” Nevertheless, in the monograph of her commission E, she recognizes the range of use of this plant is much wider: “As external: inflammation of the skin and mucous membrane, including inflammation of the mouth and gums. Inflammatory diseases and conditions of irritation of the respiratory tract (inhalation), diseases of the anal and nital areas (baths and washings). As an internal: spasms and inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.”

  • Chamomile tea: 1-2 teaspoons with the top of inflorescences, pour 1 cup of boiling water, strain after 10 minutes. Chamomile tea is good to drink warm, but not hot.
  • Rotational treatment: in the morning before getting up, drink a cup of warm unsweetened chamomile tea in small sips, with arrangement (keep in a thermos next to the bed). Then lie down for 5 minutes in a relaxed state on your back, 5 minutes on your left side, 5 minutes on your stomach and 5 minutes on your right side.
  • Chamomile steam bath: in a vessel, a small handful of chamomile inflorescences is poured into 1 liter of boiling water. Breathe hot steam for 5-10 minutes, covering the head and vessel with a large handkerchief. Sedentary chamomile steam baths can also be recommended for the treatment of hemorrhoids or inflamed vaginal mucosa. For a bath of this kind (prepared as described above), it is advisable to take a large stable vessel like a bucket.

When recommending chamomile steam baths, one constantly encounters rejection, since many find such a treatment difficult, and besides, it promises little success. This is not true: chamomile steam baths are amazingly effective and the treatment is easy. The success of these baths can be explained by the fact that the active substances of chamomile inflorescences reach with steam those places that are unattainable when rinsing and washing. In addition, hot steam has a beneficial effect on the treatment process. Use in homeopathy. The homeopathic remedy Chamomilla should be considered primarily as a remedy for the nervous system: it well relieves increased pain susceptibility. Therefore, it is given for neuralgia of the head and face, stabbing headaches, inflammation of the eyes and ears with stabbing pains, toothache, and spastic pains in the abdomen. Chamomilla can also be given for coughs (even whooping cough) and rheumatism. This remedy is used mainly in dilution D6, give 3-5 (up to 8) times every day, 5-10 drops.

Application in folk medicine.Needless to say, a plant with so many beneficial properties is also diligently used in folk medicine. And indeed, chamomile is “trusted by everyone.” But this is precisely what damages the reputation of the medicinal plant and often leads to its improper use. No single medicinal plant can cure all ailments. But if we take the four main types of action – anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, soothing and carminative – then chamomile does not often disappoint. Since ancient times, chamomile has been used as a tea for all infections. Privatdozent Kienholz from the Giessen Institute found that chamomile neutralizes bacterial poisons: in infectious diseases, for example caused by staphylococci or streptococci, bacterial poisons are “blunted”.

Side effects. When dosed correctly, chamomile is not poisonous. However, prolonged use should be avoided. Some make chamomile tea at home and drink it every day for years to achieve particularly good results. In such cases – though not often – dizziness occurs, conjunctivitis and nervous anxiety develop. Chamomile tea should not be used as an eye wash.

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