pharmaceutical camomile

Name: Chamomile

Diseases and effects: diseases of the oral cavity (stomatitis, gingivitis, etc.), tonsillitis, tonsillitis, acute and chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum, colitis, enterocolitis, diseases of the liver and biliary tract.

Active ingredients: chamazulene, prochamazulene, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, matrix lactones, matricarin, farnesene, cadinene, bisabolol, bisabolol oxide, ketoalcohol, caprylic acid, flavonoids, coumarins, sitosterol, choline, carotene, ascorbic acid.

Collection time:  June – September

Botanical description

\rAn annual herbaceous plant of the Asteraceae family (Compositae). The root is taproot, the stem is erect, branched, 15-90 cm high. The leaves are bright green, alternate, sessile, double-pinnate, strongly dissected, with narrow-linear, pointed, spread apart segments. Medium-sized (1.5-2 cm in diameter) baskets with 12-18 white reed flowers located at the ends of the main stems and side shoots. The receptacle is hemispherical, hollow (the main difference from other types of chamomile, unsuitable for medical use). Inner flowers are yellow, tubular, bisexual. Five stamens fused with anthers into a tube surrounding the style. The flowering period of chamomile stretches from May to September. The fruit is an oblong achene. Weight of 1000 seeds 0.026-0.053 g.\r


\rIn the wild, chamomile grows in small thickets (like a weed) in all regions of Ukraine, in the European part of the CIS countries. Especially significant arrays of it are located in the Sivash part of the Crimea and in the south of the Kherson region (Ukraine). Also in Ukraine, chamomile is grown in specialized farms, where up to 672 tons of inflorescences are produced annually.\r

Biological features

\rChamomile medicinal belongs to the group of plants with relatively easy germinating seeds. They begin to germinate at a temperature in the range of 4-6°C, but the optimum temperature is 20-25°C. For successful germination of seeds, a favorable combination of heat and moisture will be necessary. Chamomile seedlings are small, tender and easily die from desiccation. Under favorable conditions, after 20-30 days after the emergence of seedlings, a rosette of leaves is formed. The growing season is very short: 50-70 days pass from seed germination to flowering. Each basket blooms for 8-10 days. But due to the multi-temporal development of lateral shoots and inflorescences on them, mass flowering stretches for 1-2 months, and during this time up to six collections are carried out. The full cycle of development takes place over 3-4 months. Chamomile propagates by seeds.\r

Under natural conditions, chamomile can develop as a winter and spring plant. Most individuals develop according to the winter type. Seedlings are found in late summer – early autumn from crumbled seeds, if it rains for 4-5 days. Before winter, a rosette of leaves is formed, and in this state the plants hibernate, and bloom in early May.\r

Another part of the plants develops according to the spring type. Their seeds germinate in spring, and the plant has time to seed before autumn. In years with dry, hot summers and autumns, the number of plants of the winter type is sharply reduced, and the number of spring shoots increases significantly. Sufficient supply of plants with moisture enhances the intensity of flowering and increases yield.\r

Cultivation techniques

\rMedicinal chamomile is very popular and is recognized by state pharmacopoeias in almost all countries of the world.\r

Until recently, its harvesting was carried out mainly from wild thickets, but due to the gradual reduction in growth areas, it is also cultivated under production conditions.\r

The highest yields of chamomile are obtained on fertile soils. Poor soils fertilize. Responsive to irrigation. The best predecessors are clean fallow and early harvested fodder crops.\r

The main tillage and care is carried out as under tilled crops. In one place, chamomile is traditionally grown for 3 years.\r

The highest yield of inflorescences is obtained during summer-autumn sowing. During spring sowing, part of the seedlings may die from dust storms and drying of the topsoil. For sowing, seeders SO-4.2 with a device for sowing small-seed crops are used. For sowing chamomile, a well-leveled field surface with a finely cloddy soil structure is required. Row spacing 45-60 cm, sowing depth no more than 0.5 cm, seeding rate 3 kg/ha.\r

Minimum nutrition conditions have a significant impact on the growth, development and productivity of chamomile. In the initial period of its development, it is most responsive to the introduction of phosphorus. During the period of intensive growth of the above-ground mass, the need for all nutrients, especially nitrogen and potassium, is growing rapidly. During the main tillage for chamomile, it is recommended to apply 10 t/ha of dry humus together with a complete mineral fertilizer at a dose of 30 kg/ha of active ingredient or a complete mineral fertilizer at a dose of 60 kg/ha of active ingredients.\r

As a row fertilizer, 5-6 kg/ha P 205 can be used in the form of granular superphosphate, which is best applied at the side of the row.\r

Care of crops begins from the moment the rows are marked. Inter-row cultivation is carried out with KRN-4.2 cultivators equipped with one-sided razor blades. Weed weeds and loosen the soil in the rows by hand. Before harvesting, it is necessary to remove single large weeds from sowing, as well as other types of daisies that clog commercial products and degrade its quality.\r

During the growing season, chamomile is harvested 3-5 times. Harvesting is started at the beginning of flowering, until the receptacle of the inflorescence has acquired a conical shape and the white marginal reed flowers have not dropped. Inflorescences are plucked with special scoops. The length of the remains of peduncles should not exceed 3 cm. Due to the fact that the opening of new inflorescences, especially in warm sunny weather, occurs very quickly, repeated collections should be made as the number of flowers increases in order to ensure productive work. By the end of the growing season, flowering weakens, flower-bearing baskets become smaller, and the content of essential oil decreases. Farms use chamomile harvesters RM-1.4 with subsequent processing of raw materials on sorting machines SLK-0.5.\r

After 2-3 collections of inflorescences, if the chamomile blooms massively, the grass is mowing into rolls and, after drying, threshed with grain combines. This type of raw material is approved for external use.\r

Collected inflorescences should not be kept in a container or in piles for more than 2-3 hours, as they easily warm up and lose their qualities. It is better to start drying immediately. The designs of conveyor-type dryers (SPK, PSK) and chamber type allow you to create the necessary conditions for the optimal drying of chamomile inflorescences. In this case, the most effective is the stepwise mode with a gradual decrease in the temperature of the drying agent from 70 to 40 ° C.\r

Currently, frame dryers with heat generators VPT-400 or VPT-600 are widely used. With a one-time load of such a dryer, 1.5 tons of dry inflorescences are obtained per day.\r

The finished raw material must meet the following requirements: humidity no more than 14%, total ash – no more than 12%, crushed particles of baskets passing through a sieve with a hole diameter of 1 mm – no more than 30%; leaves, stem parts, baskets with remnants of peduncles 3-5 cm in size – no more than 9%; baskets that have lost their normal color (blackened, turned brown) – no more than 5%; organic impurities – no more than 2%; mineral impurities – no more than 0.3%; essential oil content – not less than 0.3%.\r

Raw materials are packed in cardboard boxes, plywood boxes lined with paper, or in multilayer paper bags.\r

The yield is 3-5 q/ha.\r

Recommendations for growing in home gardens

\rChamomile is a scarce raw material, therefore, having a small plot of cultivated chamomile, you can meet your needs, and donate the excess to the pharmacy. Chamomile should be sown in late August or early September. The soil must be prepared a month before sowing. Choose a well-lit place, dig it up, adding one bucket of well-rotted manure per square meter, and if not, then mineral fertilizers of 15-20 g / m 2 nitrogen and 40-50 – phosphorus. The site must be regularly weeded and well leveled. Before sowing, shallow furrows are cut every 45 cm, watered and sown with seeds of 0.4-0.6 g / m 2 . Then the furrows are sprinkled with mulch with a layer of 0.5-1 cm.\r

The soil will need to be kept moist. After the emergence of seedlings, a rosette of leaves appears, and at this time, if necessary, thinning is carried out. On one running meter, 20-30 plants are left, and after wintering – 15-20. The rules for collection, drying and storage are the same as for farm cultivation.\r

If you do not have seeds, another method of growing is also suitable. In early September, you can transplant chamomile to a plot with a clod of earth, carefully selecting wild plants. In the future, dense seedlings are formed from crumbled seeds. In the spring, the site is cleared of weeds and the remains of dry plants, overwintered seedlings are thinned out. After 3 years, the place of the cultivated area is recommended to be changed.\r

Procurement rules

\rMedicinal raw materials of chamomile are whole or partially crumbled flower baskets without peduncles or with their remains no longer than 3 cm. The size of the basket without reed flowers is 4-8 mm. The smell is strong, fragrant, the taste is spicy, bitter.\r

Chamomile is harvested during mass flowering of plants, when the content of essential oil is the highest. The first collection is carried out when 70% of the inflorescences have pseudolingual (white) flowers placed horizontally. With a later collection, the fruitlets formed in the lower rows easily crumble and many crushed flowers appear in the raw material. Harvested by hand, traditionally with metal basket combs. The raw material is not compacted, but immediately sent for drying. Flowers are dried outdoors in the shade, under a roof, in a dry room. When harvesting large quantities, chamomile is dried on electric currents, using tarpaulins, plastic wrap, and fabric bedding for this purpose. For better drying, the raw materials are periodically mixed. It is possible to use dryers with a temperature not exceeding 40°\r

When harvesting, there may be impurities of inflorescences of plants that are similar in appearance to chamomile, but are not medicinal: odorless chamomile, which, unlike chamomile, has a continuous receptacle and larger baskets up to 12 mm, field umbilical, which has a membranous receptacle, and canine umbilicus, in which the receptacle is membranous only from above. Shelf life of raw materials.\r

Chemical composition

\rChamomile inflorescences contain an essential oil consisting of the main biologically active substance – chamazulene, its predecessor – prochamazulene and other monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. Of the sesquiterpenes, the most important are the lactones of the matrix and matricarin, since chamazulene also appears from them during the processing of raw materials. Sesquiterpene hydrocarbons (farnesene and cadinene), sesquiterpene alcohols (bisabolol, bisabolol oxide, ketoalcohol), caprylic acid were found in the essential oil. The flowers of the plant contain flavonoids, coumarins, sitosterol, choline, carotene, ascorbic acid, isovaleric and other organic acids and polysaccharides.\r

Pharmacological properties

\rThe effect of chamomile products on organs is due to a complex of pharmacological properties contained in the plant of physiologically active substances (essential oil, azulene, flavonoids, polysaccharides, vitamins, etc.). Chamomile preparations have antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, sedative and some analgesic effects; reduce the spasm of the isolated intestine in animals, increase bile secretion, reduce experimental edema, have a pronounced antiulcer effect, stimulate the processes of tissue regeneration and healing in animals with experimental stomach ulcers.\r

Infusion of chamomile flowers when taken orally increases the secretion of the digestive glands, has a choleretic effect, reduces fermentation processes, and relieves intestinal spasms. The mechanism of antispasmodic action is explained by the m-anticholinergic properties of plant glycosides. Chamomile essential oil somewhat enhances and deepens breathing, speeds up the rhythm of heart contractions, and dilates the vessels of the brain.\r

Application in medicine

\rChamomile flowers are used in the form of an infusion or in complex preparations for the treatment of many diseases. So, chamomile infusion is used as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and analgesic for diseases of the oral cavity (stomatitis, gingivitis, etc.), tonsillitis and tonsillitis.\r

Chamomile is prescribed for acute and chronic gastritis, peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum, colitis and enterocolitis. The best results are observed when combining chamomile with calendula and yarrow. At the same time, pain, belching, flatulence disappear in patients, and overall well-being improves. The complex purpose of these plants enhances their anti-inflammatory, spasmodic, wound-healing effect, and yarrow, in addition, increases blood clotting, has vasodilating and analgesic properties.\r

In diseases of the liver and biliary tract, chamomile products relieve spasm of the bile ducts, increase bile secretion, and reduce inflammation.\r

With spasms of the intestines and flatulence, a soothing tea is prescribed, consisting of chamomile flowers, valerian root, mint leaves, cumin fruits and fennel equally. A tablespoon of a mixture of these herbs is poured into a glass of boiling water, insisted for 15-20 minutes, then filtered and taken 1/2 cup in the morning and evening.\r

Very popular carminative collection (tea), which includes chamomile flowers, valerian root and cumin fruits. To prepare tea, take 6 parts of chamomile flowers, 4 parts of valerian root and one part of cumin fruits. A tablespoon of a mixture of these herbs is poured into a glass of boiling water and infused for 20 minutes, filtered and taken 1/2 cup in the morning and evening with flatulence.\r

Chamazulene and its synthetic analogues are used for bronchial asthma, rheumatism, allergic gastritis and colitis, eczema, radiation burns and other diseases.\r

There is evidence of the positive effect of chamomile in painful menstruation, and chamomile and yarrow in uterine bleeding. An infusion of chamomile, calendula and yarrow is used in microclysters for hemorrhoids, colitis and enterocolitis.\r

Large doses of chamomile essential oil cause headaches and general weakness.\r

In perfumery, chamomile flowers are used in the manufacture of nourishing creams, lotions and shampoos.

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