Scientific name: Chamaemelum nobile (Roman chamomile) & Matricaria chamomilla (German chamomile)

Chamomile is very well-known, used today mainly as a tea for digestion aid and settling an upset stomach. While gentle enough for small children and even infants, this herb is incredibly effective. Gentle doesn’t necessarily indicate weakness!

Official medical authorities of over 25 countries have approved chamomile for a range of health concerns like colic, indigestion, muscle spasms, inflammation, and more.

The flower is the part most often used, and the leaves are sometimes used as well.

Nutrients

  • Volatile oils such as Azulene
  • Flavonoids
  • Tannins
  • Bitter glycosides
  • Salicylates
  • Coumarins
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus

Health Benefits

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-fever
  • Digestive aid
  • Sleep aid
  • Support for the nervous system
  • Anti-stress
  • Improves colic in infants, and aids digestion issues in small children
  • Helps with colds and the flu
  • Useful externally for soothing burns and small injuries

Quick Remedies

(consult a doctor if experiencing any serious conditions)

  • Aches & pains, headaches, arthritis: instead of using your general pain meds every day before bed, drink a cup of chamomile tea. Studies have been done that show this is as effective and much healthier.
  • Stress, anxiety, sore muscles: drink a cup of tea (as often as needed), or add some to your bathwater. Chamomile is also a very effective massage oil.
  • Colic: chamomile is very mild and safe to use with infants that are experiencing colic. Do not give the baby too much. 2-3 oz should be enough.

How to Grow

Planting

Where do you live?

Chamomile is fairly easy to grow from seeds, isn’t too picky about what state the area is in, though tends to prefer slightly cooler temperatures. If you’re in a warmer area, plant as early in the spring as you can so the flowers can bloom before the hottest part of the summer.

Put em in the ground

Calendula seeds can be planted right into the soil when the ground thaws in early spring.

  • Dry, well-drained soil
  • Full sun, cooler temperatures
  • Rich soil may produce larger flowers but isn’t necessary for a good crop (they are more potent in less-rich soil)

Harvest

Harvest when the flowers are in full bloom, using a small rake or your hand. Some ares will get two harvests, in the spring and fall.

Care

This is another one of those companion plants that has been called  the “plants’ physician” as it conveniently keeps plants around it disease-free. Use it to your advantage around other plants you grow that are disease prone.