Similar to Roman chamomile, German or Hungarian chamomile is an annual herb. It has long stems that reach up to 1 meter tall, and blooms from May to October. It is native to Europe and western Asia. History Held sacred by the Ancient Egyptians who dedicated it to the Sun God Ra, the herb has long been grown for its healing properties. Its smell was thought to relieve depression and to encourage relaxation. Medieval monks planted raised garden beds of chamomile, and those who were sad or depressed lay on them as therapy. Chamomile also was once a strewing herb, spread on bare floors so that the scent was released when people walked on it. The genus name, Matricaria, given to the German chamomile species means ‘matrix’ (womb), and this was the nature that the herb was used by the ancients; as a woman’s herb for relieving female conditions and aiding childbirth. Effects • Counteracts agitation and anger. • Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic; promotes digestion, relieves gas and nausea, encourages menstruation, soothes nervous tension, and promotes sleep. Uses • Soothing, comforting and balancing, German Chamomile is a gentle sedative that is believed to calm the emotions. It may be exceptionally helpful to people who tend to be over-anxious or drive themselves too hard. • It eases the emotional ups and downs of PMS, menopause, and hyperactivity in children. • Use in the bath for nervous afflictions, irritability, insomnia and anxiety. • Use for abscesses, allergies, arthritis, boils, colic, cuts, cystitis, dermatitis, dysmenorrhea, earache, flatulence, hair, headache, inflamed skin, insect bites, insomnia, nausea, neuralgia, PMS, rheumatism, sores, sprains, strains, stress, wounds. • Relaxing and warming, German Chamomile may help promote a calm mood in children and adults without being unduly depressive. • Renowned as an analgesic and restorative, it is recognized as an aid to sweet sleep and may offer comfort from menstrual pain. It also helps control the pain of bruises, stiff joints, headaches, sore muscles, menstrual and digestive system cramping, as well as the pain and swelling of sprains and some allergic reactions. • Chamomile is mild enough to ease a baby’s colic and calm the child for sleep. It is especially soothing in a massage oil, as a compress, or in a bath. • Chamomile is suitable for most complexion types or skin problems, from burns and eczema to varicose veins. It is especially useful for sensitive, puffy, or inflamed conditions. • Use in massage blends as an anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory, and to help ease menstrual pain. Home use Make a chamomile room spray by diluting 12 drops of the essential oil per ounce of distilled water.
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