Camomile (Matricaria chamomilla)*
Native to all of Europe, genuine camomile is probably one of the most popular medicinal herbs in Germany. The composite plant, which likes to grow in grain fields, is by no means the “weed” it is often perceived to be. Already in ancient times, camomile was valued for its versatile healing properties. The Nordic peoples consecrated chamomile as a sacred plant to their sun god Baldur.
Unlike chamomile, the true camomile can be recognised by its hollow flower heads. Only the aromatic flowers of the true camomile are used medicinally as a tea infusion or tincture.
The value-determining ingredients of chamomile flowers are 0.3 – 1.4 % essential oil, up to 6 % flavonoids as well as pectins and mucilage. When chamomile flowers are distilled, a viscous, dark blue essential oil is formed. Its main components are azulene (“azure” = blue) and bisabolol. The anti-inflammatory properties of camomile are based on these two components in the essential oil. Bacterial toxins can also be inactivated by the essential oil of camomile. Furthermore, the oil has an antispasmodic effect on the gastrointestinal tract and a strong disinfectant effect. For this reason, preparations from the medicinal herbs are often used to disinfect wounds, to promote wound healing and also to rinse mucous membrane and gum injuries as well as eczema and ulcers. Aqueous chamomile preparations, which contain mainly the flavonoids, are excellent for conditions such as gastritis, inflammation of the small and large intestines, bile duct disorders and flatulence. Chamomile is also said to have immune-stimulating effects. Inhalation of chamomile vapours is often used to treat colds and irritated respiratory tracts.
According to a study, camomile also has anxiety-relieving, calming effects. The flavonoid apigenin, which is responsible for this, addresses the corresponding regions in the brain just as well as chemical-synthetic preparations.
No wonder that the multi-talented camomile is one of the most widely used medicinal herbs in our country.
Camille – the underestimated multi-talent, not only for indisposition.
Content: The chamomile is probably one of the best-known medicinal herbs in Germany. In our minds, we associate it mainly with the slightly earthy-tasting tea infusion that we drink when we are feeling unwell. But this pretty herb can do much more for us and our animals.
Speaker: Dr. Gabriele Arndt | Recording: 23.11.2021