CHAMOMILE (Matricaria recutita, M. chamomilla, German chamomile)

Family: Asteraceae

Parts commonly used: Flower

Properties/energetics: Antispasmodic, carminative, mild bitter, nervine, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, vulnerary, analgesic, anticatarrhal/Neutral;bitter, slightly pungent.

Systems predominantly affected: Nervous, digestive, urinary, musculoskeletal, skin.

Uses: A mild sedative, excellent for children as well as adults and the elderly, Chamomile is calming to the nervous system, most useful for treating insomnia, restlessness, nervous irritability in children, anxiety, nervous indigestion, flatulence, travel sickness, nasal catarrh, and other forms of inflammation. The flowers prove to be an excellent treatment for stomach and intestinal complaints characterized by cramps or gas pains, especially when there is a tendency toward inflammation aggravated by mental stress and tension. The infusion (tea) of the flowers also has a soothing effect on cramps or other painful symptoms of the kidney or bladder region. Used internally and externally, Chamomile is an excellent anti-inflammatory for mucous membranes, joints, muscles, wounds, and skin irritation.

Combinations: Combines well with Hops and Valerian for nervous restlessness and with Marshmallow root and Hops for nervous indigestion. Combines with Catnip, Fennel, and Lemon Balm for a decongestant tea that will cool fevers and relieve flu symptoms and is basically good for soothing hot, cranky children troubled by digestive upset or colic.

Affects on specific body types: Whereas the deficiency prone Seer condition requires more nourishing tonic nervine properties, such as those of Wild Oat, the more directly soothing properties of Chamomile serve as a better tonic for the excess condition of the Warrior-type. It is a good tonic for this type, as ulcers, gastritis, or intestinal inflammations of any type flare up when the Warrior loses his or her cool. This is an effective maintenance herb to help keep the lid on any Warriors who have a tendency toward nervous irritability. Chamomile is also a good muscle relaxant and mild anti-inflammatory for Seers or Warriors that hold their stress in their physical tissues. Seers best use it by combining it with more tonic herbs such as Wild Oat and Gotu Kola.

Preparations/dosage: Infusion: 1 cup three times a day. Tincture: 30 to 50 drops three times a day.

By James Green, Herbalist, copyright 2008

For more information please refer to James Green’s book, The Male Herbal,2nd Edition