Chamomile uses, benefit, and growing

Chamomile: Uses and Benefits (plus 10 recipes and why your garden needs it!)

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Something awesome is happening in my yard right now! There is chamomile growing, and I didn’t even plant it this year!  This is year two of “back-to-Eden” gardening for me, or as I like to call it “busy-woman-gardening”. If you have never heard of back to Eden gardening, I highly suggest you look into it. Basically, there is no tilling, little to no weeding, much, much less watering and many of your annuals will re-seed themselves leaving you to just sit back and admire nature at work (or if you are like me, do a million other things instead!) Currently, I have my beloved chamomile, as well as calendula, cilantro, parsley, arugula, and mustard greens popping up in my garden in addition to my perennial herbs. All of this with NO work from me this season. 

This is all a digression for my original purpose of writing today, however. Today I would like to explain why I love chamomile in all of its forms and why you should love it as well. Here we go!

Benefits of chamomile flowers:

Chamomile: Uses and Benefits (plus why you should grow it)

  • contains small amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A, and folate
  • anti-inflammatory
  • analgesic
  • anti-spasmodic
  • boosts immunity
  • relaxes the body 
  • high in antioxidants
  • digestive relaxant
  • antimicrobial
  • promotes wound healing

Chamomile tea:

One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to get the benefits of chamomile is to have it in tea. You may have heard or know from personal experience that chamomile tea is very soothing and relaxing. The reason for this is a chemical compound called chamazulene (wormwood and yarrow have this compound as well). This fragrant compound is anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic (which makes it a great addition to a tea blend for a cough or for menstrual cramps), and analgesic (which makes it great for sore throats, headaches, and other body pains). 

Check out this post from Happy Herbal Home for a toddler sleepy time tea blend or this Sweet Sleep Tea that sounds absolutely heavenly from the Herbal Spoon.

Here is a recipe using one of my other favorite herbs, lemon balm, with chamomile for double duty: Lemon balm and chamomile tea from the Good Life with Amy French

If you want to learn more about other herbs for sleep, check out this post from Healthy Green Savvy.

Chamomile for beauty:

  • lightens skin
  • lightens hair
  • anti-aging due to high levels of antioxidants
  • excellent for acne because of the antimicrobial properties
  • great for healing scars because of its ability to lighten the skin.
  • eliminates dandruff

Try these awesome beauty recipes using chamomile:

Soothing Lavender Chamomile Face Mask from the Pistachio Project

DIY herbal Baby Oil (for the whole family) from the Herbal Spoon

Chamomile Infused Coconut Oil also from the Pistachio Project

Herbal Color Enhancing Spray also from the Pistachio Project

Natural Hair Dyes from Simple Mom Life

DIY Herbal Lip Balm also from Simple Mom Life

DIY Natural Face Cleanser also from Simple Mom Life

Chamomile for first aid:

  • soothes sunburn
  • promotes healing of eczema and psoriasis
  • treats colds and flus, coughs, sore throats, and congestion
  • treats digestive issues
  • helps manage stress

Check out this post on soothing a sunburn with a chamomile tea bath from Feathers in the Woods or make your own after sun soothing herbal spray with this recipe from The Herbal Spoon. 

Chamomile essential oil:

  • relieves stress
  • reduces allergies
  • encourages restful sleep
  • excellent for skin
  • soothes digestion
  • safe for children
  • helps with joint pain
  • great for the cardiovascular system

For an in-depth look at chamomile essential oil, check out this post from Naturally Free Life: Why Essential Oils work: Bisalobal in German Chamomile.

Chamomile homeopathic

This is one of my go-to remedies for my kids. We often take this at bedtime to calm down and get ready for sleep. It is also good for ear aches/infections, toothaches, colic, teething, and many other ailments. Check out this post for more information of using chamomile homeopathic.

Other fun uses for chamomile:

Brewing:

My first (and to date only) attempt at making an herbal beer was with chamomile.  I got the recipe from an amazing book called Sacred and Healing Herbal Beers. Also, check out this vanilla bean chamomile mead recipe from Pixie’s Pocket. It sounds delicious! 

Activities with Kids:

Try this unexpected way to use chamomile: DIY Herbal Window Clings.

Why you should grow chamomile:

You are definitely going to want to pick up a packet of organic chamomile seeds for your garden after reading this!

    • Besides smelling amazing every time you walk by or brush against it, this pretty flower attracts beneficial insects to your garden, keeping pests down and bringing bees to pollinate your fruits and vegetables. If you do busy-woman-gardening (aka back-to-Eden) like me, you won’t even have to plant it next year as it will do the job for you.
    • Annuals such as snap dragons, zinnias, and petunias will benefit from companion planting with it because of its anti-fungal properties.
    • Perennials such as phlox, delphiniums, and black eyed susans can also benefit from companion planting with chamomile.
    • Shrubs and trees such as roses, lilacs, and dogwoods also benefit from it as a companion.
    • Planting chamomile next to vegetables such as potatoes and tomatoes (night shades) can protect them from blight and brassicas such as cabbage and Brussels sprouts can repel unwanted insects like the white cabbage butterfly.
    • Herbs in the mint family are said to have improved scent and taste when planted near it.
    • Also, if you grow your own, you will have a constant supply of organic chamomile for tea, tinctures, beauty recipes, and first aid! 

Note: If you are a budding herbologist, check out this post from the Farm Homestead for more in-depth information on chamomile.

Another note: If you are pregnant or allergic to ragweed, daisies, marigolds, or chrysanthemums, it is best to avoid chamomile. 

Are you going to grow chamomile this season? What are your favorite uses for this awesome little flower?

 

Chamomile: Uses and Benefits (plus why you should grow it) #herbalremedies #herbs #growyourown #naturalbeauty #reclaimingvitality

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