Chamomile is a flowering shrub that grows about 12 inches high. (German chamomile grows as high as 3 feet). Chamomile flowers bloom during June and July.
The word “chamomile” comes from the greek word “chamos,” meaning ground and “milos,” meaning apple. Because it grows close to the ground and smells like apple the plant is called chamomile.
The properties of chamomile make it useful for treating nausea, heartburn and other gastrointestinal issues. Due to the mild sedative effect it has, chamomile is often used as a “before bed” sleep aid.
One of the most common ways chamomile is used is as a tea via steeping the dried whole flowers in hot water. You can also find chamomile in many creams, ointments and other cosmetics.
Finally, chamomile is useful for treating skin issues as well as for treating open wounds due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects.
Other ways to use whole dried chamomile flowers:
- As a herbal tea on its own or blended with other tea ingredients
- Skin health: Dip a cotton ball in chamomile tea and rub on problem areas
- Take a chamomile bath: Fill bath tub with warm water, add a few drops of essential oil and a cup of brewed chamomile tea to the water. Soak for 10-15 minutes.
- For dry and flaky hair: Rub chamomile tea (or a diluted mixture) into scalp and let soak for 3-5 minutes before rinsing.
- A natural face cleanser: Use a cotton ball or washcloth to gently dab chamomile tea over your face. Let stand for 3 minutes then rinse with cool water.