Chamomile or common chamomile , with the scientific name Chamaemelum nobile , is an asteraceae that has its origin in Europe. It is a herb well known for its fragrance, its medicinal properties and its value in infusions, as well as being a very beautiful plant.
If you want to learn what it is for and how to care for the chamomile plant to have it at home, keep reading this article.
How is the chamomile plant – characteristics
Among the main characteristics of the chamomile plant, we can highlight that it is a perennial herb of no more than 30 or 40 cm in height, it forms thin and slender stems that end in flowers with small white petals with a yellow button on the center. It is a plant that looks as simple as it is beautiful, which is usually associated with images of purity or virtue. In addition, chamomile is also a very aromatic plant , with a pleasant and very characteristic aroma and it is also a medicinal plant , as it is full of good properties for the body.
What is the chamomile plant for – benefits and uses
Chamomile has a large number of properties that make it highly appreciated. These are the main medicinal properties of chamomile :
- Some of the best known and most used are its digestive properties . The infusion of chamomile has the ability to relieve heaviness and stomach pain, thus facilitating digestion.
- It has relaxing properties by increasing serotonin levels, which is why it is used to treat stress, anxiety, and insomnia.
- It is also a known anti-inflammatory and a support for the immune system when fighting infections.
- Chamomile infusions also help regulate the glycemic index and lower cholesterol.
- Applied on the skin, it is very useful to help heal wounds and accelerate healing .
- Another of the many uses it is given is to calm menstrual cramps, thanks to its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties .
Chamomile plant: basic care
If you want to grow chamomile at home , follow this guide that we give below so that your plants grow strong and healthy:
Substrate for chamomile
Chamomile needs soils or substrates with very good drainage , so that when watering it never gets waterlogged. On the other hand, it does not need soil that is excessively rich in organic matter, but it does need an annual contribution of compost or worm humus ; with one a year your chamomile plant will have more than enough. If you decide to plant and grow chamomile in a pot , use containers that are at least 8 to 10 inches deep.
This plant welcomes direct lighting and it is advisable to place it in an area where it receives a good supply of light , even directly if possible. Outdoors, it can easily stand in full sun, except in exceptionally hot areas, where it is best placed in semi-shade.
Watering the chamomile plant
Chamomile withstands drought better than excess moisture. For this reason, it is advisable to use drip irrigation or, even, by tray at the base of the pot, renewing the water when the substrate seems too dry.
Pests on chamomile
As for pests, the most common in this aromatic are thrips and aphids , with which special care must be taken in the warm months. If you discover them, spray the plant with soapy water (better if it is potassium) being careful not to puddle it.
How to take chamomile
Preparing a chamomile infusion is very simple. The ideal is to use dried flowers of the plant, although it can also be used fresh, if you have not yet had time to let them dry, and follow these indications, either to prepare it to drink a chamomile tea or to apply it externally.
- Use a teaspoon of flowers, or a little more if they are fresh, and add very hot water (close to boiling point) to the cup or glass in which you have put the chamomile.
- Let it rest for a few minutes so that the chamomile enriches the water.
- Strain the chamomile infusion and you can drink it. Of course, be careful not to take it too hot!
You can also apply the chamomile infusion to the skin and hair . For example, you can apply it carefully with gauze to clean oily areas, as it helps treat acne problems. It is also a very good aid to clean and heal wounds and its anti-inflammatory properties can help relieve hemorrhoids. In addition, applied as a rinse to the hair or added to the shampoo, it can help to strengthen it and lighten it a few tones, especially in summer and with the help of the sun.