Herb info 18/2017: German chamomile.
German chamomile is found in the wild in Finland, but it's not all that easy to find. It is known by its distinct scent and by its hollow flowers.
German chamomile is aromatic and sweet. In herb stores, you'll find the flowers, but you can in fact use the green parts as well. They work like the flowers, but aren't as strong.
German chamomile is great for the digestion and for coughs and sniffles. Use it in nausea, especially if you're a hot person. If taken in the evening, it can help you fall asleep.
It's very effective for the contagious vomiting diseases in children (especially kids who don't like warm clothing). Give it as an unsweetened tea or as a diluted tincture. It's also great for kid's pink eye; for that, dip a clean rag in a bit of cooled-off tea and hold it to the eye. It's one of the most important herbs for kids, as it also hands out hugs. That again helps with cravings for attention.
For digestive problems, herbs should be taken unsweetened. For coughs, they're better sweetened.
German chamomile is in the daisy family and can therefore in theory cause allergic problems. In practice I've seen very very few people with a German chamomile allergy.
The close relative pineapple weed can be used like chamomile.
There's a few look-alikes, like scentless mayweed. It's larger than German chamomile, stinks, and can't be used like chamomile. The flowers of oxeye daisy look like those of German chamomile, but it's larger and its leaves aren't fringed but instead rather leaflike. Oxeye daisy is good for the lymphatic system and for urinary tract infections.
Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) is a more bitter herb that can be used like German chamomile for the digestion, but not for the motherly hugs.
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