Growing Medicinal Herbs – Chamomile


Chamomile is one of the most common medicinal herbs that you can grow in your garden. It is fairly easy to grow and with its many uses, especially as a medicinal herb, it definitely is a valuable addition to your home herb garden.

Grow Chamomile

Chamomile, grown for its daisylike flowers, prefers full sun outdoors. It grows up to 20 to 25 inches and is best planted in the ground than in containers. It is also ideal for mass planting and landscaping provided that each plant is 6 inches apart. Soil has to be well drained with adequate nutrients, and like most sun-loving herbs, water only when the topsoil is dry to the touch.

Propagation is through the seed. However, starting chamomile from seed can be very tricky and challenging. It’s better to start from a young seedling in a container then transplant in the garden once the plant has hardened . An established chamomile plant is very hardy and can tolerate almost any growing conditions.

Medicinal Properties

The key element in a chamomile plant is its flowers. Chamomile flowers are used as medicinal herb, cosmetic agent, herbal tea, aromatherapy ingredient and can even be tossed in salads and beverages.

Its flowers have anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, nervine or nerve-soothing properties. As anti-inflammatory, it can be used to treat skin irritations, gingivitis, rheumatism, arthritis, and other painful swellings. As antispasmodic, it can be used to relieve stomachache and gas pain, menstrual cramps, indigestion, diarrhea and ulcer. It is also a very good laxative. As nervine, it is slightly sedative and can be used to induce sleep and dull pain. It also helps to alleviate anxiety and depression.

As a cosmetic agent, chamomile can lend anti-allergenic and soothing properties to beauty products. It is sometimes added to soaps and lotions because it can soften the skin. It is also great for aromatherapeutical applications because it has a calming effect and relieves mental and physical stress. It is also used in shampoos for its sweet-smelling scent.

However, chamomile is not recommended as an alternative medicine for pregnant and breastfeeding women. It is also anti-coagulant (blood-thinning) and vasodilative (nerve-dilating) and must be avoided, at all cost, weeks before and after undergoing surgery. Use with medications having the same effect is also highly discouraged.

How to Use

This wonderful and common medicinal herb is often use in the form of herbal tea. Dried flowers are added into boiling water then covered and steeped for at least 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can also place them in a tea bag to eliminate the need for draining.

Dried flowers can also be used in a bath soak as a relaxing beauty regimen. They can also be made into potpourri and burned for aromatherapy. Commercial chamomile essential and massage oils are also available in the market. If you’re in for an organic gastronomical treat, you can eat chamomile flowers fresh by tossing some into your salad or your favorite lemonade.

The uses and benefits of growing medicinal herbs in your home is plenty and truly amazing. Having chamomile, along with other common medicinal herbs will make your herb gardening more worthwhile.

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