Camomile

Camomile is an herb, it is in the Asteraceae family. The Asteraceae family contains over 1,400 genera and over 20,000 species. This makes Asteraceae the second largest plant family. Asteraceae are classified as Eudiots. The spelling of this herb can be seen or spelled two ways, camomile and chamomile. The following piece of work uses both spellings depending upon how it was spelled at the source of the information.

camomile_pic_1.jpgCamomile. 2012. herbfacts. 2012. Web. 10 Jan. 2012.http://www.herbfacts.co.uk/pages/herb-file/camomile.php


The United States Department of Agriculture recorded nine results for camomile under classification, these are those results.

Scientific Name
Common Name
Anthemis
chamomile
Anthemix altissima
tall chamomile
Anthemis arvensis
corn chamomile
Anthemis cotula
Austrailian chamomile
Anthemis secundiramea
stinking chamomile
Anthemis tinctoria
golden chamomile
Chamaemeium nobile
Roman chamomile
Matricaria recutita
German chamomile




History
According to the U.S. department of health, German and Roman chamomile are the two types of the herb that get used for health reasons. This page will focus on these two types of chamomile. From the Georgetown.edu web site, Chamomile was used in ancient Egypt and in Rome. It was used to treat fevers caused by malaria and headaches. Chamomile was used by many cultures for everything from gastrointestinal disorders to skin conditions. As stated by Marie Iannotte, Greek physicians would prescribe chamomile for fevers and female disorders. Doctors in England during the 1600's would carry chamomile in their medical bags. This practice was carried on by medical people traveling to the new world of America.




Description and Habitat

This close up picture of a camomile flower illustrates one of the herbs characteristics nicely.
The single flower head or capitulum is made up of lots of little flowers with specialized jobs.
This is similiar to another flower from the Asteraceae family, the sunflower.
Camomile_2.jpg
Slavic. File:Camomile 1.JPG. 16 July 2008. Wikimedia Commons. 2012. Web.10 Jan. 2012.
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Camomile_1.JPG.

Karen Russ, horticultural specialist from Clemson University states that many herbs come from the mediterranian area. Herbs like a dry summer with lots of sun, at least six hours of sun per day. The soil should be well drained and it need not be highly fertile. Roman and German camomile are cultivated world wide in temperate regions.
German camomile is a cool season annual. It will grow to 18 inches high in sun or partial shade. This plant produces small white and yellow flowers. The receptacle, the expanded tip of the flower stalk, of the German camomile has a hollow interior.
Roman camomile is a low ground cover perennial. This plant perfers partial shade and moderately moist soil. The foiliage of the Roman camomile gives off an apple sent and is used as potpourri. The receptacle, the expanded tip of the flower stalk, of the Roman camomile has a solid interior.



chamomile_pic_3.jpg
Wild Chamomile. 28 May 2008. Nature Photo-CZ. 2012. Web. 10 Jan. 2012.
http://www.naturephoto-cz.com/wild-chamomile:matricaria-recutita-photo-16531.html.

Chamomile and Health Provisions

Potential Negative Side Effects of Chamomile
According to the United States Department of Health there are side effects and cautions associated with chamomile. Allergic reractions have been reported, some of these reactions severe. These reactions range from skin rashes to shortness of breath. People who are allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and daisies would be more likely to have a reaction to chamomile because these plants are closely related. The U. S. Department of Health reccommends that a person check with their health care provider before trying any alternative practice.



Potential Positive Effects of Chamomile
These are some remedies, some of the health benefits of chamomile listed by Marie Innotti. A chamomile tincture may help with irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, and tension. Chamomile ointment is good for insect bites, wounds and burns. The chamomile flower has anti-inflammatory attributes that can help with muscle cramps and menstral cramps. Flavonoids in chamomile help the anti-inflammatory effect. A chamomile steam inhalation is good for asthma and upper respiratory congestion. Within the steam the proazulenes in the herb produce chamazulene. This is a known antiallergenic and anti-inflammatory. Chamomile tea is also used to combat migranes, anxiety, and insomnia. The apigenin produced in the tea is said to act on receptors in the brain.
Chamomile is also used to help heal sun damaged skin and in a shampoo to lighten peoples hair. People also make soap using chamomile. The following video demonstrates how to make your own chamomile soap at home.





How to make camomile soap




Expertvillage, narr. Melting & Molding Soap : Chamomile Soap.youtube.com. 27 Apr. 2008. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vME9EPwnrig&feature=fvsr.


References
Camomile. 2012. herbfacts., 2012. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <http://www.google.com/‌imgres?>.
“Classification.” Natural Resources Conservation Service. United States Department of Agriculture, 9 Jan. 2012. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <http://plants.usda.gov>.
Expertvillage, narr. Melting & Molding Soap : Chamomile Soap. http://www.youtube.com., 27 Apr. 2008. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com>.
“Herbs.” Home & Garden Information Center. Clemson University, 2011. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <http://www.clemson.edu/‌extension/‌hgic/‌plants/‌vegetables/‌crops/‌hgic1311.html>.
“Herbs At A Glance.” US Department of Health and Human Services. US Institute of Health, July 2010. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <http://nccam.nig.gov>.
Iannotti, Marie. “Chamomile - A Delicate but Tough Herb for the Garden and the Kitchen.” About.com Gardening. New York Times, 2012. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <http://gardening.about.com/‌od/‌herbsspecificplants1/‌p/‌Chamomile.htm>.
Slavic. File:Camomile 1.JPG. 16 July 2008. Wikimedia Commons., 2012. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <http://commons.wikimedia.org/‌wiki/‌File:Camomile_1.JPG>.
“Urban Herbs: Medicinal Plants at Georgetown University.” Georgetown University Medical Center . Department of Physiology and Biophysics - Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2011. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <http://pharmacology.georgetown.edu/‌urbanherbs/‌german_cham.htm>.
Wild Chamomile. 28 May 2008. Nature Photo-CZ., 2012. Web. 10 Jan. 2012. <http://www.naturephoto-cz.com/‌wild-chamomile:matricaria-recutita-photo-16531.html>.