Chamomile information ii/ii
Last updated 6/12/2012 12:47:02 AM. Recipe ID 7574. Report a problem with this recipe.
Title: Chamomile information ii/ii
Categories: Seasonings, Info
Yield: 1 Info below
1 Info below
- Chamomile for Your Health -
"In Europe, chamomile is highly esteemed as a medicinal herb.
Matricaria recutita is included in the pharmacopoeias of 26
countries. Writing on the plant in the Australian journal _Focus on
Herbs_, Slovakian chamomile expert Ivan Salamon quoted a common folk
saying of his country: 'An individual should always bow before the
creative powers of the chamomile plant.' And 'As a popular remedy,
it may be thought of as the European counterpart of ginseng,' Dr.
Varro Tyler wrote in _The New Honest Herbal_. Dr. Tyler tells us that
the Germans describe it as alles zutraut ~ 'capable of anything.'
"Are these statements just overenthusiasm, or is there meaning behind
the folklore? Indeed, German chamomile, and to a lesser extent, Roman
chamomile, is among the best-researched medicinal herbs now used in
Europe. There it is used in a wide variety of ways and in dozens of
products: compresses, rinses, or gargles are used externally for the
treatment of inflammations and irritations of the skin, mouth, gums,
and respiratory tract, and for hemorrhoids. A chamomile bath - a
pound of flowers to 20 gallons of water - is also used.
(Alternatively, alcohol extracts of the flowers are available in
Europe - a much more convenient way to take a chamomile bath!)
"Internally, a tea made from 2 to 3 grams of the herb to a cup of
water is used to relieve spasms and inflammations of the intestinal
tract, as well as for peptic ulcers. (Remember that there are about
28 grams in an ounce, so this is a very mild tea.) A mild tea is
also used as a sleeping aid, particularly for children. These
medicinal uses, cited in a monograph developed by the European
Scientific Cooperative for Phytomedicine, are backed by intensive
research of recent years as well as many centuries of common use."
"Over the last decade, the popular press and even medical literature
in the United States have reported that drinking chamomile tea may
cause severe allergic reactions. The basis for this, according to Dr.
Tyler, is 50 allergic reactions resulting from 'chamomiles' reported
between 1887 and 1982. Of these, only five were attributed to German
chamomile. I think this says more about its safety than it does any
potential harm; nonetheless, persons who experience allergic
reactions to ragweed or other members of the aster family are warned
that they should use chamomile with caution.
"German chamomile has highly variable chemistry. To date, more than
120 chemical components have been identified from its clear blue
essential oil. For many years, chamazulene was thought to be the
primary active component, but scientists now believe that any
antiinflammatory, antispasmodic, antimicrobial, and mildly sedative
effect is due to one called bisabolol. Since the late 1970s and
1980s, European plant breeders, producers, chemists, and
pharmacologists have been working on programs to improve the plant.
Today, they recognize four basic chemical types of German chamomile,
which has led to the production of higher-quality chamomile with more
stable, predictable constituents and higher levels of active
components. Crop improvement programs are continuing in both eastern
and western Europe."
Excerpted from Steven Foster's "Chamomile" article in "The Herb
Companion." Dec. 1992/Jan. 1993, Vol. 5, No. 2. Pp. 67-68. Posted by
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