Real Chamomile – Profile Of A Popular Medicinal Plant

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 09:03 pm

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), a plant from the daisy family, is one of the best known and most important medicinal plants. The dried flowers are used mainly in the form of chamomile tea, but also as an additive to steam baths, tinctures or skin creams. The plant has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects.

Echte Kamille Steckbrief

Origin and distribution
Originally probably from Southern and Eastern Europe or the Near East, chamomile has been carried to almost all parts of the world and continents in the course of human history, where it grows both wild and is cultivated. The plant grows preferentially on humus-rich and nutrient-rich fields, meadows and fallow land.

Real Chamomile - Profile Of A Popular Medicinal Plant

Botanical systematics
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla, also Matricaria recutita) is a herbaceous annual plant of the composite family. This plant family is one of the richest in species, numerous herbs, medicinal plants, vegetables and perennials belong to it. Chamomile is thus related to other composite plants such as dandelion, arnica, marigolds, sunflowers, tarragon or mugwort.

Characteristics and differentiation from other chamomile species.


Besides the true chamomile, there are other chamomile species. The chamomiles include only the true chamomile as well as the rayless chamomile (Matricaria discoidea). The latter is conspicuous because of its lack of white tongues, but is not suitable for use as a medicinal herb. There is a greater risk of confusion with the false or odorless chamomile, which looks very similar to the true chamomile. This also has no medicinal properties, but can be easily distinguished from the medicinal plant due to its lack of a typical scent. The various species of dog chamomile (Anthemis) cannot be used as a medicinal herb either, but they look very similar to the true chamomile. When gathering, true chamomile can be distinguished from other chamomile species by a relatively simple test – the heads of true chamomile are hollow on the inside, unlike false chamomile, for example.

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Use
Real chamomile is mainly used as a medicinal plant, especially for colds and sore throats, gum or other inflammations in the mouth, stomach and intestinal problems or, applied externally, for skin problems. In the kitchen, on the other hand, chamomile is of little importance, only its flowers can be used as an ingredient in a wild herb salad or as a decoration for salads.

Tips & Tricks
You can grow chamomile in your own garden and even in pots with very little effort – the plant is quite undemanding and does not require much care.

Author

  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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