Chamomile is one of the most cultivated plants, not only for the pleasant visual effect that it provides your garden with, but also for its many recognized virtues in various fields. Indeed, it turns out to have multiple uses, since it is used not only to relieve or prevent certain types of pain, but also in cosmetology. Easy to grow, it does not require any particular maintenance and is resistant to drought.

Chamomile is a plant virtually unavoidable on the ground of those who claim to be gardening enthusiasts. Indeed, growing this plant offers many advantages because of its numerous medicinal properties and the fact that it does not have any special care requirements.

Overview of chamomile

Native to Europe, chamomile is a biennial perennial of the Asteraceae family of which the flowers, similar to those of oxeye daisies at first glance, are white with yellow hearts and grouped at the ends of branches in single heads. Its stems are hairy, slender, green, and spread out, with the foliage being directly attached to the stalk, and do not have a regularly alternating peduncle. Depending on the cultivar, its size can range from 10 to 23.5 inches (25 to 60 centimetres). Several other names such as Roman camomile, garden camomile, low camomile, German camomile or stinking camomile are all used to refer to varieties of camomile.

How to grow chamomile according to the rule book?

Camomile is an easy-to-grow plant. It can either be grown in-ground, in a container, on borders, in flower beds and in rockeries. Note, however, that this plant needs less water when grown in-ground. In regard to soil type, it has a preference for sandy and slightly acidic land. In addition, camomile is propagated by seed. It is recommended to mix the soil with manure and compost before planting. There is no special recommendation for the maintenance of chamomile; regular watering is sufficient for those grown in containers. Furthermore, during planting it is important to respect a distance of 12 inches (30 cm) between seedlings and 14 inches (35 cm) between rows. Camomile is not very resistant to frost, so it is advisable to mulch its base regularly, especially if you grow it in a cold region. To allow it to thrive, place the plant in a sunny field. The flowers blossom between June and September, but if you plan to harvest them, the ideal time to do so is shortly before bloom, when they are barely open. It should be noted that the first harvest should not occur before the second year of growth. For storage, a dry and ventilated area is suitable but you can also place them on a rack and put in the shade for a good week. Finally, pruning camomile occurs at the end of the winter period and is performed in ball-shape.

The properties of chamomile

The virtues of chamomile are numerous and were discovered a long time ago. Today, it is not only used in the field of medicine, but also in cooking and cosmetics. In the past, camomile was recommended to relieve menstrual pain and muscle soreness. But it can also be used in as herbal tea, knowing that one cup should include an average of eight flowers and that the number of cups taken per day should not exceed four. You can take some to get rid of sleep disorders, a migraine or digestive disorders. If you do not like the bitter taste, you can always add a little sugar or honey to your herbal tea. It is also interesting to know that camomile is an appetite stimulant and a great way to prevent aerophagy and flatulence. Moreover, it is deemed a plant effective in relieving various ailments such as toothache, headache etc. … From an aesthetic standpoint, camomile is often used to tone the hair or to bleach it. But it may very well be used to scent a hot bath or drive away mites present in your home’s furniture.

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Published in Tisane by Alexander on 06 Sep 2011