Chamomile Glycerite

The lovely Matricaria recutita (Chamomile) is a very underestimated herb. It may be well know in tea bag form for calming you for sleep but it has SO MANY more uses. This makes it an absolute winner to grow in your garden to have to hand for making simple remedies, to dry or to use fresh throughout summer months in your own tea blends. I had some time yesterday between seeing patients to harvest some fresh Chamomile blossoms to make a litre of glycerite. I usually only make a few litres of this per year from fresh flowers. We also make tincture from it and dry it for tea mixes for clinic.

Any form of Chamomile remedy is excellent for digestive issues. It's volatile oils make it an excellent anti-inflammatory herb. It can literally be used from top to bottom! Starting at the mouth it can be used for a gingivitis mouth wash as it has antimicrobial, and antispetic qualities along with it helping bring down inflammation. It is one of the best herbs for gastritis and pepic ulcers taken in tea or glycerite form. Chamomile is invaluable for any inflammatory bowel conditions like Crohn's or ulcerative colitis. Use it simply as a tea for upset tummies or to aid recovery from food poisoning and ease the cramps. It's antispasmodic and  carminative action on the stomach and lower digestion work to relieve cramps from conditions like irritable bowel syndrome as well as trapped wind making it useful for general bloating and gassiness. This herb is also fantastic for gently supporting the liver. As you can see Chamomile, which is generally thought of as a mild sedative for the nervous system, can be more useful as a digestive remedy.
Externally, I would most commonly use it mixed with other herbs as a wash or in eye teabags for someone suffering from conjunctivitis and sty's. I sometimes use the tea or tincture as an ingredient in anti-inflammatory skin creams.
Matricaria recutita (Chamomile) is an easily grown annual that you can have in your garden throughout the whole growing season if you do 2-3 sowings. We would have sown our first batch of Chamomile seeds early April. It also self seeds easily in fine soil. This self seeded patch shown in the picture came up in June and is only in full flower now in October. We'll be harvesting it over the coming week

About Ivywood

Herbalists Ross Hennessy and Marina Kesso have moved their businesses and family to a new piece of land in Co Clare. They are busy creating new spaces on the land to reestablish their clinical practice and medicinal herb nursery. Formerly Bareroot Botanicals and Iona Herbal they have now renamed the woodland and business Ivywood.

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