This perennially popular herb has been grown since ancient times for the relaxing and mildly sedating effects of the pleasantly apple scented tea that is made from the flowers. Today, history has come full circle again, and some of the best chamomile is grown in the Nile valley. It certainly is a pretty addition to any herb garden, but I find it does not like the heat and dryness of the desert Southwest, and usually dies out in the summer.
Chamomile is best known for relief of insomnia and nervousness, and a cup of chamomile tea, especially delicious when made with a teaspoon of honey, can be a delicious way to a good nights’ sleep.It is safe and not habit-forming, and I frequently use it myself, when feeling too "hyped up" to sleep. Chamomile has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, and makes a useful wash for skin irritations and rashes. (see “Cautions”)It is widely available commercially, but there seems to be a great deal of variation in the strength of different products.
Avoid use if you have a history of hay fever or allergies to grass and ragweed. Chamomile is safe and helpful during pregnancy.
Be sure of the identity of any plant before you
use it. If a preparation makes you sick or gives you a rash, don't use it, and
throw it away! If your condition does not improve, see your doctor. Be sure to
let your physician know EVERYTHING that you are taking!
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