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Chamomile is a low-growing relative of the sunflower native to Eastern Europe and now found around the world. It is especially abundant in Hungary, Croatia, and Serbia, although chamomile grown in Egypt has an exceptionally high content of essential oils. Chamomile was used as a medicine by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Its name derives from the Greek chamos (ground) and melos (apple), referring to its creeping habit and the apple scent of fresh blossoms. In the US, chamomile is one of the most widely used herbal ingredients in teas as well as in cosmetic, health, and beauty aid products. The amount of chamomile imported into the US each year is between 750,000 and one million pounds, with an estimated 90% used in teas. In commerce, chamomile is often called German chamomile or Hungarian chamomile, which are not to be confused with the rare, and more costly, Roman or English chamomile (Anthemis nobilis/Chamaemelum nobile).
- Chamomile is a beloved herbal favorite, appreciated worldwide in tea infusions and liquid extracts. It has a sweet, characteristic smell and is generally used to sooth and relax, either before bedtime or during moments of mental or emotional discomfort. Acclaimed herbalist Matthew Wood refers to chamomile as “the remedy for babies of any age,” referring to its calming tendencies and its ability to promote well-being. The German Commission E has approved chamomile for external use in supporting skin care and inflammation. Several clinical trials have supported its efficacy in this regard. It is also approved for gastrointestinal support. For best results, brew chamomile in a closed container, especially if you live at high altitude.
- Chamomile is in the Ragweed family and may react with those who have extreme sensitivities to the Ragweed family. For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.