A Forager’s Guide To Chamomile

Chamomile is a small white flower with a yellow center that looks a lot like a daisy, and in fact is a member of the daisy family. You will find it growing in sunny areas. When foraging, pick only the flower and a bit of the stem, no more than a few inches of stem at the most. The best flowers will be those picked when the petals have opened fully and are bending back just a bit. Ignore older, dry-looking flowers, as most of the beneficial oils have already gone. There are two types of chamomile: Roman and German. For our purposes, both are interchangable.

Chamomile contains small amounts of vitamin A, lots of calcium and magnesium, and some potassium, iron, manganese, and zinc.

Warning! First and foremost, be certain that you are actually harvesting chamomile. If in doubt, take a sample in to a local authority to have it checked. Also, patients taking blood-thinning medications should check with their physicians about using chamomile, as well as people who have ragweed allergies.

A Basic Chamomile Tea Recipe

4 cups of water
4 teaspoons of dried Chamomile flowers
Bring water to a boil in a sauce pan.
Add flowers, boil for just a moment longer.
Turn off the heat, and let steep for 2 or more minutes.
Strain. For drinking, add lemon and honey if you wish.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties Of Chamomile Soothe Troubled Skin: A paste can be made by pounding, grinding, or mashing flowers with some water and enough oatmeal to form a paste. This can be applied to the skin to help ease rashes, burns, and other skin problems. For treatment of psoriasis, eczema, and hemorrhoids, add a strong infusion of chamomile tea to the bath water, or tie flowers up in a cloth bag and let your bath water run through it as the tub fills.

Anti-Spasmodic Agents Help Ease Cramps & Aid Digestion: Menstrual or stomach cramps may be relieved by sipping a cup of chamomile tea. You may also find that a cup of tea provides relief from intestinal gas pains, indigestion, heartburn, and ulcers.

More Great Uses For Chamomile:

  • A hot cup of tea can help you conquer insomnia, stress, headache, or ease a nervous condition.
  • If you are suffering from a cold or having an allergy attack, try inhaling chamomile tea steam for 10 minutes at a time, a few times a day.
  • Drink a cup of chamomile tea with honey and lemon to ease your sore throat.
  • Using tea as a gargle or mouthwash can help ease gum pains and other sores in the mouth.
  • Many people have found that 2 or 3 cups of tea a day helps with bursitis and arthritis aches.
  • Spoonfuls of tea may help with colic and teething problems in infants.
  • Hyperactive children may be calmed by a bath containing chamomile tea.
  • Use strong tea with a touch of lemon as a rinse to lighten and highlight blonde or brunette hair.
  • For those trying to quit smoking, try chewing chamomile flowers and see if it helps curb the urge.

Recommended Reading…

Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (And Not So Wild Places)

This is a wonderful reference guide to assist you with your foraging adventures. You’ll learn how to accurately identify various edibles, shy away from poisonous plants, and I know you will come to rely on the stunning drawings used throughout the book. Besides learning what you need to know, you’ll enjoy the fun writing style!

 

 

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