In his Complete Herbal 17th century English botanist, herbalist and physician Nicolas Culpeper says of chamomile - "It is so well known everywhere, that it is needless to describe it."
Culpeper describes the herb as being useful for easing pain and weariness, aiding digestion and "torments of the belly", cure of pain, stitches and "all sorts of agues" and to "comfort the brain".
Chamomile is a plant with a daisy-like flower. The most commonly used variety is German Chamomile. This is dark blue essential oil that is said to be both calming and healing. It can be useful for treating sensitive or inflamed skin.
Roman Chamomile is a pale golden coloured essential oil with anti-spasmodic and calming properties. This is a low-growing plant compared to the German variety. It has a long history of use in herbal medicine. The dried flowers are often used in teas to help with stress or insomnia.
How to make a simple Chamomile & Lavender Tea
To make this you will need boiling water, 1 teaspoon of each of dried chamomile flowers and dried lavender buds, a tea strainer, and a tea cup.
Place the chamomile and lavender in the tea strainer and sit it on top of the cup. Pour in enough boiling water that the herbs are covered. Allow to infuse for about 10 minutes. By this time the tea is a drinkable temperature. You can add lemon juice or honey to taste.
If you prefer to use a small tea pot place the herbs in the pot, pour over the boiling water and leave to steep. Pour the tea into a cup through a strainer.
This is part of a series of articles about some of the ingredients I use in my soap and skincare products.
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Nicholas Culpeper, Complete Herbal, first published 1653 (I have a 1992 reprint)
Available online: https://archive.org/details/cu31924001353279
Photo: Chamomile Flowers by Vera Kratochvil http://www.publicdomainpictures.net