Chamomile

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Matricaria recutita (Chamomile)

Matricaria recutita, also known as chamomile, is an annual native to Europe and North Asia, however is now grown around the globe including North America.1 The annual grows with pinnate leaves, blooming white flowers with yellow disk florets.1 The flowers of the plant are cultivated in summer, and are used for medicinal purposes.2
 
Traditionally chamomile has long been used since the 1st century AD to treat digestive conditions.3 The plant was also used to alleviate painful menses, and cosmetically to lighten hair.
 
Chamomile is used to alleviate various gastrointestinal conditions particularly in indigestion, bloating, colic and gas. Additionally, it has been used to treat muscle pain and menstrual pain. Chamomile is effective with relieving irritable infants experiencing teething issues and in infantile colic, as well as with children experiencing sleep disturbances.4 
 
When applied externally chamomile has been found to alleviate inflamed skin conditions such as in eczema and contact dermatitis, the herb can also be used in a oral rinse for mouth ulcers. Recent research has found when applied topically, chamomile is great for healing skin wounds.4 Chamomile is a also great remedy for preventing nausea when travelling.5
 
References:
 
1. Brinker Francis. The Toxicology of Botanical Medicines, 3rd ed. Electic Medical Publications, 2000. Print. 
2. Boon, Heather and Smith, Michael. The Botanical Pharmacy: The Pharmacology of 47 Commong Herbs. Quary Health Books, 1999. Print.
3. Chevallier, Andrew. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. DK Publishing, 1996. Print.
4. Stuart M. The Encyclopedia of Herbs & Herbalism. Classic Bookshops, 1979. Print.
5. Bone, Kerry. The Ultimate Herbal Compendium: A Desktop Guide for Herbal Prescribers. Phytotherapy Press, 2007. Print. 

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