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chamomile

chamomile

[kam-uh-mahyl, -meel]
chamomile or camomile [Gr.,=ground apple], name for various related plants of the family Asteraceae (aster family), especially the perennial Anthemis nobilis, the English, or Roman, chamomile, and the annual Matricaria chamomilla, the German, or wild, chamomile. Both are European herbs with similar uses. The former has an applelike aroma and is the chamomile most frequently grown for ornament (often as a ground cover) and for chamomile tea, made from the dried flower heads, which contain a volatile oil. The oil from the similar flowers of the wild chamomile was most often used medicinally, particularly as a tonic; today its chief use is as a hair rinse. Chamomile is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.

Chamomile (Anthemis tomentosa)

Any of the more than 100 species of Eurasian herbs that make up the genus Anthemis, in the composite family; also, a similar plant in the genus Chamaemelum of the same family. Both genera have yellow or white ray flowers and yellow disk flowers. Several Anthemis species are cultivated as ornamentals, especially golden marguerite, or yellow chamomile (A. tinctoria). The strong-smelling mayweed (A. cotula) has been used in medicines and insecticides. Chamomile tea, used as a tonic and an antiseptic as well as in herbal remedies, is made from C. nobile, or A. nobilis.

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The name Chamomile or Camomile (from Greek χαμαίμηλον - chamaimēlon) means "earth-apple", from χαμαί (chamai) "on the ground" + μήλον (mēlon) "apple", because of the applelike scent of the plant. It can refer to any of several distinct species in the sunflower family (Asteraceae): The Chamomile flower is most often consumed in the form of a bitter herb tea infusion. Taken internally, the infusion's effects include calming of the digestive tract, and easing of the spasms of irritable bowel syndrome, nocturnal cramps and period pains. It's a relaxant and sedative, so it is often taken against insomnia or anxiety. The infusion can be used externally to reduce minor skin irritation because of its mild antiseptic effect and it lightens the hair. Ingestion of the dried flowers has an emetic effect. See Matricaria recutita for more complete details.

Image:Matricaria February 2008-1.jpg|

Camomile flowers
Image:Chamomile flowers.jpg|
German Camomile
Image:Chamomilla suaveolens kz.jpg|
Wild Camomile
Image:Anthemis tinctoria.JPG|
Yellow camomile
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