This Month's Plant - Petersfield Physic Garden

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This Month's Plant

July

Roman Chamomile- Anthemis nobilis

 
These little daisy-like flowers can be found in the herb beds forming a carpet above their feathery green fragrant leaves. The plant has been in cultivation and used medicinally for many hundreds of years by Greeks, Romans and Egyptians and is repeatedly referred to in classical literature. It is a native of Europe and grows in all temperate parts of the continent and is now cultivated domestically and commercially in Belgium, France and England..
 
Roman chamomile and the single flowered German species Matricaria camomilla share a wide diversity of uses. Non-medicinally they have been grown ornamentally for lawns, as a substitute for hops in beer making, as a hair colourant and as a vermouth flavouring.
 
Medicinally Anthemis owes its activity to the production of a volatile oil 1% of which is present in the flowers. Its use was first recorded by Dioscorides who recommended it in the treatment of intermittent fever. The Egyptians had a similar use for it whereas the Saxons used it for the treatment of sore eyes. Today it is used for a wide variety of complaints ranging bacterial and fungal infection, allergies, fever and stomach ailments. It is also credited for its sedative and relaxant properties and as such is used in chamomile teas and in aromatherapy
 Chamomile appears in many of the world’s pharmacopoeias but was deleted from the British Pharmaceutical Codex (B.PC.) in 1954
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