Chamomile: a very good drink for our health

Chamomile is one of the most indicated drinks to cleanse the body after the long Christmas lunches and dinners. Its scientific name is "Matricaria Chamomilla" and grows wild mainly in spring / summer, especially in Europe and Asia. The name comes from the greek "chamáimēlon", which is itself composed by two words: "chamái", which means "land" and "melon" which means "apple", for its smell that resembles the rennet one.

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Despite its frail and delicate appearence, it is a flower that can survive even at very low temperatures. It is very look alike the common daisy, just a little smaller and with a few petals more. Once collected, the flowers must be dried before being stored for the long winter season.
Almost everyone knows that chamomile helps to facilitate sleep (but be careful not to let it soak for more than 5 minutes, otherwise you will get the opposite effect!), but it has many other properties. A British study has shown that drinking five cups of chamomile tea a day can in fact help to reduce stress, relax, digestion and soothe stomach pains. It is also used to relieve symptoms of bronchitis or colds, caring for them through fumigations, made with chamomile and bicarbonate. Analyzing this flower more closely, we can find out that is also rich in vitamins and minerals, important for our health: phosphorous, essential oils (of a great blue colour, thanks to a substance called "camaluzene" inherent in it ), copper, zinc, iron and potassium. It also contains 8% of flavonoids, powerful antioxidants very precious to our health.
Chamomile is not only used as a remedy for ailments, but it is used in many other contexts and preparations. Liqueurs, natural soaps, cooking recipes (once, they used to put chamomile flowers on top of garlic bread to facilitate digestion) and actually was also unusually used as tobacco for pipe. Putting a bag of chamomile in the closet, aid to keep moths away from clothes and seems to be also used as a "cure" for weakened plants: plant a bush chamomile near the sick plant, will help it to recover in few days.

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