DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional health care provider, herbalist, nor homeopath. I am just a person who has used and researched these integrated therapies for close to 20 years and I use them on myself and my family and have had excellent results. Please read the safety precautions of each herb before ingesting, or consult a health care provider.
Who is a Hearth Keeper? It is someone who is devoted to tending to their family, hearth and home above all. I am most definitely a Hearth Keeper. There are few things that give me greater joy than being able to take care of my family; to create delicious, wholesome, homemade and healthy meals for them, to prepare “kitchen medicines”: teas, tinctures, salves, etc. that are easy to make in the kitchen with very little equipment, to lend an ear or give a hug when it is most needed and simply being there to make sure the house runs smoothly. For me this is truly an art and I take joy in these simple pleasures and tasks.
I have been waxing poetic about chamomile for a few days now on my Facebook page. Chamomile never fails to bring a smile to my face. Probably because it’s flowers remind me of sunny happy faces, and because the flowers remind me of the sun, therefore associating the herb with Sunna, one of my favorite goddesses who is the sun herself and who gets an offering of chamomile tea on a regular basis. Or maybe it is the calming effects of the flowers themselves that make me feel good and relaxed just thinking about them.
Two years ago I started my beloved herb garden and over those years chamomile has become one of my greatest plant allies. It is one of those herbs I could never do without, especially being a mother of an active toddler, the wife of a sometimes insomniac and well, a mother who needs to relax herself sometimes! Chamomile has been there for me when I didn’t know what else to do and now it is the first thing I reach for. It has soothed my daughter on many occasions, from colic to teething to lack of a good nap and it brings its light into the darker and murkier moments of life.
The chamomile flower is so pretty and so delicate, yet it is also extremely resilient, giving us a clue to a lesson about its medicine. Chamomile is gentle, which is why it is such a great herb for children (and most anyone!), yet its healing properties are strong and it rarely fails to get the job done.
I feel blessed that I was able to collect the first harvest of flowers from my plants after two days of heavy downpours. I thought for sure I would lose the harvest to Mother Nature, but the resilient nature of the flowers came through and I was able to collect them.
Chamomile is commonly used to sooth the digestive tract and nervous system. It is also soothing to the skin and can be used topically for a variety of skin conditions and inflammations. Chamomile’s genus name is Matricaria and stems from the Latin word matrix, meaning ‘womb’ another clue to its therapeutic effects in women and mothers. For me chamomile has become a “cure all” kind of herb. You might consider growing some for yourself, unless you are allergic to the daisy family.