The flowers are an ingredient of 'QR' herbal compost activator. This is a dried and powdered mixture of several herbs that can be added to a compost heap in order to speed up bacterial activity and thus shorten the time needed to make the compost[K]. The whole plant was formerly used as a strewing herb. The whole plant is insect repellent both when growing and when dried. An essential oil from the whole plant is used as a flavouring and in perfumery. Yellow to gold dyes are obtained from the flowers.The plant makes a very good ground cover and can also be used as an edging plant. It does tend to become bare in patches.
The flowers are anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, nervine, stomachic, tonic, vasodilator. The single-flowered form is the most potent medicinally, though it can in large doses damage the lining of the stomach and bowels. For this reason, the double-flowered form is usually preferred since this contains less of the alkaloid that causes the problem. The flowers are gathered in the summer when they are fully open and are distilled for their oil or dried for later use. They should not be stored for longer than 12 months. The whole herb is used to make a lotion for external application in the treatment of toothache, earache, neuralgia etc.The essential oil is used in aromatherapy. Its keyword is 'Soothing'.
Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer or following spring.Basal cuttings in spring. Harvest the shoots when they are about 5cm long with plenty of underground stem. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.
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Plants are hardy to at least -15°c. They often deteriorate in very wet or cold winters, but usually recover quickly in the spring and early summer. Chamomile is commonly grown in the domestic herb garden, it is also cultivated commercially for its flowers which are used in herb teas and medicinally. The double-flowered form is highly regarded for its medicinal virtues. Plants can be invasive when growing in good conditions, though they are easy to control[K]. There is some confusion between this plant (which is a perennial) and the annual chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) as to which is the genuine medicinal chamomile. Some reports say that this plant is the most effective herbally, whilst others says that Matricaria is more potent. Both plants seem to have very similar properties and either can probably be used quite successfully. Camomile is a very good companion plant, promoting the health of plants it is growing close to, it is especially good for growing near cabbages, onions and, in small quantities, wheat.The cultivar 'Treneague' is a low-growing non-flowering form that makes an excellent ground cover. Fairly tolerant of being walked on, it is sometimes used instead of grass for making a lawn though it is more difficult to maintain and can become weed infested, especially in its early stages. It also tends to become bare in places. The whole plant has a pungent aroma, this being especially noticeable on hot days or when the plant is bruised.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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