ROMAN CHAMOMILE (Anthemis nobilis L o Chamaemelum nobile (L) All.)
Herbaceous, vivacious, villose plant, 10-30 cm high; branched rhizome that makes the plant grow just above the ground. Leaves are alternate, whitish-green, 1.5-5 cm with glandular dots, pinnatisect, divided into narrow lobes, in linear segments and finely sharp apexes and a rolled-up margin. Terminal and solitary capitules are of up to 3 cm diameter. The receptacle is firm, conic and full; its base is surrounded by an involucre formed by 2 to 3 lines of tight and imbricated bracts, scarious at the edges (dry and translucent). Flowers around the capitule have a white ligule corolla, pale, lanceolate and flexous, with a dark brown inferior ovary, a filiform style and bifidus stigma. Inside flowers are yellow, tubular with small transparent florets between them. They have a corolla with 5 teeth, androecium with 5 epipetalous and gynocium pistils similar to the ligule flowers; they are hemafrodites. The fruit is an achenium, no longer than a millimeter in length and with no pappus. It has an intense aromatic, penetrating and characteristic scent. It belongs to the Asteraceae (Compositeae) family.
It is indigenous of southern and western Europe (England, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain) and northern Africa. To produce the drug, it is cultivated, mainly in Belgium, France, England, United States, Argentina and Italy, a kind of Chamomile with mostly only ligule flowers. The drug comes, especially from France, Poland and Czech Republic.
Habitat: In the wild, it can be found in meadows and fields lengthwise the Iberian Peninsula, especially in the western and northern regions; by the northeast and south east, it becomes scarce or even totally disappears. Chamomile blooms during spring-summer and is to be harvested during the blooming, when the flower heads open.
Flower heads (capitula).
> Digestives alterations: hyposecretive dyspepsia, aerophagia and meteorism, epigastric distention, appetite enhancer (to be taken before each meal), hard digestions (to be taken after each meal), gastrointestinal spasms, emesis of nervous origin, nausea, gastritis.
> Hepatic disorders: hepatobiliary dyskinesia, cholecystitis.
> Intestinal parasites (oxyuriasis).
> Headaches, hepatobiliary origin headaches and neuralgias.
> Menstrual disorders, dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual periods).
> Respiratory infections.
> Inflammations in general and rheumatisms.
> Anxiety, nervousness and insomnia.
> Conjunctivitis and blepharoconjunctivitis, irritated eyelids and tired eyes.
> Skin and mucosa inflammation, including buccopharyngeal cavity and gums (mouthwashes), eczemas, wounds, blisters, burns, etc.
> In frictions for rheumatism, lumbago and sciatica.
> In inhalations to treat throat sores and respiratory tract discomfort.
> In inhalations to treat sinusitis, hay fever and rhinitis.
> For sedative and invigorating bathtubs.
> In sitz baths or ointments in the recto-genital area, vaginal infections.
> Enhances golden hue in blond hair.