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Matricaria recutita, flos (Chamomilla recutita, flores)

Matricaria recutita, flos

(Chamomilla recutita, flores)

       An annual plant of the composite family Asteraceae. The branched stem is erect and smooth and grows to a height of 15-60 cm. The long and narrow leaves are bipinnate or tripinnate. The flowers are borne in paniculate capitula. The white ray florets are furnished with a ligule, while the disc florets are yellow. The hollow receptacle is swollen and lacks scales. The flowers have a strong, aromatic smell, and bloom in early to mid summer. The herb is valuable for pain, indigestion, acidity, gas, gastritis, bloating, and colic. It is also used for hiatus hernia, peptic ulcer, Crohn's disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. German chamomile, which contains spiroether, a very strong antispasmodic, relaxes tense, aching muscles and eases menstrual pain. It also relieves irritability and promotes sleep, especially in children. German chamomile is useful for hay fever and asthma. The proazulenes in the herb produce chamazulenes on steam distillation, which is markedly anti-allergenic. Externally, it can be applied to sore, itchy skin & eczema. It also relieves eyestrain.

       Flos Chamomillae consists of conical flower heads, each bearing a few white ligulate florets and numerous yellowish orange to pale yellow tubular or disk florets on conical, narrow hollow receptacles with a short peduncle; disk florets perfect and without a pappus; ray florets pistillate, white, 3-toothed and 4- veined; involucre hemispherical, composed of 2030 imbricate, oblanceolate and pubescent scales; peduncles weak brown to dusky greenish yellow, longitudinally furrowed, more or less twisted and up to 2.5 cm long; achenes more or less obovoid and faintly 3- to 5-ribbed; pappus none, or slightly membranous crown. Odour, pleasant, aromatic; taste, aromatic and slightly bitter.