Wild Chamomile: Finding, Identifying, and Using

I recently stumbled upon an awesome, free, easy-to-find, healthy herb growing all over western Montana practically right under my feet!  Wild Chamomile (pronounced kam-ə-meel), also known as Pineapple Weed, is an annual herb that easily grows along fence lines, roadsides, and in sunny fields from Southern Canada to Northern U.S. to west Minnesota.  Chamomile’s branched stems grow somewhat erect, round, hollow, and up to 20 inches tall.  The leaves are finely divided and feathery.  The flowers are daisy-like, only without the petals you’d find on other varieties of Chamomile (German & Yellow Chamomile).

Typically, Chamomile is served as a tea.  I gather and use all the above-ground parts of the plant (or just the flowers) to make tea.  Once picked, I rinse all the dirt off, then pour boiling water directly onto the plant to make my tea or dry it, then put the dried flowers/leaves into a press pot or tea bag to steep.  I find that tea is always better with a bit of honey.

Another great way to ingest Chamomile is to add the flowers to a salad.

Now, here’s my favorite part… benefits to drinking or eating Chamomile!

Internal Uses:

  • Mild Sedative
  • Calms stomach spasms caused by gastritis and colitis
  • Helps rid-of or prevent diarrhea and other intestinal related issues
  • Helps with liver problems
  • Encourages sweating, which helps with lowering a fever
  • Relieves headache pain
  • Can be beneficial for babies with colic
  • Calms or prevents menstruation pains

External Uses:

  • Calms red and inflamed skin
  • Liquid feed and plant tonic effective against plant diseases
  • You can add Chamomile to your shampoo and/or conditioner.  It helps add a silky look to your hair while strengthening your roots.
  • Dried flowers can be used as an insect repellent
  • Stuffy nose: breathe in the steam from boiling Chamomile in water to clear out your sinus system.

Here’s a little gardener tip I learned recently: it is said that if you transplant Wild Chamomile into your garden it will help sickly plants!

Be sure to check out our video on identifying Wild Chamomile below and good luck on your own Chamomile hunt!

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3 Responses to Wild Chamomile: Finding, Identifying, and Using

  1. Antonia says:

    i just clipped a whole bunch of wild camomile, and im not sure what the best way to preserve it. is drying or boiling it more potent/ cost effective? i would love to reserve some to have on hand. i am very new to this, so any advice, or resource recommendations would be very appreciated!

  2. Kathryn Encinas ~ Ramona, California says:

    Have I got news for YOU! Wild Chamomile ALSO grows in Southern California! I’ve use it for many things. It’s a natural antibiotic. Any red inflammation around a cat scratch or any other cut or wound will be taken away by this wonderful herb. As for babies it will get them through teething by giving it to them in their bottle. They practically sleep through the whole thing and when they are awake they are perfectly fine, happy babies. It is also a natural antispasmodic for any type of strain or sprained muscle that men are usually prone to. Any type of pain is helped greatly by the power of this herb. It’s also a nervene, calming anyone who is upset or in shock from any kind traumatic shock or argument.
    One day my youngest daughter came home from a visit to the house of the grandmother of a close friend where they had been playing hide ‘n’ seek in the woods. A few hours after she came home she noticed that the back of her right hand was itching. Then small red patches appeared with little water blisters. When she showed them to me I knew that she had touched Poison Oak. I put a surgical glove on her hand, took some wild chamomile (no flower cups) in my fingers, wet it at the kitchen faucet with hot water, then pushed it down into the glove, spreading it all over the back of her hand. She wore it for at least two hours watching TV then probably another 4 hours after she went to bed. In the morning the glove was already off so I can’t really be sure how long she wore it but all of the blisters were gone and the red patches later dried down to gray looking something like an old steam burn.
    Only the flower head holds the medicinal properties. Using any other part of the plant only weakens the tea, weakening it’s power. Actually, not even the flower cup has any use. Only the tiny anthers, stamens & seeds of the flower head hold the medications.
    This is contrary to the useful properties of German & Roman Chamomile with which you can also use the leaves & stems. However, Wild Chamomile is way more powerful that either one of these or even the two combined.