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Chamomile

Chamomile belongs to the Asteraceae family (Asteraceae). It grows in open grassy areas along roads and around settlements in Asia and Europe. Particularly in Bulgaria, the plant can be found in various places around the country up to 1000m above see level. Characteristic of its appearance are: highly branched, erect stem, reaching in some cases up to 60cm in height; numerous pointed white petals; and the bulged yellow core of the flower head. The pleasant aroma of the herb is often associated with that of an apple, hence its Greek name chamaimēlon, which means "earth apple" .

Chamomile is a well known herb in the Western world. Information for its use for medical purposes are available since antiquity, when its properties are described in the works of prominent representatives of that time as Hippocrates, Galen (doctor , surgeon and philosopher of the east Greek-speaking part of the Roman Empire) and Asclepius (god of healing in ancient Greek mythology) .

There are many different types of chamomile among the most famous are Roman (Chamaemelum nobile or Roman chamomile) and German (Matricaria recutita or German chamomile). Both varieties are similar in appearance and chemical properties and have common applications, but German chamomile is better known and more often used by the two and when talking about healing chamomile, it is the one in mind.

This type of chamomile is very widely used in medicine. It can be used for the treatment of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, cold, insomnia, painful menstruation, etc. The herb allows internal or external treatment of various infections - the lining of the mouth, gums, throat, toothache, ulcers of the stomach and duodenum, gastritis, enteritis, colitis, conjunctivitis, hemorrhoids, vaginal discharge, painful and slowly-healing wounds, eczema, boils, sweating of the feet, etc. A curious fact is that in cosmetics chamomile is often used to maintain the blond color of the hair.

The flowers of the chamomile contain between 0.24 to 2% essential oil with a characteristic blue color, which is due to the content of chamazulene (consisting of 1 to 15% of the essential oil of chamomile, depending on the variety). The well-known anti-inflammatory effect of chamomile and its other medicinal properties are due to this substance (chamazulene). Apart from chamazulene, chamomile’s essential oil contains alpha bisabolol, which is widely used in cosmetics because of its beneficial effects on the skin. It is most often used in products for sensitive skin, acne, baby care, oral care, after-shave and after-sun exposure.

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