Herbs Are Great For Flavour - But
Is There More To Herbs...
From The Editor
Today we are excited to have a guest herbal columnist to contribute today. Kiva Rose is a well-known herbal blogger, and co-founder of the Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference.
Kiva is finally coming out with her secrets of how she learns so much about plants without using books. Her plant monographs, like the one below, are famous for their deep exploration into herbs that you will not find in other places.
Click here to learn just HOW she does it.
Enjoy the article…
Earth Apple: The Bittersweet Medicine of Chamomile
By Kiva Rose
I am excited to finally be able to go deeper into explaining herbal energetics in my upcoming course, Herb Energetics
Let’s begin with an herb we all know and love, chamomile.
However, do you REALLY know Chamomile?
Chamomile is often both familiar and comforting. This plant is many people’s first and perhaps only introduction to herbalism, often from a cup of honey-sweetened and belly-calming tea from their grandmother.
Many children enjoy eating the buds or just opened flowers, savoring the sweet aromatic taste of the plant, and rarely seeming to mind the slightly bitter aftertaste. Some patches of Chamomile, depending on phase of flowering and availability of moisture, are much more bitter than others but the fragrant sweetness persists even in the most bitter batches.
As with almost any herb, the taste and scent of Matricaria tells us a great deal about its properties, allowing us to use our senses to listen to the plant and understand its essence as a medicine. That blissfully apple-like scent that children so love to breathe in from the flowers tends to bring relaxed smiles to their faces and anyone who’s ever drank a cup of the tea can testify to the relaxing, tension alleviating effects of the plant.
Matricaria is not just aromatic, even in the sweetest Chamomile flowers we find a notably bitter aftertaste. The bitter element enhances and expands the medicinal properties of the plant. The bitter flavor tells us that it has a distinct effect on the digestive system, even beyond the aromatic/carminative qualities.
Soothing and healing internally, Matricaria is also a first-rate external application for almost any case of inflammation, irritation, swelling and even potential infection. It finds its way into many of my compress formulas for eczema, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and other common inflammatory skin conditions.
Considerations: People with sensitivities to plants in the Aster family may have similar problems with Matricaria. Also note that Pineapple Weed (M. discoidea) often has a stronger bitter component and overall action than the common garden grown M. recutita.
The low down…
Common Name: Chamomile, Manzanilla, Pineapple Weed
Botanical Name: Matricaria recutita (as well as M. discoidea)
Botanical Family: Asteraceae
Taste: Aromatic, sweet, bitter
Vital Actions: relaxant nervine, relaxant diaphoretic, aromatic bitter/carminative, vulnerary,
Specific Indications: Irritability, tension, heat, hypersensitivity to pain
Energetics: sl. Cool, dry
So, exactly how does Kiva learn about plants by using her senses?
Just click here.