Chamomile is probably one of the most well known healing herbs used in traditional medicine. The word Matricaria derives from the Latin word womb and chamomile was originally used to treat gynaecological issues. The two types of chamomile used are Roman camomile and German or wild chamomile.
Chamomile is an annual plant and can grow up to around 80cm tall. It has bright green hairy leaves with a mix of small white and yellow flowers. Chamomile originally grew in South Eastern Europe and today is found all over the world where it is often referred to as 'the plant doctor.'
Dill is a culinary herb known for its calming and healing effects. The oldest known record of dill is in an ancient Egyptian papyrus where it is recommended for headaches. Dill was believed to ward off evil spirits when sprinkled over newborn babies. Dill grows to approximately 1m tall with feathery leaves and yellow flowers with a strong herbal smell and bitter taste.
Dill is native to Central and South Asia yet today grows all over the world. Both fresh and dried parts of the plant are used in cooking and for medicinal purposes.
The active constituents found in dill are used in traditional digestive and calming remedies which include;
The fruit of this herb is also known as St Mary's milk and is commonly used for its protective effects on the liver. Legend has it Mary's milk was spilled when breastfeeding baby Jesus and St Mary's milk thistle grew where the milk had spilt with its milk stained leaves.
Milk thistle is used in supportive treatments for inflammatory inflammatory liver conditions and liver cirrhosis. It can also be taken as a mild laxative and for gallbladder problems. Milk thistle is most frequently used to protect the liver and in some cases to help treat varicose veins. Milk thistle is most commonly taken as a tea, tincture or as herbal capsules.