Musețel, un minunat leac universal


They always say that the good die young, so you can be sure I’m going to make it to a ripe old age :P

Picture above is a delightful chamomile (pt romani se zice kemomil) plant that I found growing spontaneously in my tiny garden. In all the years I’ve lived in Romania, I never had any kind of garden of my own until this year. And when spring came around, I originally had thought to get in there and turn over the soil and plant a few things. But then I found that “nature” was doing a wonderful job on its own, as I’ve seen wave after wave of different plants come in and grow, with bees buzzing merrily around, and it’s been a real treat watching it happen without any interference or input on my part.

Chamomile or musețel is a little plant that looks like and is related to its bigger cousin, the daisy. I’ve since picked some of this plant and dried it for later use as a tea but the results weren’t quite as photogenic. I think most people know how useful chamomile tea is but maybe not all of you have ever seen it like this or grown it yourself. I’m a pretty tough old bastard so I haven’t had much need to drink chamomile for medicinal purposes but I can tell you one thing – those tiny little flower heads smell heavenly. It truly is a wonderful, earthy, sweet smell.

Chamomile has been used as a “universal medicine” all over Europe for thousands of years, including during the Roman Empire. It was also used by the Egyptians in their medicinal lore and is just a great herb. It has no known “side effects”, no counterindications and seems to be good for all human beings. It also makes a great tea to drink any time you need to relax.

Chamomile is also a great medicine for other plants. Other plants love growing around and next to chamomile and chamomile seems to have a really beneficial effect on the soil. Some gardeners even call it the “plant doctor” because sick plants growing near chamomile return to their former health.

All in all it’s pretty amazing plant and it’s extra special to me because it just blew in here on its own accord and wasn’t planted or tended by me. Wonderful!

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3 Responses »

  1. I love this plant very much too!

    I remember when I was little chamomile used to grow in great numbers on the wheat fields surrounding our house and mom sent me and my brothers to pick it. Of course at the time I was very energetic and impatient, so sitting around to pick those small buds seemed like a chore. The bag seemed like it would never get full haha. And then the whole following winter we would drink tea made of it.

    These days, because of the pollution and pesticides, it’s so rare that I can find it growing on a field. But I’m always delighted when I see it and smelling it just gives me a really great pleasure…

    This plant is well respected as they say, if you find it in your path, take your hat down and say “Buna ziua, doctore!”

  2. there are 2 main types of chamomile that are used: Roman and German. From both one can extract a precious essential oil , used in cosmetics. I guess that I have always used this version of the flower for my herbal infusions. I rarely drink it, hate the taste, but I use it in soap, as a face toner , for a steam bath when I get a cold (highly recomended!).

    Also gălbenelele (calendula flowers) are used for their therapeutical value, especially in balms.

    • *I was not accurate: one cannot extract the essential oils, there’s an industry taking care of this (it involves high quality flowers, steam distillation or, for a better far more concentrated and pure CO2 extract, a CO2 extraction system, the final product having much more chemical constituents than the essential oil)

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