Chamomile is a type of plant that is believed to have a soothing effect that helps promote sleep. Organic chamomile is a type that has been processed and grown without the application of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Instead, it is grown using natural fertilizers such as manure or compost. Rather than using chemical sprays, weeds are simply pulled by hand. In addition, pest control is typically achieved by using traps or disrupting the mating process of the pests.
Organic chamomile is a small plant, usually reaching a height of 20 to 30 inches (50 to 70 cm). It has small yellow flowers that are similar in shape to those of a daisy. Growing organic chamomile is considered a simple process. All that is typically needed is a well-turned bed that receives a lot of sunlight and soil that is rich in organic matter. The seeds can be scattered over the bed, then lightly covered with soil.
Late spring is the best time to plant chamomile, though in milder climates, that period could be extended all the way through August. Plants should be watered regularly, as they may not survive if the soil is allowed to completely dry out. Fertilizing is not considered essential for these hardy plants, so gardening experts advise using organic fertilizer only if the chamomile is showing signs of distress. Chamomile is self-propagating, which means that it will come back up the next year without replanting.
Organic chamomile has long been considered an excellent sleep aid. A flavonoid called chrysin, which acts as a depressant, is thought to be responsible for the plant's calming effect. Since chamomile does not require prolonged use to be effective, it is especially useful for occasional sleeplessness. The soothing properties of the plant are also believed to be helpful with emotional disorders such as pre-menstrual syndrome and hyperactivity.
Flavanoids found in organic chamomile are thought to help reduce swelling and inflammation as well as improve blood circulation. They also eliminate free radicals, which improves overall cell health. Studies conducted in Germany indicated that organic chamomile might have a healing effect on both external and internal wounds, especially in peptic ulcers.
Though organic chamomile is typically consumed as a tea, it can also be delivered by means of external salves or poultices. Capsules containing organic components are available at most health food stores. Aromatic oils made from the plant are also popular because of their unusual and pleasing scent.