This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics: An Introduction to the National Treatment of Disease", by John Mitchell Bruce. Also available from Amazon: The pharmacology and therapeutics of the materia medica.
The dried single and double flower-heads of the common chamomile, Anthemis nobilis. Wild and cultivated.
Characters.-The single variety consists of both yellow tubular and white strap-shaped florets; the doable, of white strap-shaped florets only; all arising from a conical scaly receptacle; both varieties, but especially the single, are bitter and very aromatic.
Composition.-Chamomile flowers contain the officinal bluish-coloured volatile oil, a complex compound of a peculiar camphor and various aethers and acids; and a bitter extractive, the active principle of which has not been separated.
Extractum Anthemidis. A concentrated decoction, with the addition of the Oleum. Dose, 2 to 10 gr.
2. Infusum Anthemidis,-1 in 20. Dose, 1 to 3 fl.oz. as stomachic; 5 to 10 as emetic.
3. Oleum Anthemidis--The oil distilled in Britain from the flowers. Dose, 2 to 4 min.
Externally.-Warm infusions or decoctions, or the flowers in bags soaked in hot water, possess the general properties of fomentations and poultices, the warm water being apparently the active constituent. They are much used as a domestic application to painful parts.
Internally.-Chamomile belongs to the class of aromatic bitter stomachics. The warm Infusion, freely drunk, is a mild simple emetic, which may be used in biliousness, ague, etc. The Oil or the Extract is usefully combined with purgative pills as a stomachic and carminative.