Pineapple Weed (Matricaria discodea)

This little herb is a close relative of Chamomile, and indeed looks quite similar except that the flowers are missing the long white petals. It is an insignificant looking but ubiquitous little plant that likes to take root in disturbed soil and can often be found embedded In well trodden footpaths, sheep grazed fields and wasteland areas. One of the characteristics of this plant is it emits a very strong smell of pineapple when you crush the leaves between your fingers.

Like Chamomile, (Matricaria recutita), Pineapple Weed also has great medicinal properties. It has a tinge of bitterness, especially once it has flowered, and these bitter principles make it good for the digestive system. Its slightly sedative effect and smooth muscle relaxant properties is also calming for upset stomachs, nervous cramps, menstrual cramps and headaches.

Gather the flowers of the herb, away from the paths if possible, as it tends to easily get trodden on, and use as a soothing herbal tea with a little honey if desired. Pineapple Weed can be drunk freely during the day and it is especially good as a bedtime drink to help you get off to sleep. You can also use it on the skin to dampen down inflammation or as a compress over closed eyelids to soothe tired eyes or conjunctivitis. Make a tea from the flowers as usual and allow to cool before applying