Chamomile is a flowering plant that belongs to the daisy family. It is native to Asia and Eastern Europe and has been used medicinally by the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians for centuries. There are a few varieties of Chamomile but the German chamomile (Recutita Matricaria); is the type that is most often used as an herbal remedy.
Available Forms: Because of the growing popularity of chamomile herbs, it can now be bought as dried flower heads, an infusion (tea), liquid extract, essential oil, tinctures (concentrated in alcohol), and in creams and ointments. Tea bags are the most common form and can be found at many mainstream grocery stores and pharmacies.
Types of Chamomile Flower:
- German chamomile (Matricaria recutita), is also known as manzanilla
- Roman chamomile or English chamomile, has properties similar to those of the German variety, it is sold mainly in Europe.
Health Benefits of Chamomile tea: Drink chamomile tea on a regular basis in order to get the best effects and the following health benefits.
- Help relieve excessive gas and bloating in the intestines.
- Help children and adult fall asleep.
- Has a mild sedating and relaxing effect, without the side effects of most calming drugs.
- Help relieve pain from migraine headache because of its anti-inflammatory effect.
- Eye washes made from the cooled tea may alleviate the redness or irritation of conjunctivitis and other eye inflammations; prepare a fresh batch of tea daily and store it in a sterile container. (Label eye baths left and right, and use approximately.)
- When used daily as a gargle or mouthwash can help heal mouth sores and prevent gum disease.
- Beneficial in relieving menstrual cramps. It is recommended to take this tea every 15minutes until the discomfort diminish.
- The steam of chamomile tea can be used to treat various respiratory ailments including asthma and sinus infections.
- Drinking chamomile tea everyday with meals may help prevent complications associated with diabetes such as kidney damage, loss of vision, and nerve damage.
- Help maintain blood pressure within the normal range.
- Can be a godsend for parents whose child is suffering from colic. It can also help in comforting a teething baby.
- Use to treat mild cases of childhood earache.
Other Uses of Chamomile Flower Extract: Concentrated chamomile extracts are also added to creams and lotions.
- Help lighten skin tone. Just bring two quarts of water to a boil with 2 chamomile tea bags in it. Then place your face above the steaming pot of chamomile tea. A bath in water mixed with chamomile tea works too.
- A chamomile bath can be relaxing and provide relief for dry, irritated skin or sunburn. Add 10 drops of chamomile oil, or several cups of chamomile tea, to a cool bath and soak for half an hour or longer
- Chamomile creams which you can buy in health-food shops, may relieve sunburn, as well as skin rashes such as eczema.
- Ideal for muscle pain which is caused by stress and worry.
- Chamomile is used topically for the treatment of skin disorders such as rashes and eczema. Even pets can benefit from this herb.
- Chamomile tea bags are use as an eye compress at night to relieve eye fatigue. Allow the used teabag to cool in the freezer for few minutes before placing it on both eyes.
- Used as an ingredient in shampoos. (It brings out blond highlights, as well as acting as a cleanser.)
Chamomile Possible Side Effects: Whether the herb is used internally or externally, side effects are extremely rare. There have been a few reported instances of nausea and vomiting in people taking higher-than recommended doses of the herb.
- People taking blood thinners including Coumadin; and those people allergic to ragweed, celery, asters, and chrysanthemum should avoid chamomile.
- Pregnant and nursing women should also avoid taking Chamomile.
“This post was originally published on January 3, 2012 @ 3:10”