German Chamomile – Matricaria chamomilla
Roman Chamomile – Chamaemelum nobile
Chamomile tea has been regarded as a medicinal cure-all. Dried chamomile flower is an age-old medicinal drug known in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Chamomile’s popularity grew throughout the Middle Ages, when people turned to it as a remedy for numerous medical complaints including asthma, colic, fevers, inflammations, nausea, nervous complaints, skin diseases and cancer.
Chamomile is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-allergenic and has sedative properties – it is one of the most important herbs. Chamomile is included as a drug in the pharmacopoeia of 26 countries. It may be used internally or externally. Extensive scientific research has confirmed its therapeutic benefits.
In addition to medicinal use, chamomile enjoys wide usage, as a refreshing beverage tea and as an ingredient in numerous cosmetic and external preparations.
Specifically, chamomile may:
- as a tea, be used for lumbago, rheumatic problems and rashes.
- as a salve, be used for hemorrhoids and wounds.
- as a vapor, be used to alleviate cold symptoms or asthma.
- relieve restlessness, teething problems, and colic in children.
- relieve allergies, much as an antihistamine would.
- aid in digestion when taken as a tea after meals.
- relieve morning sickness during pregnancy.
- speed healing of skin ulcers, wounds, or burns.
- treat gastritis and ulcerative colitis.
- reduce inflammation and facilitate bowel movement without acting directly as a purgative.
- be used as a wash or compress for skin problems and inflammations, including inflammations of mucous tissue.
- promote general relaxation and relieve stress. Studies show that chamomile contains substances that act on the same parts of the brain and nervous system as anti-anxiety drugs. Never stop taking prescription medications, however, without consulting your doctor.
- control insomnia. Chamomile’s mildly sedating and muscle-relaxing effects may help those who suffer from insomnia to fall asleep more easily.
- treat irritable bowel problems and various gastrointestinal complaints. Chamomile’s reported anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic actions relax the smooth muscles lining the stomach and intestine. The herb may therefore help to relieve nausea, heartburn, and stress-related flatulence. It may also be useful in the treatment of inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn’s disease.
- good for the kidneys and spleen health
- improves liver function
- soothe skin rashes (including eczema), minor burns and sunburn. Used as a lotion or added in oil form to a cool bath, chamomile may ease the itching of eczema and other rashes and reduces skin inflammation. It may also speed healing and prevent bacterial infection.
- treat eye inflammation and infection. Cooled or slightly warm chamomile tea can be used in a compress / wash to help soothe tired, irritated eyes and it will help treat conjunctivitis (eye infection).
- heal mouth sores and prevent gum disease. A chamomile mouthwash may help soothe mouth inflammations and keep gums healthy.
- reduce menstrual cramps. Chamomile’s believed ability to relax the smooth muscles of the uterus helps ease the discomfort of menstrual cramping.
More on how to cultivate, references and research…
Chamomile is a MUST for any household!
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