What is Chamomile?
Chamomile is an herb that comes from a flowering plant from the daisy family. For centuries, both the fresh and dried flowers of chamomile have been used to create teas and also as natural treatments for a number of health problems. The active ingredient in chamomile essential oil that makes it suitable for treating health conditions is known as bisabolol, which has a number of anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties.
What are the Benefits of Chamomile?
Chamomile can be used topically or orally to treat a number of everyday ailments, such as:
- Insomnia and other sleep disorders
- Anxiety and Panic Attacks
- Muscle twitches
- Wounds, burns, and scrapes
- Skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, chickenpox, and diaper rash
- Stomach problems such as menstrual cramps, stomach flu, and ulcers
Uses of Chamomile
Home Remedy for Stomach Cramps
Chamomile has been found to contain fairly strong antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory constituents. Therefore, it has been found to be effective in treating stomach and intestinal cramps. Simply prepare a cup of Chamomile tea following the directions on the package and drink it twice a day until while symptoms are present (one cup first thing in the morning, and one in the evening).
Home Remedy for Insomnia
Chamomile is wonderful remedy for sleep disorders such as insomnia. Simply make a chamomile tea 30 to 45 minutes before going to bed to treat sleeplessness.
Home Remedy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Chamomile reduces cramping and pain in the bowels and also helps to relieve excessive gas and bloating in the intestines. Therefore, a simple remedy is to drink a cup of chamomile tea to help relieve irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, and gastroenteritis or stomach flu.
Home Remedy for Migraine Headaches
Chamomile is a wonderful cure for migraines. Take a cup of tea when you start noticing the symptoms of a migraine headache. It works best if you take it before the headache actually gets severe.
Home Remedy for Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Menstrual Cramps
Chamomile has long been considered to be an effective home remedy for psoriasis, even though there are no clinical studies that prove this belief. The antimicrobial activity of chamomile is believed to fight against skin pathogens, while the anti-inflammatory effect of the flower is thought to inhibit the growth of psoriatic plaques.
To make a tea suitable for treating psoriasis, add three teaspoons of chamomile flowers to a cup of boiling water, and let the flowers steep for about 15 minutes. You can drink such a tea up to 3 times per day. If you have psoriasis on your face or neck, you can also let the fumes from this tea engulf your face while it is steeping. Just take care to keep a safe distance from the steam to avoid any burns or discomfort.
Another natural psoriasis remedy is to take a chamomile tea bath. Add 4 or 5 chamomile tea bags into 4 cups of boiling water, and let the tea steep for 15 minutes. Pour this entire steeped tea into a bathtub full of warm water and swirl it all around in the tub to make sure it is spread evenly. Now light a few candles and grab a good book, and soak in this relaxing tub for 15 to 20 minutes.
Using Chamomile to Treat Burns and Scrapes
Chamomile oil is very useful in treating bad burns. Simple rub a small amount of oil gently across the burned area once a day. For scrapes and burns you can also brew a strong concoction by adding 3 tea bags to one cup of boiling water. When the water cools, dip a cloth into it and use it as a compress on the wounded area.
Lightening Skin Using Chamomile
Chamomile has been found to be advantageous for lightening your skin tone. Simply 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.
Reducing Dark Circles Around Eyes
Chamomile tea has been found to help relieve eye fatigue and dark circles. A simple remedy is to dip 2 chamomile tea bags in warm water. After 5 minutes, remove the tea bags from the water and let them cool to room temperature. Then place them on your eyes at night as a compress.
What are the Side Effects of Chamomile?
As with all herbal products, moderation is the key to avoiding adverse reactions.
Some of the potential side effects of chamomile include drowsiness, so use it with caution if you
are driving or operating machinery. High doses of chamomile can also cause vomiting and/or skin reactions in some individuals.
If you are allergic to ragweed pollen or have hayfever, you may have difficulty using chamomile.
Using chamomile during pregnancy is not recommended, since it is considered to be an abortifacient (a substance that induces abortion). Chamomile is also not recommended if you are currently taking blood thinners, since chamomile contains a substance called coumarin (which is also a blood thinner).
Where and How to Buy Chamomile
Chamomile can 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.