Chamomile is a very gentle plant. You may know it as a calming bedtime drink, and it is most commonly talked about as a tea. But Chamomile has many benefits and healing uses that are often overlooked or forgotten about. We will cover all its properties here.
What is Chamomile
Chamomile is in fact part of the Daisy family, and its flowers are very similar to a daisy in colour and petal shape. You can find Chamomile growing in both gardens and in the wild. It likes well drained soil, so in the wild you will find it around field margins and grassy roadsides, as well as waste ground.
There are many varieties of this plant including German, Roman, which are the most common. But it was the Greeks who gave Chamomile its name, because they thought the crushed plant smelt like apples.
Both German and Roman chamomile have been used medicinally for centuries, and you will find both have many of the same properties. The Egyptians were known to use Chamomile. In fact they worshipped it, and dedicated festivals to its healing properties. Egyptian women were known to crush chamomile flowers and apply them to their skin to preserve their youthful glow and slow signs of ageing. Chamomile is still used in beauty products today so it must work!
As a traditional medicine it was used to fight disease, calm anxiety, and settle stomachs.
Chamomile benefits & healing uses
Today chamomile is found in the forms of tea, essential oil, and as a supplement. But the plant can be made into tinctures, salves, and other healing products too.
We know now that Chamomile has many more healing properties too:
1. Anti inflammatory
Camomile is full of antioxidants compounds and flavonoids that can help you reduce inflammation, including damage to your cells. One of the reasons it is so often used for skin care.
These antioxidants are essential for better immune function, reducing pain and swelling throughout your body, and healthier skin, hair, nails, teeth and eyes.
Not only that but the anti-inflammatory power of these antioxidants can help you deal with mod disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Use a chamomile infusion as a mouthwash or gargle to treat mouth inflammations and sore throats, or as an eye bath to soothe sore, irritated and inflamed eyes.
Topically you can use chamomile to reduce swelling from wounds, sprains and skin rashes & irritations. It will also speed up the healing process of any wounds or cuts you have.
The antioxidants in chamomile help your body to cleanse and remove toxins as well as fighting the pollution and damage caused to your skin day to day.
Chamomile is often included in beauty and skin care products for all of the skin benefits it provides. Using an oil infused with chamomile or a chamomile essential oil can help you treat acne, breakouts, and inflamed skin, and promote smoother youthful looking skin. As well as fine lines and dark spots. Chamomile oils penetrate into the deeper layers of your skin allowing its benefits to go even further
Treat eczema with an infusion of chamomile, or you can use as a calming face wash. Drinking chamomile tea will also help you to treat these conditions from the inside out.
Chamomile is a mild sedative which also acts as a relaxant. Because of this it has always been used medicinally for treating digestive issues. Chamomile benefits your digestive system in many ways and you can use it to treat many problems including indigestion, diarrhoea, heart burn, motion sickness, nausea and vomiting.
Another benefit of chamomile is that it is a very gentle acting plant so is safe enough for you to use to treat children suffering with digestive issues including colic. It is also safe for you to use to help relieve nausea during pregnancy.
Chamomile oil contains compounds that are anti-spasmodic meaning that they will act to reduce cramping, and constipation as well as other pains that come with digestive problems you may be suffering from.
Because chamomile is both relaxing, anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory you can use it to treat and ease symptoms of more chronic conditions such as leaky gut, gastritis, and IBS.
4. Pain relief
Chamomile is anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and a sedative. These properties make it a very good option for relieving your pain. In fact Chamomile has often been called the ‘herbal aspirin’.
You can eat Chamomile flowers (alone or with other anti-inflammatory foods) to reduce pain, congestion, swelling and redness.
Using chamomile infusions will not only reduce inflammation but help you to relieve pain associated with toothaches, sore throats and infections too.
Use chamomile balms, chamomile essential oil, and gels topically to treat your joint and muscle pain. This includes lower back pain, arthritis, and other injuries. Chamomile has even been show to reduce migraine pain and you can both drink the tea, use the oils scent, and apply topically to treat your headaches & tension and pain that comes with them.
Use chamomile topically as an effective way to treat painful periods, cramp, and restless leg syndrome.
An extract of chamomile can be used as a mild sedative. It’s scent literally travels straight to the brain and turns off tension, reducing your bodies stress response, which helps you to relax and unwind. Chamomile is a really effective way for you to relieve nightmares and insomnia. Even in children.
The sedative effects of Chamomile are also good for treating painful periods too.
You can also treat period and stomach pains by applying a mix of chamomile, lavender oil and a carrier oil onto your stomach area. Essential oils absorb through your skin and straight into your blood stream making them a quick and effective remedy.
To help you relax and fall asleep you can add chamomile essential oil to your bath, drink chamomile tea right before bed, and even use chamomile essential oil on your pillow to let the scent soothe you to sleep.
You can use chamomile in any for to help you fight stress. It is one of the best medicinal herbs to take for promoting relaxation, and relieving stress, tension, general anxiety, & depression.
Because of this as it is a popular ingredient in candles, and other products. You can add chamomile to a diffuser so that the scent is in the air, or add chamomile flowers or chamomile essential oil to your bath for a heating and relaxing bath soak.
An extract of chamomile can be used to calm nerves and reduce anxiety. The scent of chamomile alone will work to switch off your body’s stress response. Our brains react to scents as an emotional stimulus and a fragrance like chamomile will relieve pain and positively affect your personality and behaviour.
That includes relieving symptoms of stress, tension, anxiety, & depression. Whether acute or just your general day-to-day.
However you use Chamomile, I’m sure you can agree it’s a mush have for your natural medicine cabinet!