Saturday, December 16

Chamomile: For Most Anything That Ails You

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Since ancient times, the finest Chamomile flowers in the world hail from the Nile River Valley of Egypt as their point of origin. They were considered a remedy for all ills (among many other things), by the ancient Egyptians. But they also recognized that Chamomile could be used for most anything that ails the stomach. Anything in the way of stomach discomfort and distress could be relieved with the use of the daisy-like Chamomile flower.

Later, known throughout Europe for it’s ability to bring soothing, mild yet, quick relief to most any stomach ailment, Chamomile ranks high in popularity for it’s soothing and relaxing properties. It is the crown jewel of sorts in the family of herbal remedies in giving effective and comforting relief to sufferers of stomach and digestive disorders, and most anything that ails the stomach.

Chamomile is known by many names – Matricaria recutita, German chamomile, true chamomile, Hungarian chamomile and is a flowering plant which is a member of the daisy family. Originally from Egypt and certain parts of Asia, it’s flowers are synonymous with effective and soothing tea remedies.

Chamomile was and is a staple in this writer’s home. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the “Trinity” lived at our home: Anise, Tilia and Chamomile. All herbs were used in tea form and worked synergetically together to bring comfort to the household.

The active components of Chamomile have anti-inflammatory properties, and ease spasm and discomfort in the digestive tract. The list for various uses of Chamomile is impressive:

* Indigestion

* Anxiety

* Insomnia

* Canker sores

* Colic

* Conjunctivitis, eye irritations

* Crohn’s Disease

* Diarrhea

* Eczema

* Gingivitis

* Hemorrhoids

* Menstrual disorders

* Migraine

* Irritable bowel syndrome

* Peptic ulcer

* Skin irritations

* Panic disorder

Certain precaution must be taken however as Chamomile is part of the Asteraceae plant family, which includes ragweed and chrysanthemum. Some people with allergies may react when they use chamomile either internally or topically. Call a doctor if vomiting is experienced, skin irritation, allergic reactions (chest tightness, wheezing, hives, rash, itching) after Chamomile is use. Also, Chamomile should not be taken during pregnancy or breast-feeding.

In addition, Chamomile contains coumarin, a naturally-occurring compound with anticoagulant or blood-thinning effects. It should not be combined with warfarin or other medications or supplements that have the same effect or be used by people with bleeding disorders. It also shouldn’t be used two weeks before or after surgery.

Concerning children, it’s sweet taste is found attractive to many children and makes it an ideal herbal tea to administer. Chamomile also can help a child fall asleep and is calming to adults as well, but don’t hesitate to sip it throughout the day — its relaxing effects do not interfere with activities such as driving a car as is the case with prescription sedatives.

Chamomile is an easy herb to grow and offers a lot of choices for teas, rinses and fragrant additions to crafts. As a ground cover or in a bed of its own, a visitor to a garden will experience so much delight. It can be purchased in a variety of forms: capsules, teas, tinctures and oil.

It’s preferred method of preparation is to boil a pot of water, then add fresh chamomile flowers (make sure to wash them first) once the water has just boiled. Each cup of tea needs about 1-2 Tbs. of chamomile flowers, so add the needed amount. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let the flowers steep for 10-15 minutes. Pour the chamomile tea through a tea strainer to your mug. When steeped, these fragrant blossoms smell of freshly cut apples and produce a rich, golden cup with superior flavor. (1) This herb is a caffeine-free herbal infusion and is delicious served with honey, lemon, stevia or sugar for flavor.

In essence, the ancient people knew what many today modern societies have yet to discover. Chamomile is and can be used to cure most anything that ails the stomach as well as nerves.

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Sources:

(1) http://www.adagio.com/herbal/chamomile.html

Authored by Beverly Anne Sanchez, 2010

Disclaimer: This article is published solely for informational purposes.

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