I absolutely love having chamomile in the house because its healing properties are endless. Teas, poultices, herbal baths, and soaps are a few effective ways to extract and use the healing properties.
As a tea chamomile is a mood stabilizer and helps alleviate nervousness and irritability. Drinking it also helps soothe the gastrointestinal tractas it alleviates heart burn, soothes mouth and gastric ulcers, and helps reduce bloating. Also, a quick mix with mint tea and say goodbye to complaints of constipation.
As a cream it decreases inflammation making it an extremely effective treatment for allergies; it’s especially useful in the treatment of eczema (as a cream or in a bath). The effectiveness is comparable (actually, it is slightly superior) to over the counter hydrocortisone cream that is often pharmaceutically prescribed. Side-effects that can accompany hydrocortisone use are: allergic reactions, change in skin colour, nausea, headaches, cataracts (if touching eyes after using), dizziness, and acne.
Along the same lines as the cream, using Chamomile as a soap can help clear acne, and heal wounds or cold sores.
Chamomile is a very easy herb to grow in the spring. It has a short annual life of 8 weeks, usually growing as spring begins and dying near the end of June. It’s a beautiful daisy-like flower with an apple scent hence the spanish name Manzanilla meaning ‘little apple’. It’s medicinal uses date back to 1550 BC, being introduced to North America from Europe in the 1500’s and named Plant of the Year in 1987.
Chamomile is gentle yet effective. I find the word gentle doesn’t often translate to effective, but chamomile’s gentle nature makes it a herb that can be used for children or pets and it truly is effective!
Interested in learning how other herbs could help your health concerns? Book a Naturopathic Visit today! 857-1300
Dr. Jodie Tatlock, ND
*For tea mix one tea bag with 1-2 cups of boiling water, steep for 5-7 minutes and drink warm. Add 1 green tea bag for an afternoon pick-me-up or 1 mint tea bag to help aid digestion after a meal!
Disclaimer: Speak to your healthcare provider or a veterinarian before making any medical changes. Allergies to Chamomile may exist, especially if you have one to another herb in the Asteraceae Family.
(1) A. Godfrey, P. Saunders (2010). Principles and Practices of Naturopathic Botanical Medicine. Volume 1: Botanical Medicine Monographs.
(2) A.Weil (2012). National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs. The Worlds Most Effective Healing Plants.
(3) J.Srivastava, E.Shankar, S.Gupta (2011). Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995283/
(4) M.Morgan (2010). Chamomile from a clinical perspective. Retrieved from: http://www.mediherb.com/pdf/tc_31f.pdf
(5) j.Cunha (2014). Hydrocortisone Side Effect Centre. Retrieved from: http://www.rxlist.com/hydrocortisone-side-effects-drug-center.htm