Chamomile is one of the natural calming herbs because of its therapeutic properties. While the Chamomile flowers may look like sweet dainty little things, they are also packed with amazing health and medicinal benefits to mankind. Such is the wonders of the nature.
Chamomile which is part of Asteraceae/Compositae family is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antipyretic, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-allergenic. The medicinal benefits are derived from the flowers which contain many terpenoids and flavonoids. Being one of the most ancient herbs, Chamomile has been used traditionally for many ailments :-
- Inflammation like inflammatory bowel disease
- Inhibit tumour growth, anti-cancer
- Helps with common cold and sore throat by boosting immune system to fight the virus
- Reduces risk of Cardiovascular conditions due to the presence of flavonoids in the flower
- Soothes and heals mouth ulcers and gum inflammation (gingivitis)
- Aids in relieving and healing of skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, burns and prevents skin from bacterial infection
- Aids in gastrointestinal conditions such as colic , digestive disorders as it acts as a relaxant to muscles spasms
- Helps with insomnia with its mildly sedating and muscle-relaxing effects
- Helps with anxiety and seizure
- Acts as an anti-histamine, relieving allergies
- Helps with menstrual cramps
There are a few species of Chamomile but the two most sought after ones are German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) and Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis). Both flowers are commonly found in the wild in many parts of the world, however there are some differences between them:-
Generally Chamomile are used in the form of dried flower heads, tea, liquid extract, capsules,topical ointment and essential oil.
Here is a simple recipe for relieving menstrual cramps, other spasms and minor digestion issues:-
- 1 table spoon of Chamomile flowers
- 2 slices of ginger
- steep the above in a cup of boiling water
For more severe menstrual cramp:-
In a pint of boiling water, add a handful of Chamomile flowers with 6 slices of raw ginger
While Chamomile is generally safe, it is best to consult doctor before using this herbs if you are on some medication such as blood thinning medicines. Pregnant women are not suitable to use Chamomile due to the risk of miscarriage. Some people might be allergic to Chamomile and it may make asthma worse. As Chamomile is mildly sedative, it is best avoided if you are driving and Chamomile should not be taken before surgery to prevent excessive bleeding.
Like all herbs, they are very beneficial to us but at the same time should be taken with care.