CHAMOMILE - Know your HERBS -

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CHAMOMILE - Know your HERBS -

Post  Admin on Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:30 am

The botanical names for Chamomile are Matricaria recutita, Syn. M. chamomilla.

Chamomile is a native of Europe and western Asia, and is naturalized and cultivated throughout the world. A member of the Compositae family, chamomile is an annual, growing up to 2 feet tall with branching stems. The leaves are very fine and linear. It has a typical composite flower, with white ray flowers and a yellow conical center that is hollow. The medicinal part is the flowers. Another plant known as chamomile with similar actions and uses is Anthemis nobilis. Also from the Compositae family, it is a perennial with a daisy like flower- its yellow center is solid.

The parts of the Chamomile used, are: flowers

Health Benefits of Chamomile

Although best known as a muscle relaxant and antispasmodic, chamomile is also believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory capabilities. The plant's healing properties come from its daisylike flowers, which contain volatile oils (including bisabolol, bisabolol oxides A and B, and matricin) as well as flavonoids (particularly a compound called apinegin) and other therapeutic substances. Chamomile may be used internally or externally. As a popular remedy, it may be thought of as the European counterpart of ginseng.

Specifically, chamomile may:

  • as a tea, be used for lumbago, rheumatic problems and rashes.
  • relieve allergies, much as an antihistamine would.
  • aid in digestion when taken as a tea after meals.
  • as a salve, be used for haemorrhoids and wounds.
  • as a vapor, be used to alleviate cold symptoms or asthma.
  • relieve morning sickness during pregnancy.
  • speed healing of skin ulcers, wounds, or burns.
  • treat gastritis and ulcerative colitis.
  • reduce inflammation and facilitate bowel movement without acting directly as a purgative.

  • be used as a wash or compress for skin problems and inflammations, including inflammations of mucous tissue.

  • promote general relaxation and relieve stress. Animal studies show that chamomile contains substances that act on the same parts of the brain and nervous system as anti-anxiety drugs. Never stop taking prescription medications, however, without consulting your doctor.

  • control insomnia. Chamomile's mildly sedating and muscle-relaxing effects may help those who suffer from insomnia to fall asleep more easily.

  • Treat diverticular disease, irritable bowel problems and various gastrointestinal complaints. Chamomile's reported anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic actions relax the smooth muscles lining the stomach and intestine. The herb may therefore help to relieve nausea, heartburn, and stress-related flatulence. It may also be useful in the treatment of diverticular disorders and inflammatory bowel conditions such as Crohn's disease.

  • soothe skin rashes (including eczema), minor burns and sunburn. Used as a lotion or added in oil form to a cool bath, chamomile may ease the itching of eczema and other rashes and reduces skin inflammation. It may also speed healing and prevent bacterial infection.

  • treat eye inflammation and infection. Cooled chamomile tea can be used in a compress to help soothe tired, irritated eyes and it may even help treat conjunctivitis.

  • heal mouth sores and prevent gum disease. A chamomile mouthwash may help soothe mouth inflammations and keep gums healthy.

  • reduce menstrual cramps. Chamomile's believed ability to relax the smooth muscles of the uterus helps ease the discomfort of menstrual cramping.


Chamomile creams contain compounds, that are antibacterial and anti-inflammatory- one of these, the lovely blue chamazulene, is noted for promoting tissue regeneration. The anti-inflammatory effect of the essential oil applied topically improves skin regeneration and a cold compress does wonders for puffy eyes. Cooled chamomile tea used as a hair rinse brings on the highlights in blonde or light colored hair. Add lemon juice to enhance the effect. Chamomile flower extracts are helpful in managing eczema by increasing the numbers of the immune cells that engulf and eliminate infectious microorganisms, but do not stimulate other immune cells that might aggravate the condition.

Chamomile makes an effective hot poultice to reduce swelling,ease pain when applied to a swollen jaw, or painful ear. For a dental abscess, put 1 drop of chamomile oil on a cotton ball and apply directly to the abscess.

Steep chamomile tea gently for relaxation, longer for digestive upsets. Dried chamomile flowers are used to make herbal baths, sleep pillows and poultices. Steeped chamomile flowers in a muslin bag makes an effective hot poultice to reduce swelling, and ease pain for toothaches and earaches. Relax in a bath of chamomile flowers and sooth your mind while you renew your skin.

Dosage

  • Internal-
    Tea- 2-3 teaspoons to 1 cup boiling water, steep and strain and drink up to four times a day.
  • Liquid extract- 1- 1.5 teaspoons three times a day
  • Dry in capsules- 1000 mg three times a day
  • Best taken between meals.
  • External-
  • Cream or ointment- apply liberally to affected areas three times a day.


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