Camomile (or chamomile) is a plant that flowers and belongs to the daisy family. Its flowers are dried and used for medicinal purposes in tea or in capsule form. Camomile tea has been used for many years as a cure-all tea. It is most commonly used to relax and calm a person and ease insomnia. There are two varieties of camomile used, German and Roman camomile. The German variety most commonly used in the United States.
Camomile has been used for its relaxing, uplifting and sedative effects. Recent studies performed at the Imperial College London, show that camomile has strong muscle relaxant properties. This makes it useful in treating a variety of disorders, including PMS and menstrual cramps as well as regulating the menstrual cycle. It is also used to treat insomnia caused by tension in the body, calm and relieve stomach upsets and ease back and muscle tension.
Camomile is used to treat a variety of skin conditions. The oil is often added to skin care products for this reason. Camomile tea can be added to a bath to heal dry skin, eczema and skin rashes and irritations. It can also be boiled and once it has cooled down it can be applied to the skin using a cloth that has been soaked in the tea.
Cold and Flu
For many years camomile has been used to treat and ease the pain of colds and the flu. A study performed at the Imperial College London showed that this may occur because camomile tea has an antibacterial effect on the body. Its ability to relieve muscle spasms makes it helpful in relieving the general symptoms of colds and the flu such as muscle tension and bronchial coughing.
Camomile is frequently used to treat digestive complaints, hemorrhoids, bladder and bowel irritations and problems and expel worms and parasites. It is also used to treat toothache and mouth sores as well as prevent gum disease. It is also used to treat eye infections and inflammation. It is considered by herbalists to be good for keeping the liver, kidneys and spleen clear and functioning well.
Camomile tea can be purchased at most grocery stores. The tea has a cumulative effect, so while it works immediately to relieve physical and emotional upsets, it also accumulates in the body making its effects even stronger. Three cups are recommended daily although it is fine to have more. It is not recommended for women who are pregnant, as camomile may be considered a uterine stimulant.