Matricaria chamomilla, commonly known as chamomile, German chamomile, Hungarian chamomile, wild chamomile or scented mayweed, is an annual plant of the composite family Asteraceae.
Many have noted that Chamomile has a distinctly apple like taste and aroma and in fact the word Chamomile as we have come to know it comes from the ancient Greek word Kamai-melon or ground apple. In Spanish the name for Chamomile is pronounced Manzanilla or "little apple."
Chamomile is used in many traditional remedies today included but not limited to a cure for the common cold, inflammation of the skin, bronchitis, fever and the liver. It is also an appetite stimulator and is also good for gallbladder complaints. One herbal medicine guide has even claimed that you won't have nightmares if you drink chamomile tea before bed.
Chamomile was called the "Plant's Physician in the past because they claimed that it was such a good companion plant. It's been said that if you plant chamomile near a sickly or drooping plant that 9 out of ten times the plant will recover.
Chamomile Tea is one of the most popular herbs in the world and is available in many different forms. The most prominent way in which this herb is relished is as a tisane, or herbal tea, its non-caffeinated herbal concoction made by pouring hot water over the leaves, stems, and roots of plants. You can make your own chamomile tea with other plants like lavender or tulsi to vary the flavor, or drink it alone.
Chamomile has many health benefits, especially for digestion. Chamomile can be used to treat abdominal pain, inflammation of the intestine, and as a sleeping pill (sedative). Moreover, it can be used to make herbal tea, by adding 2 tablespoons of dried chamomile flowers per cup of tea. To cope with abdominal pain (inflamed), it is recommended to drink a cup of chamomile tea every morning without breakfast for 2 or 3 months.
Chamomile is a popular herbal remedy. Available in two varieties – German and Roman – chamomile is used as an anti-depressant in addition to its use as a disease alleviator.
Here are the top five health benefits of chamomile.
- Muscle relaxant and for menstrual cramps
One of the top uses of chamomile is for muscle relaxation. It can be used as a balm or a tablet. Alternately, one can brew one’s own chamomile tea. Two to three cups a day is ideal to de-stress and keep muscles relaxed. It also calms muscle spasms during menstrual cramps.
- Aids sound sleep
- Soothes the stomach
- Fights the common cold
- Heals wounds faster
In addition to the above benefits, chamomile is considered to be good for preventing the escalation of diabetic ailments. Chamomile oil is a good remedy for skin ailments and also helps improve skin quality. For stomach ailments, muscle spasms, and help in falling asleep, use about one tablespoon of dried herb per cup of water. Pour boiling water over the herbs and allow to steep for about 5 minutes. Strain and enjoy.
Some people have serious allergic reactions (including anaphylaxis) to chamomile. If you are allergic to other plants in the same family such as daisy, ragweed, aster, chrysanthemum, or marigold you should use caution when using chamomile.
Chamomile should be avoided during pregnancy because it may act as a uterine stimulant and therefore increase the chance of abortion.
People with bleeding disorders or on blood thinners should avoid chamomile, as it contains coumarin and may increase the chance of bleeding.