Famous For Calming & Anti-Anxiety Properties, Chamomile Touches Lives In Many Other Ways
Chamomile is a time honored medicinal herb that is widely used in tea form for its calming effect, and as an aid to promoting restful sleep and relieving insomnia. However, this amazing healing herb has other medicinal properties that are not so well known.
The plant has a long and storied history. The Egyptians valued chamomile as a natural cure for malaria. It was honored as one of the nine sacred herbs recognized by the ancient Saxons. There are two species of chamomile, Roman chamomile and German chamomile, that are known as “true chamomile”. This is based on their similar appearance and historical medicinal uses.
Chamomile is native to Western Europe, India, and Asia. In the United States, it was introduced into cultivation but gradually made its way into the wild, growing freely in pastures and along roadsides. The distinct white flowers with the small solid yellow cone in the center are striking and admired for their beauty and charm.
Today, chamomile is quite popular and often used in home care products. It is particularly useful in cosmetics and aromatherapy products. It is noted for its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It is also known to act as an antispasmodic and antiseptic. It is used to soothe inflammation associated with hemorrhoids.
Many studies have been done on the medicinal and therapeutic applications for this amazing healing plant. One fascinating finding is that chamomile shows potential as a cancer-fighting agent. Some preliminary research has concluded that apigenin, a substance found in chamomile, can slow the growth of cancer cells!
Continue reading below for some other common uses for chamomile, and enjoy brewing your own relaxing chamomile tea using the easy recipe that follows. Please share if you like this article. 🙂
According to 15th century herbalist Nicholas Culpeper, boiled chamomile flowers made for a relaxing bath. In his Complete Herbal, Culpeper wrote, “The flowers boiled in lee, are good to wash the head, and comfort both it and the brain.”
Other Uses Through Time
- Garden Doctor: In her early 20th Century book Herb Garden, Frances Bardswell referred to chamomile as the “plant’s physician.” She said no other plant can equal chamomile’s ability to keep a garden healthy. Not only did it prevent disease, but one could revive sickly plants by planting chamomile nearby.
- All-Natural Air Freshener: Throughout the Middle Ages and up until the past century, homemakers scattered fresh chamomile on floors because walking on the herb crushed it and allowed it to release its pleasing scent. More recently, people have used chamomile in sachets, pomanders and potpourri to freshen dresser drawers and closets.
- Soap Making: To soap makers, chamomile had it all – a strong scent reminiscent of apples, the ability to help you relax, and mysterious properties that made things cleaner. Those old-time soap makers had the right idea. Research over the past two decades proves that chamomile works well as both an antifungal and an antibacterial agent.
- Lightening Hair: These days, you can buy highlighting and bleaching kits for your hair at the drugstore. However, there was a time when beauty didn’t come as easily. Women used chamomile rinses to bring out natural highlights and brighten light hair by a shade or two.
Comforting Chamomile Tea
1 heaping teaspoon dried chamomile flowers
1-2 small pieces of crystallized ginger
8 ounces water
1 teaspoon peppermint for an invigorating flavor
1-2 teaspoons honey as a sweetener
1 lemon wedge for a fresh flavor
Bring the water to a boil in a kettle or microwave-safe mug. Add the dry ingredients to a tea infuser, place the infuser in the boiling water and let it steep for at least 10 minutes. Then add sweeteners or lemon and enjoy!
Source: Farmer’s Almanac