Chamomile is a natural herb used to help naturally alleviate feelings of anxiety, stress and restlessness.
A member of the daisy family, the flowers can be made into a variety of forms including tablets, capsules or liquid extracts. However, the most commonly used form of chamomile is in a tea or infusion.
An infusion is made by adding the dried leaves and flower parts of the chamomile plant to boiling water and left to steep for one to three minutes. The tea, or infusion, can then be drank either cold or hot.
Chamomile tea benefits can be gained by drinking it at any time during the day, but most people like to drink it after a long day to help them relax before bed. Chamomile can also come in the form of a topical ointment to be used for various skin ailments that will soon learn about.
There are two types of chamomile; Roman chamomile and German chamomile. While both types can have similar effects on the body, the German chamomile is the one that is most effective and most commonly used for the production of the various forms of the beneficial herb for human consumption or topical application.
Benefits of chamomile
Chamomile benefits the body in a number of ways, other than just relaxing the mind. Taken in the form of a pill or tea, it can also be used to help relax the muscles and can be helpful in alleviated menstrual cramps as well.
The most commonly sought benefit of chamomile supplements and chamomile teas is the mild sedation effect it can have, which helps millions of people get to sleep easy and have a night of restful sleep.
This is because some of the major causes of insomnia include racing thoughts, irritability, stress and anxiety; and chamomile can help eliminate or reduce those thoughts and feelings while also relaxing the muscles.
Chamomile can also be taken to reduce gas, treat or prevent sea sickness, reduce irritability, reduce the inflammation of the nasal passage and reduce the amount of mucus accumulation that can be caused by allergies or the common cold.
Other benefits include reducing the symptoms of upset stomach, ulcers, colic in babies and diarrhoea and other bowel disorders in children. There have even been some studies that have shown that chamomile can aid in healing ulcers of the mouth that have been caused by radiation treatments or chemotherapy.
Chamomile in the form of a cream or ointment can be applied to help sooth insect stings or bites or other causes of skin irritation such as rash or acne. There is also a special liquid form of chamomile that can be used as an eyewash to alleviate eye irritation caused by allergies or other sources of irritation.
Chamomile side effects
As with any natural herb or supplement, there are a few side effects that can be caused by the use of chamomile. Some users of chamomile or chamomile tea might experience swelling of the throat, skin rash, shortness of breath and a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
Chamomile side effects can be cause by the ingestion or topical application of chamomile products. People who are allergic to other members of the daisy plant family like marigolds, ragweed and chrysanthemums are likely to be allergic to chamomile as well.
Another chamomile side effect is an increase of bleeding. This generally only occurs in people who are currently taking medications that thin the blood. While rare, some of the negative side effects some people experience after ingesting chamomile pills or tea is upset stomach, nausea and vomiting.