|Back in the days when women came down with a mysterious
malady called "the vapors," a cup of chamomile tea was often prescribed to
relieve female anxiety. Known for its apparent calming effect on smooth muscle tissue,
chamomile is still a popular remedy for nervous stomach, (PMS) support, and other common
problems often related to stress. Since 1600, Europeans have used chamomile as a cure for
insomnia, neuralgia, back pain, and rheumatism. They were not the first to discover this
herb; the ancient Egyptians included chamomile in their arsenal of herbal cures.
Used externally, it is thought to be good for skin inflammations and hemorrhoids. It is
used as a liniment for bruises, hemorrhoids, inflammations and sores. Used as a mouthwash,
it can relieve the pain of toothache. Chamomile is put in shampoos to enhance golden
highlights of blond hair. A cup of chamomile tea is the perfect nightcap!
Common Uses: Stomachache, antiseptic, antispasmodic and tonic; Anxiety,
insomnia; Eyewash; Diaphoretic and carminative, gentle for children.
Dr. James Duke, U.S. Department of Agriculture, in his Handbook
of Medicinal Herbs lists a variety of applications for the chamomile flower.
Internally, it works to relieve and prevent spasms and relieve abdominal gas. It also has
diuretic, expectorant, sedative, stimulant and tonic properties. It is also a botanical
that can dispel worms. Dr. Dukes adds that the hot aqueous extract of the whole
plant is said to cure digestive tract tumors.
Much of scientific understanding of chamomile healing effects has come from West German
studies. A noted West German mataoligist treated several dozen patients suffering from
stasis dermatitis, a skin condition characterized by erythema (a redness of the skin
caused by congestion of the capillaries) and scaling of the legs. The patients applied a
chamomile cream and experienced a "rapid improvement along with a regression of the
inflammation ...within just 2 days."
At an international chamomile research conference in Frankfurt, scientists reported
significant relief from burns, diaper rash, and serious leg ulcers using chamomile. For
burns or diaper rash, use cool chamomile tea or add chamomile flowers to bath water.
Chamomile is also useful for soothing babies with upset stomach or colic and for helping
them to sleep.
The active components of chamomile include alpha bisabobol, chamozulene, polyines, and
flavonoids. No single factor has been shown to possess all the major healing properties of
whole chamomile. The consensus is that each major constituent is effective for specific
conditions, and plays a supportive role in others.
A special commission appointed by the Federal German Health Office has stated that
chamomile flowers contain a complex of active principles that when used together
"combat inflammation, stimulate the regeneration of cell tissue, and promote the
healing of refractory wounds and skin ulcers."
Chamomile may cause allergies in susceptible people because it is a flowering plant.
However if you can open a box without suffering allergic symptoms, you will
probably be fine.
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