Motherhood is a time when women become more conscious of adopting a healthier lifestyle. They practice an increased openness and awareness to the benefits of more natural alternative health remedies like teas from plants and flowers.
Chamomile is a daisy-like plant comes from Asteraceae family, the most popular types being German (wild) chamomile and Roman (garden) chamomile. They have been eaten since Ancient times for their calming and anti-inflammatory properties and additional health benefits.
The chamomile leaves and flowers are edible and they differ in taste. Chamomile leaves or whole flowers are steeped in hot water, and the liquid is drunk as a hot herbal tea, it can also be enjoyed as a cold beverage. Infusion of Chamomile can be combined by honey, a slice of lemon or other herbs. Hot, warm, moist flowers can be used externally as medicinal compress. Chamomile may ease the itching of eczema and other rashes and reduces skin inflammation when used as a lotion or added in oil form to a bath.
Roman Chamomile has sedative effects and used for centuries by mothers for followings:
- Relieve restlessness, aid sleeping
- to calm their crying children
- relieve earache
- teething problems, and colic
- healing of diaper rash (as a oil or wash form)
- infantile convulsions
- to treat an upset stomach
German chamomile is more common type and used for;
- General relaxation and relieve stress
- Skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, skin ulcers, wounds, or burns (infusion or bath form)
- Chamomile’s mildly sedating and muscle-relaxing effects may help those who suffer from insomnia to fall asleep more easily
- It has immune boosting properties and helps figting against cold
- To relieve nausea, heartburn, and stress-related bloating
- Treat eye inflammation and infection. Cooled chamomile tea can be used in a compress to help soothe tired, irritated eyes and it may even help treat conjunctivitis.
- Drinking chamomile tea regularly has been shown to reduce pain associated with arthritis and other painful inflammations
- Heal mouth sores, sore throat and prevent gum disease.
- Reduce menstrual cramps. Its ability to relax the smooth muscles of the uterus helps ease the discomfort of menstrual cramping.
- Chamomile is used to lighten hair color and get a blonder appearance. Hair products containing chamomile make it moisturized and very manageable.
- Chamomile has the ability to light a skin tone, and to calm down redness
Note: Due to its sedation effect, use chamomile with caution if you are driving or operating machinery. The findings about the use of chamomile in pregnancy is conflicting. Please consult your health professional before using chamomile during pregnancy.
By: Tina I. Ureten MD, RDMS, RDCS