When you think about the word chamomile, you might remember your grandmother sitting in her comfortable chair before bedtime, sipping a steaming cup of tea. Most people associate this herb with a relaxing beverage to help you calm your nerves and fall asleep faster. What you might not know is that it contains secret powers discovered thousands of years ago by our ancient ancestors.
History and Facts About Chamomile
This herbal remedy dates as far back as the ancient Egyptians. While the Egyptians used it for its powerful properties in the embalming process, the name originated from the Greek words “Chamos,” meaning ground, and “Milos” the Greek word for apple. That name arises as the herb grows close to the ground and smells a bit like an apple.
It seems that this herbal powerhouse carries actual superpowers as a natural remedy
Where to find chamomile
If you’ve taken a walk through a meadow or field, you might have spotted this yellow-flowered herb. It looks like a small shrub and grows between 8 to 12 inches high. Its main branch has jagged leaves that line the stem. Look carefully, and you’ll see disk-shaped yellow florets in the center of the flower and white florets on the outer petals.
Look for this herb next time you take a nature walk, as it grows worldwide. The two main species cultivated for human use are the Roman and German varieties.
Fun chamomile facts
Let’s take a look at some of the fantastic uses and healing properties this incredible little plant holds.
- Herbal practitioners use this herb to treat over 100 various disorders.
- It has chemical compounds, oils, and extracts used in the cosmetic and medical industries.
- You may use it in many applications, ranging from tinctures, teas, lotions, drops, and capsules.
- Science proves this herb to be a potent anti-inflammatory agent.
- Also, you can use this herbal remedy to relieve migraines.
- Some of its other uses include treatment of urinary tract infections, rashes, respiratory infections, toothaches, and mental disorders.
- It can be used to stimulate contractions and speed up the childbirth process.
- You can plant chamomile in your garden to stimulate the growth of surrounding plants.
A Bright Future
The National Institutes of Health touts chamomile as an herbal remedy from our past that has a very bright future. This well-researched, peer-reviewed study attributes its potent medicinal properties to the terpenoids and flavonoids found in its dried flowers.
This study emphasizes that herbs played a part in many forms of medicine dating back 5,000 years. Today, herbs remain prevalent in our culture because they can offer effective relief yet have minimal side effects. This desire for natural healing brings us to our super healing herb. It is one of the documented oldest and most widely used medicinal plant in the world. It has a vast range of healing properties.
Furthermore, it is well-known that our forefathers used this herb as an herbal remedy for an abundance of health issues. A few applications include making poultices for inflammation, pain, congestion, and swelling. Finally, chamomile is a popular tea for insomnia, an ingredient in lotions, a calming bath additive, and has even been used in making beer. It is an ancient remedy for so many ailments but was also used as an antioxidant, astringent, and wound healer.
With so many and such a wide range of applications, it is almost head-spinning to think that one plant has so many great uses. Here are some of the scientific reasons this potent little plant has gained so much attention and why we should list it as a healing herb for a healthy future.
The Science Behind The Herb
Trying to put the scientific facts behind this super powerful herb into layman’s terms is kind of like trying to explain how Superman got his powers, but here goes! The list is long, but here are a few of the scientific findings behind this plant.
- It contains the volatile oils, alpha-bisabolol, and alpha-bisabolol oxides, both A and B. It also contains matricin, which is the reason behind its antiphlogistic and anti-inflammatory property. These agents can convert to chamazulene and flavonoids.
- The flavonoids and essential oils in this herb penetrate deep below the surface of the skin layers. This reason explains why it is such an effective topical anti-inflammatory agent.
- Steam from chamomile extract helps to reduce cold symptoms.
- Some healers believe that flavonoids can improve cardiac health.
- The extract combined with apple pectin has safely and effectively treated infant colic disorders and diarrhea.
- Gastrointestinal conditions, including spasms, upset stomachs, ulcers, flatulence, gas, and gastrointestinal irritations, respond effectively to this remedy. Also, it lowers gastric acidity and inhibits secondary hyperacidity.
Four Practical Uses of Chamomile
Now you understand just how powerful this herbal remedy can be. You might be wondering what practical applications it has in your daily life. You will certainly be able to find chamomile in your shampoos, lotions, soaps, and even cleaning products, but here are a few other purposes you might find useful.
1 – Insomnia and Restless Sleep
Looking for a natural remedy for insomnia? Perhaps you may be one of the 60 million Americans who have insomnia. If you are struggling to fall asleep and don’t like the groggy after-effects of pharmaceutical medications, you might want to give chamomile tea a try.
The causes of insomnia and difficulty staying asleep can be temporary or long-term. Temporary insomnia arises from a disruption of the typical sleep pattern. Long-term causes include a more severe condition such as depression, anxiety, or sleep apnea.
Regardless, there are effective but natural ways to cope with difficulty sleeping. These remedies are going to bed at a set time, journaling, exercising, eating foods to promote your gut health, and drinking this herb as a tea.
Chamomile tea proves useful in promoting quick and restful sleep, as evidenced by anecdotal information shared by healers for hundreds of years. It contains a mild sedative that eases nerves, helps you relax, reduces anxiety, and has no side effects. Next time you have sleep issues, brew yourself a steaming cup of its tea.
2 – Essential Oil to Reduce Anxiety
Essential oils prove to reduce anxiety. Doctors recommend many methods to reduce anxiety, including some all-natural alternatives. Since feeling anxious is one of the most common mental health issues today, people are looking for other options and practical solutions to reduce the effects of feeling anxious.
Essential oils are more accessible than ever. You can find them conveniently incorporated into lotions, bubble baths, candles, or for use in diffusers. One of the popular oils is, of course, chamomile. If you are one of the many who suffer from occasional or acute anxiety, try out this anti-anxiety herbal remedy.