Chamomile or camomile is the common name for several daisy-like plants of the family Asteraceae that are commonly used to make herb infusion for various medicinal purposes. Popular uses of chamomile preparations include treating hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasm, menstrual disorders, insomnia, ulcers, gastrointestinal disorder, and hemorrhoids.
The word chamomile derives, via French and Latin, from Greek, i.e. earth apple. The more common British spelling camomile, is the older in English, while the spelling chamomile corresponds to the Latin and Greek source.
The most commonly-used species include German chamomile or wild chamomile, Roman, and English or garden chamomile. The relaxing aroma of Roman Chamomile, sometimes described as having an 'apples and straw' aroma, is an exotic and rich. German chamomile has a sweetish-warm, spicy, herbaceous aroma.
|Loose leaf chamomile tea|
CHAMOMILE OIL USES
Chamomile has been used for inflammation associated with hemorrhoids when topically applied. There is evidence that chamomile possesses anti-anxiety properties and could be used to treat stress, anxiety and insomnia. Chemical components of chamomile extract have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperglycemic, and anti-cancer properties. Chemical compounds present in chamomile has demonstrated chemo-preventive effects against cancer cells, and has been shown to have antiseptic properties, anti-inflammatory properties, and reduces pepsin secretion without altering secretion of stomach acid.
DRUG INTERACTIONS - Chamomile compounds may interact with other medications, exacerbating symptoms.
ALLERGIES - People who are allergic to ragweed (also in the daisy family) may also be allergic to chamomile, due to due to pollen found in chamomile preparations. It is recommended that pregnant and nursing mothers not consume Roman chamomile, it has been known to cause uterine contractions that can invoke miscarriage.
Anti-microbial – Chamomile has antifungal properties that inhibit growth of poliovirus and herpes virus, blockage of aggregation of bacteria found in the stomach (Helicobacter pylori) and strains of Escherichia coli. Chamomile oil was demonstrated to be effective against bacteria such as respiratory tract and skin infections, oral infections. Chamomile tea has been used to treat parasitic worm infections.
Anti-spasmodic/Anti-diarrheal – Chamomile has demonstrated antispasmodic effects, and chamomile tea in combination with other herbs (licorice, fennel, balm mint) was shown to be effective in treating colic in children. Flavonoids and coumarins found in chamomile are considered muscle relaxants.
Arthritis & Rheumatism – Chamomile is helpful for arthritis, rheumatic disorders, as well as the accumulation of toxins in muscles and joints.
Blood Thinner – Coumarin compounds in chamomile may have blood-thinning properties.
Cancer – Studies have shown that chamomile extracts have in vitro growth inhibitors on cancer cells in skin, prostate, breast, ovarian, prostate cancer cell lines with minimal effects on normal cells.
Cold & Flu - Chamomile has a beneficial effect on bronchitis and influenza, strengthening mucus membranes in the nose, throat and lungs. As a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath, chamomile can assist in boosting the respiratory tract, fever, and vomiting.
Digestion - Dilute one to three drops of chamomile oil in 4 oz. of water or 1 teaspoon of honey to take advantage of its healing properties for respiratory and digestive issues. Also eases hiccups, and flatulence. Various formulations of chamomile have been used to treat colic.
Hair Lightener - Chamomile is often used to condition and enhance the color of blonde hair.
Inflammation – Several components of chamomile possess anti-inflammatory properties. German chamomile is used on the skin to reduce swelling, gum inflammation, and cystitis. Chamomile is applied to the skin and mucous membrane for inflammations and skin diseases. It can be inhaled for sore throats, used in baths to soothe anal or genital inflammation, and used internally for stomach and intestinal spasms and inflammatory diseases.
Insomnia - People use Roman chamomile as a tea to treat sleeping problems.
Menstruation – Used to treat menstruation and as a tea for stomach cramps.
Moisturizer - Chamomile is frequently added to skin cosmetics to serve as an emollient.
Muscle Pain - As a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath, chamomile oil can assist with muscle pains. There is also evidence that it assists circulation and aids muscular tension.
Nausea - People use Roman chamomile as a tea to treat an upset stomach or menstrual pain.
Skin Disorders - Chamomile has been reported to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and astringent – heals abscesses, boils, and other skin disorders. It also revitalizes and tones the skin, helping in cases of dermatitis, eczema and rashes. It helps damaged skin like burns, wounds, cuts, scars. slow-healing wounds, abscesses, and skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, chickenpox, and diaper rash. For these conditions, use chamomile in an infusion or bath, or as a tincture, which is a concentrated extract mixed with alcohol. Chamomile has been utilized as a skin wash to clean wounds and ulcers, and to increase the sloughing of necrotic tissue and promote granulation and proper healing.