Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Chamomile

Scientific name: Maticaria Recutita

Description:

Chamomile is a flowering plant in the Asteraceae plant family (daisy family). It is an annual, herbaceous plant that originated in south-eastern Europe and Asia but has now spread to all continents.

Chamomile grows around 10-50 feet tall and it's ramified stem reaching up to 60 cm. The leaves are yellow and green, while the hermaphrodite flowers are tubular, golden yellow with bright white rays that bloom in warm regions from May up to late August or early September.

Part used:
Flowers

Medicinal Properties and Uses:

In folk medicine, chamomile has long been used ease spasm and discomfort in the digestive tract.  It is also used to treat a plethora of ailments:

Anxiety
Asthma
Canker sores
Colds
Colic
Conjunctivitis, eye irritations
Crohn's disease
Diarrhea
Eczema
Enterocolitis
Fatigue
Fever
Gingivitis
Hemorrhoids
Hyperacid gastritis
Indigestion
Insomnia
Menstrual disorders
Migraine
Neuralgia   
Irritable bowel syndrome
Peptic ulcer
Rheumatism
Sinusitis
Skin irritations
Stomatitis
Ulcerative colitis
Wounds (minor)

The flowers of chamomile contain essential oils, glucides, acids, lipids (emollient), vitamins B1 and C, minerals like calcium, copper, iron, lead, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, zinc, zirconium.

Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties, antispasmotic, analgesic, antibacterial, antiseptic and disinfecting properties.

It has cicatrizant, emollient and has a calming, sedative effect. Chamomile also contains coumarin that is has anticoagulant or blood-thinning effects. The antitoxin action of chamomile helps eliminates intestinal gasses.

Chamomile comes in tea(infusion), ointment, oil and capsule form.

Chamomile infusion

Put a teaspoon of chamomile flowers in a liter of boiled water. Wait a few  minutes before consuming. The tea is often given to women suffering from menstrual cramps.  Chamomile tea is also used for stomach upset, diarrhea, bowel pain, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroenteritis, intestinal bloating and other gastrointestinal problems.

For colds and sinusitis -Inhale vapors as you are heating the infusion.

The infusion can also be added to the bath water for skin irritations, minor wounds,  skin problems, hemorrhoids and to ease fatigue.

The infusion can also be used to wash conjunctivitis or gargled to relieve toothaches.

Chamomile oil

Fill a clean bottle with chamomile flowers.  Pour in cold-pressed olive oil. Expose it in the sun for 2 weeks.  After that keep the oil in the refrigerator.  Chamomile oil is used to treat psoriasis, eczema, inflamed
skin, infections and other skin conditions.


Chamomile is known to have a soothing and calming effect and is used for insomnia.  Chamomile tea or capsules are used to ease tense muscles, relieve migraine headaches and anxiety.


Contraindication:

People with skin allergies or those who are allergic to ragweed and chrysanthemum may also be allergic to chamomile.

Allergic reactions may be manifested as wheezing, rash, itching, hives and chest tightness.

Chamomile should not be taken during pregnancy or when breast-feeding.

As mentioned, chamomile contains coumarin (anticoagulant or blood-thinning) and should not be combined with warfarin or other medications/supplements that have the same effect and it should not be used by people with bleeding disorders.





THOUGH THE CONTENT OF THIS BLOG HAD BEEN TRIED/TESTED AND HAD BEEN USED
AS FOLK/HERBAL MEDICINE IT IS STILL BEST TO CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE
TRYING THIS. AVOID SELF-DIAGNOSIS AND SELF-MEDICATION.