Chamomile supplements have stood the test of time and have been recorded as being used by Egyptians, Romans and Greeks over a thousand years ago. Chamomile is one of the natural supplements that is used in:
- essential oils
Chamomile supplements have many benefits and few side effects, and rarely are people allergic to the dried flower of the chamomile, or more specifically, German chamomile, known as Metricaria recutita. Although, people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, should avoid chamomile.
When you consider adding chamomile to your medicine cabinet, think of it as a calming herbal remedy. The many skin conditions that the flower extract heals is representation of its powerful potential. According to The University of Maryland Medical Center, Chamomile extract in its various forms has the ability to calm conditions such as:
- the common cold
- sore throats
- gum inflammation
- itching scalp
- minor burns
- digestive disorders such as IBS and ulcers
- chicken pox
- muscle inflammation
- diaper rash
The chamomile supplement is often used to overcome insomnia.
Chamomile is a member of the daisy family. The budding flowers are less than one-inch in diameter and are identified by brilliant gold centers surrounded by white florets. The stems are long and thin and typically light green in color. In the wild, chamomile grows close to the ground, but when grown indoors for harvesting, the plants can grow to approximately 3-feet tall.
Chamomile contains 28 terpenoids and 36 flavonoids. According to the 2010 edition of Molecular Medicine Reports, the essential oil of chamomile’s strongest terpenoids are α-bisabolol and azulenes including chamazulene and acetylene derivatives. Strong flavonoids include apigenin, shown to be the most promising component, quercetin, and patuletin.
It is commonly prepared by extracting the key ingredients from the dried chamomile using water or an alcohol-based solution. Chamomile can be used on its own or mixed with other herbs or ingredients such as crushed poppy-heads. Then, it is combined with tea, lotions, essential oils, bath oils, shampoos, mouthwashes and other cosmetics. The soothing properties make it a common cosmetic additive for its skin-healing properties and anti-stress benefits.
Chamomile is available in teas, oils, tinctures, creams, pills and more. Select the best brand that fits in with your beliefs. For instance, if you prefer only organic ingredients, choose a brand that is certified organic.
- When drinking chamomile tea, add 1 cup of boiling water to 2 to 3 teaspoons of dried chamomile and steep between 10 and 15 minutes. You can drink the tea three to four times each day. If your tea cools before you finish it, use it as a mouthwash or gargle to help soothe gums and sore throats.
- In pill form, select 300 to 400 milligrams, three times a day.
- For essential oils, add a few drops to a cup of hot water and breathe deep to help soothe a cough. Or, add five to 10 drops of the oil to a bath to help calm skin conditions such as vaginitis, hemorrhoids, cuts, and bites.
- If using cream, apply directly to the skin to soothe eczema, psoriasis or dry and itchy skin. You can also make a paste out of the dried herb and water and apply it directly to irritated skin areas.
Chamomile is generally a calm, soothing herbal supplement with little side-effects. However, people with certain conditions should avoid contact with chamomile. Always speak with your physician before beginning an herbal supplementation program, especially if you:
- have asthma
- are pregnant
- currently or previously suffer from hormone-sensitive cancers such as breast or uterine, due to the estrogen-mimicking properties of chamomile
- are allergic to daisies, ragweed, asters or chrysanthemums
- are scheduled for surgery within two weeks as chamomile may increase risk of bleeding
- drive frequently as chamomile can cause drowsiness
- take blood pressure, diabetes, birth-control, sleep-enhancing or anti-anxiety medications