It is not one herb but two - German (or Hungarian) chamomile and Roman (or English) chamomile. The two plants are unrelated, but they both produce the same light blue oil used in healing. The German variety is the most commonly used.
Herbalists recommend it to be used externally to treat wounds and inflammation; and, internally for fever, digestive upsets, anxiety, and insomnia. It has also been found useful to drink (or gargle) up to 3 cups of tea daily for relieving the inflammation of gingivitis.
It has been widely used in children and adults for thousands of years for a variety of health problems. Chamomile tea for kids is calming and may help them get the rest they need when they are distressed.
Side effects are rare; however, there have been reports of allergic reactions. If you or your child have allergies to ragweed or chrysanthemum, do not use chamomile.
Dozens of studies have supported the traditional use of chamomile for use as a digestive aid. The oil appears to have relaxing action on the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract making it an antispasmodic.
It may also help prevent stomach ulcers and speed their healing process according to one experiment. The antispasmodic properties support its age-old use to sooth menstrual cramps and lesson the chance of premature labor.
Researchers showed the herb depresses the central nervous system supporting another traditional use as a sedative. When ever you feel anxious, try an infusion or add a handful of chamomile flowers to a tub of hot water for an herbal bath.
Some studies show chamomile oil applied to the skin reduces the time it takes to heal. Other studies show the herb kills the yeast fungi (candida albicans) that causes vaginal infections, as well as certain bacteria (staphylococcus).
British researchers discovered that this herb stimulates the immune system's infection fighting white blood cells.
This herb is on the Food and Drug Administration’s list of herbs generally regarded as safe. As with all herbal nutrition supplements, chamomile supplements should only be used in amounts typically recommended for medicinal purposes and you should always consult with a health professional first, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or taking prescription medications.
CHEMICAL & NUTRIENT CONTENT:
Antheme, anthemia acid, anthesterol, apigenin, calcium, chamazulene, iron, magnesium, manganese, volatile oils, potassium, tannic acid, tiglic acid and vitamin A.
German chamomile is an annual and reaches three feet in height. The Roman herb is a perennial ground cover that rarely reaches nine inches and does best when walked on. Walking on it releases the herbs lovely apple fragrance. Most chamomile seeds available in the United States is the annual German variety. It grows easily when sown in the spring after the danger of frost. Roman variety is quite hardy, but if your winters are harsh protect the plants with mulch.
After harvesting, dry the flowers and store them in sealed containers to preserve their volatile oil.
Other herbs with anti-spasmodic actions include balm, black cohosh, blue cohosh, dong quai, fennel, garlic, licorice, mullein, passion flower, red raspberry, rhubarb, rosemary, saw palmetto, skullcap, thyme and valerian.
Other herbs with sedative actions include black cohosh, dong quai, passion flower, skullcap and valerian.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR PETS:
A tincture is useful for pain and inflammation in the intestines and stomach. Common uses include easing digestive complaints, reducing intestinal gas, diarrhea and nervous excitibility in cats and dogs.
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