When I was a little girl growing up in the Czech Republic, my favorite stories were about a little mole named Krtecek who lived in a meadow with some of his other animal friends. One day, his friend mouse became very sick. Krtecek wanted to help her so he went to talk to a wise old owl. The owl advised him to make a tea out of a mysterious plant called Matricaria Chamomilla. This plant grows wildly in Czech meadows. We call it, “hermanek.” In English, it is known simply as Chamomile. Confused Krtecek searched the whole wide world for this plant before he realized that there was one growing right by his home mound. When he found it, he made the special tea for his friend and she recovered very quickly. Although this is just a story for children, the wise old owl gave Krtecek an excellent advice. Matricaria Chamomilla is an amazing plant with many healing and medical properties. It is also a very safe plant commonly used for its mild sedative effect and anti-anxiety properties.
A big cup of warm organic chamomile tea can do wonders for the following conditions:
Stress and anxiety – the first natural remedy I reach for when feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or stressed
Sleep aid – due to its sedative effect, chamomile is often added to bedtime teas. Try a cup tonight, it really works well. Sip slowly for the best benefit.
Sore throat – brings relief and comfort
Painful menstrual cycle
Upset stomach and gas – the plant tends to soothe and relax stomach and intestinal wall and relieve gas
You can purchase chamomile tea prepared in little tea bags at any grocery store (you can also purchase dry petals at a health food store for seeping). In Czech, people often pick chamomile and dry it at home themselves to make tea; however, beware, the tea prepared this way is a lot stronger and not nearly as tasty as what you would get at the store. I like to add a drop of honey and some lemon juice for taste. It is a big hit with my kids as well.
More than a cup of tea……
That’s right! Chamomile is also used externally. To prepare this magical infusion, pour hot water over the dry herbs and let it sit for 10 minutes. Do not boil it as the chamomile would lose its healing properties. The infusion is very effective for a variety of conditions such as:
Hair Growth – To promote hair growth, rinse your hair with a chamomile infusion after washing your it.
Reduce inflammation.: A sprained ankle or toothache? Soak your injured limb or rinse your mouth with a chamomile infusion to bring faster healing. It can also be used in a bath to reduce hemorrhoid swelling.
Canker sores and gum disease. If you are struggling with these painful conditions, try rinsing your mouth with a chamomile infusion served several times a day for relief.
Skin rashes and even burns. Applying a chamomile infusion compress to the affected area will help prevent infection and promote faster healing. In case of sunburn, adding chamomile to your bath would bring significant relief.
Irritated eye and eye infection. Rinsing an irritated eye with a cool chamomile infusion will sooth it and help restore the eye membrane.
Chamomile ointments and lotions can be applied on your skin to treat dry, itchy or light burns. You can purchase these in most health food stores.
As you can see chamomile is simply wonderful. It has no known side effects and can be used long term. Allergic reactions can occur, but are extremely rare. Chamomile should be a part of everyone’s pantry of natural healing remedies.
If you have used chamomile for other purposes as well, please share!