Although the fields of neuropsychology and clinical psychology are built on a foundation of evidence-based practices, many clients suffering from symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and other clinical syndromes are wise to also seek natural alternatives to psychotropic medication. In fact, research studies show that between 36 to 42% of Americans use complementary and alternative medicine each year, specifically for issues of depression and anxiety (White, 2009). It is wonderful to see that European, Chinese, and Ayurvedic herbal traditions are widely practiced herbal disciplines in America.
Botanical medicine is often prescribed by board-certified herbalists, licensed acupuncturists, Ayurvedic medical practitioners, chiropractors, naturopaths, and integrative medical physicians as well as available without prescription in most health food stores. To be clear, botanical medicine is regulated in the United States as supplements under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA), which does not permit claims that herbs cure disease (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2000).
Roman chamomile scientifically known as Anthemis Nobilisam has a very relaxing and soothing fragrance that is known for smoothing the flow of the chi (energy) throughout the body. This function makes chamomile powerfully soothing to both physical and emotional states, including an overactive brain triggered by anxiety or PTSD.
Roman Chamomile can be used in a form of a tea or an essential oil. The plant grows close to the ground, has gray-green leaves, and flowers that look like a daisy, and smells like apples. Roman Chamomile essential oil is thought to have a calming effect on both, the mind and the body. You can add couple drops into your tea for its soothing benefits. You can also diffuse the oil or apply couple drops to your feet at bedtime (doTERRA, 2020).
Additional Uses and Benefits:
- 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.
- Weight Loss
- Sore Throat – brings relief and comfort
- Painful Menstrual Cycle
- Upset Stomach – the plant tends to soothe and relax stomach and intestinal wall and relieve gas
- 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.
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). However, beware, the tea prepared by seeping is a lot stronger. I like to add a drop of honey and some lemon juice for taste. It is often a big hit with children as well.
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.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. (2000). Letter to health professionals. FDA concerned about botanical products, including dietary supplements, containing aristolochic acid. Retrieved August 14, 2008, from http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/ds-botl2.html
White, K. P. (2009). What psychologists should know about homeopathy, nutrition, and botanical medicine. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 40(6), 633–640. https://doi-org.library.capella.edu/10.1037/a0016051
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