Chamomile, a member
of the daisy family, is native to Europe and western Asia.
German chamomile is the most commonly used. The dried and
fresh flowers are used medicinally. Chamomile has been used
for centuries as a medicinal plant, mostly for
gastrointestinal complaints. This practice continues today.
Chamomile has calming and soothing properties. It is used for
nervousness, headaches, anxiety, and hysteria. It is also beneficial
for colds and flu. Its antispasmodic properties (See herbal fact at
the bottom of this page.) benefit cramps and spasms, probably due to
the easily digestible form of calcium found in it. One tablespoon
steeped in a covered cup of boiling water with two slices of fresh
ginger is reported to be a very effective treatment for menstrual
cramps and other pains and spasms. Chamomile is frequently used for
digestive complaints and taken regularly will gently regulate the
bowels. The same tea may be used for minor digestive problems such
as acid indigestion and gas, weak stomach, stomach pains, lack of
appetite, and colic pain. It is also effective against intestinal
parasites, like worms. Chamomile has tonic, diaphoretic (causes
sweating), and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties.
Chamomile is a slightly bitter herb that helps soothe nerves,
increase mental awareness, settle the stomach and promote digestion.
It is used as a tea to calm hyperactive children, menstrual cramps,
and asthma. It is a diuretic and has been used for b ladder
problems. It helps with fevers, colds, headaches, insomnia,
rheumatism, relieving gas and expelling worms. Chamomile is good for
the liver and lungs and helps reduce jaundice, swelling, and ease
withdrawal from drugs. It acts as a mild laxative and can bring on
menses. It is good for crying; whining babies and helps soothe the
pain of teething. Chamomile can be used as a mouthwash for
gingivitis and externally for inflammation.
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