Chamomile

Article by Angela Haldane

Q. I spent my childhood in Europe, and whenever I was sick they gave me Chamomile tea. Can you please explain the virtues of Chamomile, so that I can put it to good use.

A. Chamomile tea is a must for every household. We were taught that is was the ‘mother of the gut’ owing to it’s antispasmodic properties for cramps, healing properties for ulcers – the cold tea can be used as a mouthwash for mouth ulcers.

Carminative properties dispel wind or bloating. I am told most restaurants in Italy always have it available for their customers.

It is also a relaxing nervine herb that helps that mind/ gut connection such as ‘butterflies in the stomach’ or stress induced irritable bowel syndrome.

It promotes a restful sleep – as it soothes the nervous system and is a muscular relaxant. It is one on the main constituents in my herbal Digestive Relief formula and my herbal Sleep Mix available on this website. It is also good for menstrual cramps as a tea, combine it with chopped ginger root for a better effect.

As chamomile essential oil, topical use is beneficial for skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema and wound healing in general. It is often an ingredient in herbal healing balms.

German chamomile is easy to grow – Chamomilla recutita__or __Matricaria Chamomilla. Simply dry the flowers in summer, out of direct sunlight. They are readily available as loose tea or quality organic teabags in the health shop.

Kiwiherb make a pleasant tasting chamomile syrup “Kids Calm” which is easy to administer to babies, children or busy adults!