posted Sep 17, 2014, 2:42 PM by Ivy Hunter   [ updated Nov 14, 2014, 3:53 PM ]
The fresh or dried flower heads make the perfect bed time tea. The flavor is so traditional it has been used in European countries in place of other teas or even in place of coffee.

Chamomile, aka chamaemelum nobile, cammomile, Roman chamomile, Chamomilla, German chamomile, ground apple, pin heads, whig plant, and wild chamomile. This plant can be found growing in yards or bought in nurseries as a ready to use plant.

It also comes in capsules, and dried bulk herb. The flowers of Matricaria recutita variety and Chamaemelum nobile variety are used medicinally either in herbal teas, topical creams, and extracts.

The extract is done in a ratio of 1:1 and may contain anywhere from 10 to 30% alcohol. It can also be extracted into glycerin. The plant contains a volatile oil called alpha-bisabolol - this is in the oil, and has anti-inflammatory actions as well as having been used for years as a way to reduce infection and swelling with skin rash. It was used on superficial burns, ulcers of the skin, and it was used to reduce the healing time, and reduce infection risk.

The essential oil has antibacterial and slight antiviral effects. Chamazulene - another component of the oil also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Medicinal Value

The flavonoids apigenin and luteolin also offer their medicinal benefit of reducing inflammation.

This plant should not be used during pregnancy because it does have an effect of sedating the central nervous system.
We have it currently in teas as a sleep inducing, or relaxing tea blend, and we use it safely as healthy adults, but it should not be used by pregnant women (or children under 16 just to be safe). Apigenin is responsible to the sedation effect of chamomile, and it doe not prevent convulsions or seizure.

Components of Chamomile

Bisabolol and bisabolol oxides A and B are another part of the plant, which does have some antispasmodic effects. It may reduce the twitch or nerve impulses to the muscles from the cnetral nervous system.

Other compounds found in chamomile include apigenin, quercetin, luteolin, and coumarins umbeliferone and herniarine.

Reported uses include using chamomile to treat anxiety, restlessness at night, a stomach ache, gas, or even motion sickness as  a healthy adult. The topical applications can reduce inflammation, increase skin healing time, reduce infection in open rashes, and the tea can be used as a blend or straight tea to assist in sleep.

Use chamomile in massage oil and topically it reduces the immune response to the skin, it reduces the bacterial load on the skin, and it reduces viral load on the skin. It cannot be used for sterilizing skin.

To make the tea,
simply take a tea ball or 1 tablespoon of tea and drop it into boiling hot water in a cup, cover it, and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Strain as needed to remove the fine particles. You can use the tea as a gargle for inflamed throats, and it soothes damaged areas of the mouth if you bite your lip.

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