Chamomile Medicinal Profile: A Healing Superstar

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita –little apple) is a species of flowering plant in the sunflower family (Asteraceae). It is a very useful, cosmopolitan medicine. Chamomile has been utilized all over the world since the beginning of recorded history as a common herbal remedy. It is a relaxing, sweet, and gentle first-aid flower.

Medicinal Preparation:

• take as a tincture or as a tea
• topically as a compress, poultice, massage oil, mouth wash, or as a bath

Chamomile Tincture Bottled

Medicinal Uses:

sleep aid (sedative)
• insomnia (inability to sleep)
• colic (pain caused by intestinal gas)
• pediatric teething
• cradle cap
• diaper rash
• indigestion and heartburn
• loss of appetite (common with the elderly and cancer patients)
• gastrointestinal spasms
digestive aid (soothes and assists digestion in general)
• bloating
anti-inflammatory (internally and externally)
• eczema and psoriasis
• skin rashes and irritations (wound healer)
• anti-bacterial properties
• nervine (used to calm the nerves)
• motion sickness
• gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
• digestive issues (peptic ulcers, IBS, Crohn’s disease)
mild anxiety/irritability/tension
• depression
• irritation of the gums and mouth (including canker sores)
• gingivitis
• easing menopause
• PMS and menstrual cramps
• sore nipples and mastitis
• conjunctivitis and eye sties
• mild pain reliever
• tension headaches
arthritis pain
• muscle tension
• restless legs
• nervous stress
• bee and wasp stings

Chamomile Flowers and Rose Petals Harvested for a Grief Relief Tea

Science Stuff: German chamomile is a short-lived, sweet-scented annual that has long been associated with relieving gastrointestinal issues and used as a sleep-aid. The small, white daisy-like flower heads are what is harvested for medicine. Chamomile comes from two Greek words “kamia” and “melon” meaning “ground apple”, which refers to the distinct apple scent of both the flowers and leaves. Chamomile is water-soluble and therefore suitable for any water-based preparation, like a steam, soak, or infusion. The medicinal properties can be absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream. When nursing mothers drink chamomile tea or take it as a tincture, it passes into the breast-milk. This may inadvertently aid in pediatric colic and irritability in breastfeeding infants. Chamomile also eases the pain of teething due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It has two specific fields of actions—one on the nervous system, subduing nervous irritability and the other on the gastro-intestinal tract, relieving irritation. Scientists have isolated components (such as a high concentration of chamazulene) from the essential oil that were found to have anti-inflammatory activity. Compresses, rinses, or gargles of chamomile are used to treat inflammation and irritation of the skin and mucosa. It is an emmenagogue that increases blood circulation in the pelvic area. This helps relieve the irregularities and hormonal imbalances associated with menopause. Concerning endometriosis- chamomile can be used to clear congestion and soothe inflammation of the female organs. The main chemical components in chamomile are 4-methylamyl angelate, isobutyl angelate, and isoamyl tiglate. The esters in chamomile, are known for their ability to reduce the appearance of blemishes when applied topically. In European phytomedicine, the EU Medicine Agency’s traditional herbal medicine program allows chamomile to be labeled for therapeutic use of symptomatic relief of minor gastrointestinal complaints (such as bloating), symptomatic relief of common cold symptoms, treatment of minor ulcers and inflammation of the mouth and throat, supportive treatment of irritations of the skin and mucous membranes of the anal and genital regions, and the treatment of minor skin inflammation due to sunburn, superficial wounds, and small boils.

Precautions and Contraindications: Chamomile is very safe. It has a low (almost nonexistent) allergic reaction record. Pregnant women are cautioned against using chamomile, internally and externally, because of the possibility of initiating severe uterine contractions that may result in abortion (due to its emmenagogue properties). Women who suffer from hormone-sensitive conditions (uterine fibroids, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, or breast cancer) should speak with their doctor before taking chamomile.

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5 Comments

  • Reply Sheri April 15, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    Such a great article, thank you!

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  • Reply Heather B August 1, 2019 at 12:09 am

    I absolutely love every one of your tinctures. The information and pictures are wonderful too.

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