Chamomile: a super plant!
When you think about chamomile, most people automatically think about tea. Many tea drinkers rely on this magical elixir to help them relax and have a peaceful night’s sleep. But did you know that chamomile has a host of other benefits?
Chamomile is the common name for several daisy-like plants. There are several species, with Roman Chamomile or German Chamomile being the most widely known. Roman chamomile is native to Europe, North Africa, and some parts of Asia, and was named by a 19th century botanist who found some growing by the Roman Coliseum. In use for centuries, chamomile was a symbol of the omnipotence of the Egyptian god, Ra; to the Saxons it was one of nine sacred herbs; and in Europe during the Middle Ages it was scattered over the floors of homes because its fragrance would act as an insect repellant. Chamomile flowers were actually found depicted in many ancient hieroglyphics dating back over 2,000 years.
Despite being different species, the tiny flowers of both German and Roman look quite similar and have similar uses and effects. One key difference is that Roman chamomile is a perennial plant and German chamomile is an annual, meaning that it dies each year and needs to be replanted. The differences are also important when it comes to taste: Roman chamomile tends to be bitter when used in tea, whereas German chamomile is sweeter. It’s also used less frequently since it’s harder to find and doesn’t grow as widely.
Historically, chamomile was used in tea, salves, creams and incenses. The primary health benefit was to calm anxiety and settle digestive issues. It has also been kong known to promote restful sleep. Nowadays, it is primarily consumed as tea, in capsule form, in diffusing the essential oils, and in cosmetics.
Chamomile has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. The antioxidants found in chamomile tea have been linked with a lower incidence of certain types of cancer, lowering blood pressure and contributing to overall heart health. Drinking chamomile tea may also help to lower blood sugar levels. The anti-bacterial properties can also promote wound healing. When diffusing the essential oils, it has been known to reduce stress and tension and promote restful sleep.
And what about our skin? It has been reported that applying chamomile to the skin via cosmetic products, such as lotions, eye creams and soaps, may be moisturizing and helpful for reducing skin inflammation. Many people who suffer from eczema or psoriasis prefer to use products with chamomile as they report it helps to alleviate redness and soothe their sensitive skin.
The bottom line … chamomile is a plant with a wide variety of health benefits. So whether you choose to drink a calming chamomile tea, diffuse the essential oils when winding down in the evening, or using it in your bath and body products, you can relax knowing that it’s doing your body some good.
Information found on this site is meant for educational and informational purposes only; it is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or skin condition. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Be aware that many essential oils have potential harmful side effects when applied directly to the skin or ingested.