Ingredient Spotlight: The Health Benefits of Chamomile

by on October 6th, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Have you had your chamomile today? If you haven’t, you may be missing out on one of nature’s most powerful healers!

In Germany, chamomile is known as the “cure-all cure”. While most of us are familiar with the relaxing properties of chamomile, the herb has been used since ancient times to treat a wide range of symptoms. Chamomile is known to boost the immune system, maintain blood pressure within the normal range, and eliminate bad bacteria found in the body. It is also a natural pain reliever.

The active constituents found in chamomile have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It can be used on wounds to promote healing, on swollen gums, and even to soothe diaper rash in babies. Chamomile also contains coumarin, a compound that has blood-thinning effects.  The homeopathic version of chamomile, known as “Chamomilla,” is also used for a number of ailments. In children, Chamomilla is used for those prone to tantrums, for babies undergoing teething and who experience irritability, diarrhea and pain, colic, and for earaches.  For women, it may be used to alleviate breast tenderness, menstrual cramps, and other common symptoms of PMS.

Both the herbal and the homeopathic versions have nerve-soothing properties, which help relieve anxiety and stress. This can be a life saver during the holidays when stress is experienced by so many. Many times, stress is responsible for seasonal weight gain. This can be due to a break in routines, where exercise is sometimes neglected, and along with emotional eating related to stress. Chamomile not only soothes the nerves, it has also been used since ancient times to treat digestion and stomach complaints. Combined with ginger, it is an excellent tonic for the entire digestive system and the immune system.

This year, there’s a resolution you don’t have to wait until New Year’s to implement. Natural remedies are readily available all year long to help us promote balance and health. Not only that, they are affordable and can be used to treat a variety of complaints as well as prevent others… so many benefits and no side effects!

SciatiGonwith chamomile, promotes sciatic nerve comfort and health.

Chamomile is available in tea bags or loose dry flowers, which can be steeped in water and then enjoyed hot or cold. Here are a few tips to further enhance the healing powers of chamomile:

  • Don’t let the steam from your infusion escape while it’s brewing
  • Add honey to your chamomile tea- it tastes delicious and honey is another of nature’s most generous remedies
  • Add ginger for digestive discomfort or nausea
  • Make tea more concentrated when you need an extra boost
  • Buy fresh flowers at a farmer’s market or health food store for improved quality

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