What are the Medicinal Properties of Chamomile (Matricaria Chamomilla)?

Chamomile

Introduction

Chamomile is the ancient herb which has been used for medicinal purposes since antiquity. This herb has been used basically to calm down the anxiety and treat stomach troubles. It is a daisy like herb belonging to the Asteraceae family. This herb is native to Egypt, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Eastern Europe and Morocco. It has many species but two of them are mostly used for making herbal infusion and teas. Chamomile is considereda safe herb and has been used to treat various health ailments, especially stomach ailments and insomnia. It has been used in Ayurveda as well as Homoeopathy in themedicinal form to treat various health conditions. Chamomile is full of medicinal properties. Dried flowers of this herb consist of flavonoids and terpenoids which imparts this herb with medicinal properties. Chamomile and its medicinal preparations are used to treat many health problems like inflammation, hay fever, menstrual disorder, ulcers, insomnia, wounds, rheumatism and its pain, gastrointestinal disorders and hemorrhoids. It helps to relieve troubling colicky pain. Many ways of using this herb medicinally are developed but the herbal tea is most popular which is taken by millions of people per day.

General Description

Chamomile's stem is hollow and erect. It is a small plant which grows to the height up to 8-16 inches. Its flowers resemble to those of daisy, bearing white collar around yellow cone shaped center. Leaves have bipinnate pattern and are feathery to touch. Chamomile has a sweet, pineapple fragrance.

  • Common Name - Chamomile, Mayweed, pinheads, scented mayweed, German-hundskamille and pineapple weed.
  • Botanical Name - Matricaria Chamomila
  • Family - Asteraceae/Compositae

Habitat

Chamomile is basically from Europe but now due to its health benefits it has been naturalized in most of the world. This annual herb can be found growing in paths, fences, in areas that are well drained and have light soil.

Parts Used

The entire plant can be used, however the flower is usually used. It can be used raw in a salad or can be dried to be used in an herbal tea or may be used for bathing. Oil can be pressed out from its flowers.

Medicinal Properties of Chamomile

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antibacterial
  • Sedative
  • Anti-allergen
  • Immunity enhancer
  • Anti catarrhal
  • Analgesic
  • Digestive
  • Healing
  • Relaxant
  • Antioxidant
  • Antiseptic
  • Anti-aging
  • UV-protective

Therapeutic Properties of Chamomile

  • Chamomile is a potent sedative which relaxes the nerves, soothes the body and induces sleep. Drinking herbal tea made from chamomile helps to sleep better as it also lacks caffeine and should be consumed before bedtime.
  • This herbs not only kick the illness out of the body but also prevents them. It also helps to enhance immunity.
  • It increases immunity so prevent minor ailments like cold and cough. Also In case of cold it treats congestion and relives the cold, cough, runny nose and sore throat.
  • Chamomile is a natural antispasmodic agent which helps in treating the menstrual cramps and other stomach aches. It decreases inflammation and inhibits the secretion of prostagland in hormone which results in pain and inflammation.
  • This herb acts as a digestive relaxant, treats the stomach ache and various other digestive troubles. It helps to treat indigestion, anorexia, flatulence, motion sickness, nausea and vomiting.
  • Owing to its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, chamomile helps to heal the wound and it also possesses antiseptic properties which prevent infection of the wound. Psoriasis and eczema can also be treated with it. Hence it helps to treat canker sores, dermatitis, cold sores, burns, skin irritation and pinkeye.
  • Chamomile can work as a wonder for dealing with today's chaotic and stressful life. Due to its relaxant and sedative properties, this herb can be used in day to day life in the form of tea or other natural preparation to be calm and relaxed. It reduces stress and anxiety.
  • This herb is packed with antioxidants which makes it a wonderful formula for dealing with skin problems. It fights the free radicals and clears the complexion, giving a natural glow to the person.
  • Acne can be treated with chamomile as it possesses anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It eliminates the scars of the acne and fights the dark spots.
  • As said earlier it is a powerhouse of antioxidants which makes it a natural anti-aging herb. Chamomile fights the free radicals and prevents the oxidative damage to the skin, slowing down the aging process.
  • Chamomile has anti-allergen properties which can help in treating various allergies like hay fever, allergic rhinitis and similar ones.
  • Antibacterial property of this herb helps in thetreatment and prevention of various bacterial infections.
  • Harmful rays of Sun can cause many skin problems. This herb possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which kick off the harmful effects of the UV radiation on the skin.
  • Dark circles around the eyes can make one look dull and aged but Chamomile comes as a rescuer to that too. Placing the tea bags of chamomile tea or applying its paste under the eyes, decreases the dark circles and puffiness of the eyes.
  • Other than skin problem, this herb also helps to clear dandruff from the hair and soothes the scalp. It promotes healthy hair and scalp.
  • It can be used as an herbal remedy for motion sickness, heartburn, diaper rash, morning sickness and colic.
  • As it possesses anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, chamomile can be used to treat gingivitis and other oral cavity inflammations. Rinsing mouth with its decoction can relieve the toothache and sore gums.

Side-Effects of Chamomile

  • Some people may show allergic reactions to chamomile. Hence, care must be taken, prior to start taking it to consult an Ayurvedic physician.
  • In some cases, there can be contact allergies be seen.
  • People who are on blood thinners should avoid using it as it may enhance or inhibit the effect of the medicines.
  • Avoid taking alcohol with chamomile, as it is also a strong sedative.
  • Any herb should only be used under the supervision of a physician.
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