The Healing Properties of Chamomile

daisies as pictured in Le Bonheur
from Le Bonheur (1965), directed by Agnès Varda

From ancient wisdom...

We now know that chamomile has been revered across the world for its myriad of healing properties for thousands of years.

The ancient Egyptians worshiped the plant, even dedicating festivals to it, and their noblewomen had the sunshiny flowers crushed to use on their skin for an increased youthful glow.

Germans have used chamomile since at least the first century to aid digestion, and doctors throughout Europe and in early American settlements used to carry dried chamomile in their medicine bags because of its utility in combating inflammation, allergies, and pain.

To modern medicine...

Modern herbalists have been able to build upon this age-old wisdom and modern clinical research to prescribe chamomile as complementary medicine in the treatment of a wide range of illnesses including:

bird's eye view of a metal vat full of chamomile flowers floating in water
dried chamomile flowers soaking for an infusion
  • anxiety and depression

  • seasonal allergies

  • muscle spasms

  • PMS symptoms

  • insomnia

  • eczema and other skin issues

  • ulcers

  • wounds

  • gastrointestinal conditions

  • hemorrhoids


How does it work?

Like all plants, chamomile produces a range of secondary plant metabolites, which help the plant to defend itself from disease and predators, as well as to attract pollinators.

In the human body, these chemical compounds can have a range of effects, with many of those found in chamomile having antioxidant effects on our cells.

These active constituents help to reduce inflammation in our bodies by fighting free-radical damage and preventing cell mutation (inhibiting cancerous cells). Chamomile's antioxidants are also associated with better immune function, lower rates of mood disorders, reduced pain and swelling, and healthier skin, hair, nails, teeth, and eyes.

Use it at home

The most common way chamomile is used today is in a hot cuppa, (at least in our home) and usually before bed because it's known for its relaxing effects.

Clinical research shows that drinking chamomile tea is one of the best ways to experience its ability to improve sleep quality and alleviate anxiety and depression.

You can also use chamomile in different forms, each with different uses:

  • Mixing chamomile essential oil with a carrier like coconut or olive oil can make an excellent skin soother.

  • Ingesting digestible chamomile extracts eases gastrointestinal pains and promotes liver detoxification (much needed after a very merry festive season!)

  • Dried chamomile flowers or essential oils used in a bath can soothe not only the skin but the mind too! The olfactory reactions set off by the flowers' volatile oils can directly affect our emotions, with chamomile immediately reducing stress and tension.

  • A 2018 study published in Neurological Science confirmed that massage with chamomile gel can reduce migraine pain, and this is also applicable to other types of pain.

  • Spiritually, chamomile can be used as part of a floor wash, in baths, placed under a pillow, or carried as a charm to foster luck, tranquillity, protection, harmony, and love.

We hope you enjoy chamomile as much as we do throughout the year, both for its healing properties and it's warm and subtly sweet smell and taste.

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