Sunday, January 21, 2007

Chamomile - What is It?

We've all had the opportunity at one time or another to drink a cup of chamomile tea. It tastes good and is soothing, but do you really know what chamomile is? File this under "I learned something new today."

This herb has been effective in treating insomnia, and also soothes and calms at the same time.

Chamomilla, the plant that spawns the chamomile flower is found throughout North America and Europe. The oil that gives chamomile its medicinal qualities is called chamazulene alpha-bisabol. The strain of chamomile with the highest concentration of this oil is the German chamomole, called matricaria recuitita. Chamomile tea is specifically made from this oil.

Chamomile is used primarily to treat stomach cramping and pains, including menstrual cramping and diarrhea. Aside from the treatment of aches and pains, doctors and researchers have found that chamomile can be used effectively to treat skin and eye problems, mood disorders, and the flu.

For stomach pains, take one ounce of chamomile, two-thirds ounce of peppermint, one ounce caraway seeds, and two-thirds ounce of angelica. Mix together, and add one teaspoon of mixture to one cup of hot water. Steep this for ten minutes; then strain and drink. This mixture soothes the gastrointestinal tract.

For skin conditions, take one ounce chamomile, one ounce dandelion, and two-thirds ounce of fennel. Mix together; add one teaspoon to one cup hot water. Steep this for five to ten minutes then strain and drink. This stimulates the metabolic activity in healing skin conditions.

Chamomile is mild enough for everyday use, and almost everyone can enjoy it. The only people who shouldn’t use it are those who suffer from ragweed allergies.

Now, sit back and enjoy...

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