THE HERBAL CORNER - "Chamomile"
Did you know that the popular CHAMOMILE herb may be useful for:
- soothing an upset stomach?
- preventing stomach ulcers?
- relieving menstrual cramps?
- calming the nerves and fighting stress?
- fighting arthritis, infections, headaches, and skin problems?
CHAMOMILE is one of the world's most popular and best selling herbs due to its multipurpose medicinal value. It is a favorite tea, by itself, or in blends. Its apple aroma is the fragrance in many herbal skin care products. And it has been used in shampoos since the days of the Vikings because it adds luster to hair. Contemporary herbalists recommend Chamomile externally to spur wound healing and treat inflammation, and internally for a variety of purposes including fever, digestive upsets, anxiety, and insomnia.
In Germany, where herbal healing is more mainstream, one pharmaceutical company markets a popular Chamomile product called Kamillosan, which Germans use externally to treat wounds and inflammations and internally for indigestion and ulcers. Chamomile is so popular in Germany that many there call the herb "alles zutraut" - "capable of anything." A slight exaggeration, perhaps, but chamomile does have a lot going for it.
Dozens of studies have supported Chamomile's traditional use as a digestive aid. Several chemicals (primarily bisabolol) in Chamomile oil appear to have relaxing action (antispasmodic) on the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract. In fact, one study shows that Chamomile relaxes the digestive tract as well as the opium-based drug papaverine. Antispasmodics like Chamomile relax not only the intestinal and stomach walls but other smooth muscles, such as the uterus, as well. Therefore Chamomile has been used to soothe the pain caused by menstrual cramps and to lessen the possibility of premature labor.
Chamomile's long history as a natural calmative also has a scientific basis according to researchers who showed that the herb is effective at depressing the central nervous system. Chamomile is not only useful at calming an upset stomach but it may also be effective for fighting infections and swelling or pain in the joints, relieving skin inflammation and sunburn, speeding the healing of cuts and scrapes, and when used as a gargle may help prevent gingivitis and sore throat. It can be effective for relieving headaches and sinusitis. Chamomile is one of the gentlest essential oils. It is ideal for use with children and makes an effective teething remedy.
Chamomile, also known as German Chamomile, is available as fresh or dried flowers, liquid extract or tincture, tablets or capsules, essential oil, or prepared tea. Its healing properties include: anti-spasmodic, calmative or sedative, carminative, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and aromatic. Chamomile is considered safe as there are no reports of negative side effects.
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Please note: the information contained herein has been compiled from various sources. The above statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. We make no claims, either expressed or implied, that any treatments mentioned in this newsletter will cure disease, replace prescription medication, or supersede sound medical advice.
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