Chamomile tea is a popular herbal remedy known to have a calming effect on the nerves, on upset stomachs, disturbed children and disgruntled adults. It is the daisy-like white flowers of Chammaemelum nobile or Roman Chamomile that go into the making of this relaxing tea.
Roman Chamomile essential oil is distilled from fresh or dried flowers of this plant. Another frequently used variety is the German Chamomile or Matricaria chamomilla with smaller flowers. The deep blue German Chamomile essential oil is better known for its excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Both essential oils have many similar uses and some specific uses. Here are 10:
1. Relieve anxiety. Chamomile oil was used by the Roman soldiers to relieve anxiety and to induce a strong sense of purpose as they set out to fight. In clinical trials, this essential oil has been found to be effective in treating generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
2. Treat depression. A walk in the garden where these delightful little flowers grow is often considered a sure cure for depression. The sweet scent released by this aromatic plant and the sight of the pure white flowers with sunny yellow centers can raise the spirits. Similar effects can be obtained by using chamomile oil in your bathtub and dabbing a few drops on the reflex points. The vapors can be inhaled or the oil can be used in a diffuser for a generalized effect.
3. Relieve nerve pain and fatigue. Nerve disorders often result in tingling or pricking sensations, sharp pain, or a hot burning sensation in the associated muscles. Compression of the nerves or damage to the nerve tissue may be the real problem, but many symptoms may appear in different parts of the body.
People affected by restless leg syndrome and sciatic pain find relief with the use of chamomile essential oil. It acts as a nerve tonic and also reduces symptoms that appear in the muscles elsewhere. Apply the oil to reflex points of the body for best results. Dilute chamomile oil with olive oil and then apply to the target muscles, massaging it in. Using a few drops in bathwater and in a diffuser also may help to some extent.
4. Eliminate internal parasites. Chamomile oil has been found to be particularly useful in getting rid of intestinal worms. External application of the oil around the belly button with a gentle circular massage relieves the sharp pain due to worm infestation. Add a few drops to tea or warm water and drink it for three to four days or until the discomfort in the tummy disappears. The oil is available in capsule form for internal use.
5. Improve digestion. The essential oil of chamomile can promote digestion in several different ways. For one thing, it increases the production of digestive juices. It is known as a cholagogue that improves bile secretion. It also has antibacterial and antispasmodic properties that help fight minor infections and relieve abnormal muscle spasms. The normal peristaltic movement is restored, thus promoting the digestive process, including the assimilation of nutrients and elimination of toxic waste products.
6. Treat insomnia. Chamomile oil has historically been used as a sleep aid. A few drops applied to a pillow when children are troubled by nightmares and find it difficult to fall asleep can often induce a state of relaxation.
When more than half of the adult population is suffering from sleep disorders, the importance of this essential oil is very clear. It is safer than the sleeping pills people resort to, and also non-addicting. Besides, the essential oil need not be used internally to derive its sleep-inducing effect. A relaxing bath in warm water spiked with chamomile oil right before bedtime and a diffuser by the side of the bed often does the trick.
7. Easing menopause. Chamomile essential oil is a best friend to women approaching middle age. It is an emmenagogue that increases blood circulation in the pelvic area. This helps relieve the irregularities and hormonal imbalances associated with menopause. For best results, massage a few drops into the soles of the feet every night before bed. Using the oil in bath water and in a diffuser by the bedside may help stimulate the endocrine system. Pregnant women are cautioned against using chamomile oil both internally and externally because of the possibility of initiating severe uterine contractions that may result in abortion.
8. Detoxify the body. Use chamomile oil to detoxify the body without any punishing diets or aggressive procedures. This essential oil promotes glandular secretions, which in turn help flush out toxins from the body. It particularly has a clarifying effect on the liver by increasing the flow of the bile to remove the chemical substances accumulated over the years. It clarifies the skin by producing extra sweat, and cleans the blood by acting as a diuretic. Rub a few drops on the chest, abdomen and the reflex points for effective detoxification.
9. Treat the skin. Roman chamomile essential oil can be used to treat skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis and contact dermatitis. Dilute with coconut oil and apply liberally after a warm bath. It helps the skin retain moisture and prevents skin dryness and scaling. Spot treatment for acne and skin boils involves using full-strength chamomile oil. Its antibacterial and antifungal properties prevent secondary infections that result in scarring. In fact, it is used as a cicatrisant in cosmetic products on account of its ability to make scars fade.
10. Heal wounds. Chamomile oil has been used by grandmothers of long ago to soothe the common complaints young children come up with, be it minor cuts and bruises on the their hands and knees or a slightly more serious problem of bruised egos. The oil relieves pain and swelling when applied to affected areas and promotes faster healing. It also calms ruffled feelings.
Children often complain of tummy aches; these could be due to mild indigestion or intestinal worms. Even anxiety is known to appear as a stomach ache in children, especially nearer to school time. Whatever the real cause, chamomile often turns out to be an excellent treatment option because it not only promotes digestion, but helps get rid of worms and anxiety, too.
Versatility is a great advantage essential oils have over conventional medications that treat only specific problems. Chamomile oil is non-toxic, and most of its benefits can be derived by external application and inhalation of its vapors. Apply it to the soles of the feet or add it to bath water to relax the body and mind.
As with any treatment, seek the advice of a medical professional before using it.
How do you use chamomile oil? Are there other uses you would add to the list? Share them in the section below: