Chamomile is something that individuals will commonly drink in tea-form if they happen to have some trouble falling asleep at night — however, the benefits of this daisy-like plant go beyond just fighting insomnia, and some of the ways it can improve certain ailments may actually surprise you.
Muscle and Joint Pain
If you suffer from muscle and joint pain, things like anti-inflammatories and Epsom salt baths are often the go-to choice for relief — and while these can certainly have significant benefits in reducing pain, submerging 1 cup of dried chamomile in addition to 1 quart of Epsom salt and 5 to 6 drops of lavender essential oil can also help to relieve pain and relax muscles, as your skin will actually absorb the chamomile.
If you’ve ever stayed up too late and/or aren’t getting enough sleep, you’re likely used to having dark circles under your eyes. While dark circles can easily be covered up with things like concealer and foundation, you can also reduce those circles with chamomile. Start by placing two chamomile tea bags into hot water for 3 to 5 minutes, then allow them to cool. Once it is safe to do so, apply the chamomile tea bags over your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes. Doing this will not only help soothe eye irritation, but also increase circulation, and therefore reduce those dark circles. If you have sensitive eyes you may want to avoid doing this, however.
Stress and Anxiety
Some great ways to relieve stress and anxiety are through things like physical activity, including yoga, as well as medication. In some cases, anxiety may also need to be treated with medication. However, chamomile can also help calm the mind — either by drinking a plain cup of chamomile tea, or by diffusing chamomile essential oil. Individuals who drink chamomile tea or diffuse the essential oil regularly say they notice a significant reduction in their symptoms. Of course, it is also important to note that anxiety could be the result of other underlying conditions, such as PTSD or depression, and things like medication as well as therapy (i.e. counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy) is also often recommended.
Other Benefits of Chamomile
Aside from the aforementioned benefits, chamomile may also help to reduce things like menstrual cramping, slow down or prevent osteoporosis, treat symptoms of the common cold, treat mild skin conditions, and can even help lower blood sugar (though it should not be used as a substitute to diabetes medication.)
The potency of chamomile depends on the brand of tea bags that you buy as well as where you buy your essential oil from. There is the potential to develop side effects from chamomile, so it’s always best to start with a low amount/dose and slowly work your way up to what you find best-suited to you and your needs. As for what makes chamomile so effective, it contains chemicals known as flavonoids, which is a type of nutrient that is found in a variety of plants — including fruits and vegetables. Among some of the many benefits of flavonoids include reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, asthma and cancer, and they are also attributed to protecting the brain.
You should avoid the use of chamomile if you have a history of allergies (especially to pollens), or if you have had a previous allergic reaction to chamomile products, even if that allergic reaction was mild, as allergies can worsen over time. Infants and young children should also avoid use of chamomile products.
Originally published at http://alighahary.ca on April 26, 2019.