Every household with a baby should have a packet of camomile tea or teabags in the herbal pantry as it is a gentle, calming herb that can be safely given to infants. It is an excellent herb for babies at teething time or when they have ear infections, cramps or stomach aches—in fact, camomile is helpful in any problem that causes children discomfort.
In adults, camomile is helpful for flatulence, diarrhoea, stomach disorders and gastritis, menstrual disorders, neuralgic pains, insomnia and toothache. If used in a bath or sitz bath camomile also helps haemorrhoids.
The pleasant tasting tea that is derived from camomile is the most common form of ingestion.
Its botanical name is Matricaria chamomilla and it is one of the best known medicinal herbs. It is even used by people who do not normally regard themselves as subscribers to herbal lore.
Camomile produces perspiration, it is soothing and antispasmodic.
It is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, especially in cases of inflammation of the mucous membranes.
Externally it can be used as a fomentation*, a wash for inflamed eyes, conjunctivitis, itching skin eruptions and as a gargle for toothache.
A Camomile herb pillow
applied to the painful / twitching area will bring relief while retaining its power to relieve for several weeks. Fill a small pillow with camomile (100g – 200g – or 300g depending on the size) heat the pillow in the oven or microwave for a minute or so. Apply the herb pillow to the aching area overnight. *(a sock filled with camomile may be more practical).
Use a cloth soaked in a camomile infusion and apply externally to the skin. Fomentations can be very effective in relieving bruising, swelling, pain and inflammation, and for soothing headaches and fevers. They can also be used to help clear skin complaints such as acne. To use a fomentation, soak a clean cloth or towel in the camomile infusion, wring out the excess and apply as hot as possible to the affected area.
Camomile Steam Inhalation
combine the benefits of camomile steam to effectively clear nasal and bronchial congestion and relieve the symptoms of colds, flu, hayfever and sinusitis.
To prepare the inhalation, place 50 g of camomile in a bowl or saucepan and pour 1 litre of boiling water over the herbs. Cover your head and the bowl with a towel, close your eyes and inhale the steam for 20–30 minutes.
Learn more about some staple herbs your should in the house along with their medicinal properties and benefits in ASOHM’s Fundamentals of Herbal Medicine & Herbal Healing Lesson 1 now!