MORE THAN JUST A PRETTY LITTLE FLOWER
Love chamomile tea for its ability to help you relax ? Now enjoy even more health benefits with chamomile essential oil (hint: chamomile is one of the most ancient medicinal herbs known to mankind)…
Thanks to its calming qualities, chamomile tea is one of the most well-loved bedtime infusions. There’s nothing quite like winding down with a soothing, hot brew to help you relax. But while chamomile is often consumed as tea, the essential oil extracted from its flowers preserves antioxidants in a more stable form than in teas, thus offering more benefits.
Chamomile flowers contain many terpenoids and flavonoids which contribute to its medicinal properties, and its essential oil is used extensively in cosmetics and aromatherapy. There are two main variants: Roman chamomile and German chamomile. Roman chamomile is popular for its calming effects, while German chamomile is an effective natural anti-inflammatory agent. Both varieties are rich in antiseptic, analgesic (pain relieving), digestive, carminative (flatulence relieving), and febrifuge (fever-reducing) properties. In fact, chamomile oil was commonly used up until the Second World War, as a natural disinfectant and antiseptic in hospitals and during surgeries.
Camomile’s antiseptic power is said to be 120 times that of sea or salt water.
Chamomile preparations are used for many ailments, such as inflammation, insomnia, and rheumatic pain. Its essential oil is also great for alleviating menstrual cramps. Let’s take a closer look at its many wonderful uses:
REDUCES SYMPTOMS OF INSOMINIA
Research published in Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin studied chamomile extract and found that it exhibits benzodiazepine-like hypnotic activity (benzodiazepines have qualities that help to relax the muscles, reduce anxiety and seizures, and induce sleep). Another case study in 2006 explored the inhalation effects of chamomile essential oil on mood and sleep, and found that participants experienced more calmness and drowsiness, demonstrating chamomile’s potential to improve sleep and enter a more restful state. Known for its sedative qualities, chamomile essential oil is also commonly used during pre-natal massages to help expectant mothers relax.
RELIEVES PMS SYMPTOMS
As a natural mood booster, chamomile essential oil helps reduce feelings of depression. Its antispasmodic properties also alleviate menstrual cramps and body aches that are associated with PMS, such as back pain or headache. Another plus? Chamomile essential oil may even help to clear up acne that appears due to hormonal fluctuations.
CALMS SKIN IRRITATION
To ease rashes or scarring on the skin, mix three to four drops of Roman chamomile oil with coconut oil and apply topically onto the affected areas. This healing oil not only hydrates and moisturises, it also has skin repairing and strengthening properties that are effective in treating sun burns. To enhance the rate of healing, add a few drops to your bath, or do a cold compress using chamomile oil-infused water.
BOOSTS DIGESTIVE HEALTH
Roman chamomile contains anodyne compounds that are antispasmodic and can be used to alleviate gastrointestinal conditions and digestive issues such as acid reflux, gas, indigestion, diarrhoea, and vomiting. It is also good cure for bloating. Chamomile essential oil is very helpful in soothing the stomach, dispelling gas, and activating muscle relaxation to allow food to move through the intestines with ease. Its antiseptic properties inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms in the gut, keeping gastrointestinal disorders at bay.
ALLEVIATES PAIN NATURALLY
To ease inflammation and arthritic pain, dab a little warm essential oil onto the affected area and massage gently. If you’re suffering from headaches caused by sinusitis, cold, or migraines, try massaging a drop or two onto your temples. A steam inhalation of chamomile oil can also help to decongest the chest and unclog a stuffy nose.
If your back is troubling you, warm up a little German chamomile oil and rub it gently onto the affected area for pain relief. If the pain is sciatica-related, apply the Roman variant onto your lower back, hips, and legs.