Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is a common herb most folks are familiar with. It’s often seen in teas that support sleep, calming, and overall de-stressing. While this delightfully sunny little herb can certainly do these things it has many other less known, but highly useful, benefits.
Have you ever accidentally over steeped a cup of chamomile tea? The longer the tea sits the more it’s bitter properties will come through. Bitters are excellent to use in cases of digestive concerns such as indigestion, bloating, colic, and gas to name a few. Some bitters can be quite harsh and should be used with great care. That said, chamomile is a mild bitter and is considered quite gentle. Often it is used with children suffering from colic. Aside from being gentle it’s a pretty tasty herb for a bitter. Some bitters are so unpalatable they drive people from using them. That’s two huge points for chamomile in the bitter arena.
Another use for chamomile is as an anti-inflammatory. This action can be external or internal. Externally a salve can be used for burns, insect bites, and wound healing. It’s very effective and often used with Calendula, which also helps with the healing process.
As an anti-inflammatory internally this herb has an affinity for the digestive system. So think of Chamomile for IBS, inflammation of the digestive tract, and things of that nature. Another specific use for Chamomile is the relief of gout and acidic build up that some people suffer from after eating red meat. Keep in mind it’s best to buy high quality bulk dry herb to get a therapeutic effect from drinking Chamomile tea. If you do buy pre-bagged teas find a high quality brand and use several bags per cup.
Chamomile is often thought of a tea you drink at night to relax. It really is so much more than that. This herb is very effective at supporting just about anything that affects the digestive system as well as having positive affects on the nervous system battling things such as insomnia and anxiety. It also happens to be an herb that is very effective in different forms. Salves, teas, and tinctures are all great delivery systems for this herb. As with any herb always look to buy the best quality you can find to get the most benefit from the plant remedy. Whether building an herbal first aid kit or filling your cabinet with herbal remedies, be sure to always have Chamomile on hand.