Chamomile, or Camomile, also known as Matricaria recutita, German chamomile, true chamomile or Hungarian chamomile, is the herb from the daisy family. The fresh plant is strongly and agreeably aromatic, with a distinct scent of apples. On account of this smell, ancient Greeks named it “ground apple” or kamai melon.
Medical use of Chamomile
Chamomile is often used as an herbal remedy, in fresh form or dried. It is most commonly used to create teas or as oil extract, to cure and soothe many health related problems. More recently, chamomile became available in the form of capsules, too.
The whole plant is extremely beneficial for the health, but the most commonly used parts of the plant are flower-heads. Curative powers of wild Chamomile are considered to be more potent, especially single flowers. However, double flowers are also used in medicine, as well as the cultivated Chamomile.
Medical value of the plant originates from the central part of the yellow florets and it consists of volatile oil, anthemic acid, tannic acid and glucoside. Volatile oils are also known as essential oils and flavonoids. Lavonoids are potent anti-oxidants that assist in the body’s healing and defend from the harmful changes made to the body by free radicals.
Chamomile is often used for gastro-intestinal health problems. The regular use of chamomile tea may significantly improve the movement of the bowels. It is also beneficial in acute mild digestive problems like acid indigestion, gas, weak stomach, cramps, and stomach pains, lack of appetite and colic pains. Chamomile may also help against various intestinal parasites.
This herb is active against a variety of infections caused by bacteria. It possesses a potent antiseptic capacity and it is commonly used to treat many illnesses and inflammatory processes in the body. It is effective in treatment of common cold and flu, unrelenting cough, sore throat, and it may bring the relief to patients with high fever.
Chamomile may also be used as a muscle relaxant. Two or three cups of tea per day may bring the relief from painful muscles and joints. The very same effect can help with menstrual cramps and pre-menstrual symptoms.
Chamomile is also good for the complexion. It helps to soothe unpleasant burns, rashes, allergies and other kind of dermatitis. Chamomile is a commonly found compound in skin and hair care products. The flavonoids as well as the lipophilic compounds found in Camomile oil may help to reduce capillary fragility and strengthen the skin, preventing premature aging of the skin.