December 12, 2016

Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita or Matricaria recutita)

Chamomile, that bright yellow centered daisy flower, has long been used to soothe irritated mucous membranes and GI tracts. Infusions from chamomile flowers have been used for ages as a colic remedy for irritable infants.

The heat of the infusion produces chamazulene which has anti-allergenic properties that prevent the formation of immune cells called leukotrienes which trigger inflammation.This property alone makes it a great herb for helping reduce allergy, asthma, hives, eczema, and conjunctivitis too. In addition chamomile has anti-bacterial and anti-spasmodic properties. Studies have shown chamomile inhibits bacteria and speeds healing of cuts, abrasions, and diaper rash.

The use of chamomile preparations on eczema reveal that it stimulates the immune cells called macrophages that engulf irritating bacteria without triggering other inflammatory pathways thus calming the irritated skin.

Studies reveal that chamomile reduces the stress hormone ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone). This effect combines with chamomile's antispasmodic properties to reduce irritable bowel syndrome, colic spasms, and gastritis.

Anyone with an allergy to Chamomile, Comfrey, Ragweed, Daisies, Marigold, or Chrysanthemums should not use Chamomile.

A Kid's Herb Book (2000) by Lesley Tierra


Temper Taming Potion

Place 2 teaspoons of chamomile flowers (and ½ teaspoon chopped Licorice, if desired, it makes it sweeter and more effective) in a teapot or stainless steel pot. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the flowers. Place a lid on top and let steep for 15-20 minutes. Strain, sweeten to taste and drink in ¼-1/2 cup doses.

Yours in herbs,
Danielle Rose, MD