What Are the Different Uses of Chamomile?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Chamomile is a plant that produces flowers used in treating a number of ailments. Considered to be relatively safe and loaded with essential nutrients that help to support emotional well-being, the uses of chamomile are both internal and topical. From treating skin conditions to helping ease tension and promote restful sleep, the benefits of chamomile are confirmed by a great deal of anecdotal evidence as well as some scientific research into come of those claimed benefits.

A cup of chamomile tea can be used to help someone with sleep issues.
A cup of chamomile tea can be used to help someone with sleep issues.

One of the more common uses of chamomile is aiding in helping to reduce aches and pains, including those caused by overexertion. This particular application often involves steeping the chamomile flowers in hot water, creating a pleasant but mild tea that helps to soothe cramping and minimize temporary stiffness in the joints. By helping to relax overworked muscles, the nutrients in the flowers make it possible for the body to heal from the exertion without any ill effects.

Drinking chamomile tea before bed promotes restful sleep.
Drinking chamomile tea before bed promotes restful sleep.

The uses of chamomile also extend to helping with gastrointestinal discomforts such as indigestion or nausea. When taken as part of a tea or even a tincture, the action of the chamomile helps to reduce cramping and calm the digestive tract. Even heartburn and bloating are said to respond well to a cup of chamomile tea, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of the herb.

Topically, the uses of chamomile include helping to control outbreaks of skin irritations. Adding chamomile oil to the bath water can help to soothe redness and irritation, aid in clearing up acne, and even help with conditions such as diaper rash. There are a number of creams and lotions on the market today that include chamomile as part of the ingredients simple because of this ability to help calm skin irritation, reduce pain, and aid the body in healing the affected areas.

Two of the most popular uses of chamomile have to do with reducing nervousness and promoting restful sleep. This makes the herb one of the most widely used in the treatment of different types of nervous illness, including anxiety disorders. A cup of chamomile tea every few hours can help reduce the anxiety and help the sufferer from moving on to develop depression and the wide range of phobias that are commonly associated with ongoing anxiety. In terms of promoting sleep, chamomile may be taken as a tea or as a powdered nutritional supplement shortly before retiring, making it easier to relax and drift off without the need for sleep aids that tend to leave users feeling listless the following morning.

While the uses of chamomile for dealing with many different ailments is common, care should be taken when using prescription medication along with the herb. In some cases, such as with anti-anxiety medication, chamomile may increase the effects of calming the nerves to the point of making the individual lethargic or even unable to remain awake. Before adding chamomile to the daily routine, it is important to discuss the usage with a qualified physician, and make sure the herb will not trigger an adverse reaction with any over the counter or prescription medications that are also taken throughout the day.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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