6 Health Benefits and Uses of Chamomile

Nearly 24 years ago I opened a health food store. Things were quite different in the field of herbalism back then. Few of my clients took any medications; today, it’s common for people to come to see me with grocery bags holding all their pharmaceutical drugs. Few people gave herbs a second thought, but now herbal medicine is increasingly being recognized as a safe and effective form of treatment. Even then, however, people understood that chamomile, a small plant with tiny flowers, was a potent natural medicine.

Ironically, while there is more research than ever showcasing chamomile’s medicinal benefits, many people seem to have forgotten this valuable herb. I hope that after you read about the exciting research and health benefits of chamomile, you will restore it to its rightful place in your home and natural medicine cabinet. Here are some of the health benefits of chamomile:

Dental Antimicrobial

Researchers assessed the antimicrobial activity of an extract of German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla or Matricaria recutita) against the fungus Candida albicans and the bacterium Enterococcus faecalis. C. albicans is the cause of a common fungal infection that is often referred to as a yeast infection while E. faecalis is an antibiotic-resistant and often life-threatening infection that sometimes inhabits root-canal-treated teeth. According to the study, a high potency extract of chamomile was highly effective at killing both of these microbes.

Mouthwash for Mouth Ulcerations

A study in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry found that a mouthwash made of German chamomile was effective at treating mouth ulcerations and the associated pain, without any side effects.

Skin Healer

Chamomile has a lengthy history of use by herbalists in the treatment of skin conditions like chicken pox rash, diaper rash, eczema and psoriasis. For these purposes it is usually added to a bath or applied to the skin as an infusion or alcohol extract. Keep in mind, however, that the alcohol extracts can be drying to the skin.

Liver Protector

In a new animal study published in the medical journal General Physiology and Biophysics, researchers found that a decoction of German chamomile protected the livers of animals against the damaging effects of alcohol, suggesting the potential for liver protection for humans as well. Further research is needed, but considering that chamomile is a valuable healer with almost no side effects, it may be worth a try.

Anti-inflammatory

A study published in the Journal of Natural Products assessed the purported anti-inflammatory properties of Roman chamomile. Researchers found that it contains at least one anti-inflammatory compound and can even be beneficial in treating metabolic syndrome, a group of symptoms that includes high blood sugar and cholesterol as well as abdominal fat.

Tumor Fighter

Additional research in the journal Food Chemistry found that Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) had both antioxidant and anti-tumor properties. It also found that an infusion of chamomile had significantly greater antioxidant and anti-tumor effects than a decoction or extract.

Using Chamomile

When using chamomile, make sure you choose the correct species for the condition you have (Roman or German, which are indicated above). Avoid using chamomile if you have an allergy to ragweed. Also, the drug warfarin negatively interacts with chamomile so it is best to avoid using both at the same time. Other blood thinners may also interact with chamomile, so it is best not to use both at the same time.

Chamomile Tea

Brew a chamomile infusion by adding one teaspoon of dried herb per cup of boiled water and let steep for at least 10 minutes. Drink one cup, 3 times daily for best results.

Chamomile Extract

Follow package instructions for the tincture (alcohol extract) you choose. A typical dose is 30 drops three times daily.

Mouthwash

Use one cup of chamomile tea as a mouthwash, 2 to 3 times daily. Store the tea in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Related:
Don’t Believe in Herbal Medicine? 10 Things to Change Your Mind
The 5 Best Herbs to Soothe Your Nerves
Should You Actually Starve a Fever?

 

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-news World’s Healthiest News, president of PureFood BC, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include the upcoming book: : Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty & Cooking.

81 comments

Melania P
Melania P1 years ago

Love chamomile

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill1 years ago

thanks

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Telica R
Telica R1 years ago

Thanks for sharing

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Jerome S
Jerome S1 years ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven1 years ago

thanks for sharing.

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Elisa F
Elisa F1 years ago

It's sooo very goood :) thanks for sharing!

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heather g
heather g1 years ago

I don't think we have access to German Chamomile in Canada.

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ERIKA S
ERIKA SOMLAI1 years ago

thank you for sharing this

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Shirley S
Shirley S1 years ago

Noted

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rosario p
rosario p.1 years ago

Chamomile is a wonderful all-terrain and can be easily combined with other herbs.

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