“I have to wake up and drink chamomile tea to slow down,” Janice Dickinson.
Chamomile, a beautiful herb that has won my heart. Although I wouldn’t recommend starting one’s day with the highly relaxing herb, I do share Janice’s sentiments of taking some time so slow down with chamomile. A gentle plant with powerful healing abilities, I am constantly finding new ways to use it. Gentle enough for babies and effective enough for adults to find good results from its use, both young and old can reap the benefits. Today, I will tell you three reasons I love chamomile with three wonderful uses of this gentle plant.
1. Relaxation and Sleep
Chamomile is hands down my favorite herb for a restful night’s sleep. These delicate flowers are a nervine and along with its sedative properties calm frazzled nerves, the antispasmodic properties calm the muscles of the body, and the anodyne properties ease pains in the body lending it the perfect bedtime drink. I find that is mixes most wonderfully with lemon balm. Make up a tea of either chamomile or chamomile and lemon balm, steep for 10 minutes, add honey and milk for a calming drink to get a good night’s sleep.
2. Teething Babies and Toddlers
In my herbal studies I learned that chamomile is a mother’s best friend to ease the discomfort of teething in their young children. When I had my first child, I found this to be true. The sedative properties as mentioned before are gentle enough for infants and children to consume. I found this relaxed my child when fear of experiencing such pain would grip her. The pain relieving properties would soothe the pain making it tolerable for my child. And the tonic properties would help with the inflammation from teething. I would make a tea and mix it with breast milk to give to her and cow’s milk when she was older. I was gifted a glycerin tincture of chamomile and this has become my favorite way to give it to my child. Tinctures of glycerin are safe for infants and children because they do not contain alcohol. Add the tincture to breast milk or whatever milk you are giving your child and see the relief in your little one. Any parent wants to see an upset child calm down enough to get some decent sleep when those pesky teeth are coming in.
3. Upset Stomach and Colic
When I overeat or indulge in rich foods, chamomile is my go-to. The antispasmodic and stomachic properties calm a cramping stomach and allows for easy digestion. When I traveled to France years ago, I could not resist the rich and decadent food which left me with terrible stomach aches. One day, a woman in a local apothecary told me I needed to drink chamomile tea. To this day, it’s what I go to when I get belly aches. My favorite is to add some ginger. Both ease digestion and make a delightful pair. Make a tea and drink it plain or add some lemon and honey to sweeten. Babies can also find help from chamomile if suffering from colic. It settles stomach spasms and delivers much relief to a colicky baby bringing peace to the entire house in return. Administer the same as you would a teething baby.
I could go on and on with all the fantastic uses of this glorious plant, but I will leave you with these three to start. Pregnant and nursing women should always seek their medical practitioner’s advice before using any herb and this goes for babies and children as well. Chamomile is a staple in my house and after you experience the grace and love this plant has to offer, I’m sure it will become a mainstay in your home, too.