Chamomile is one of the most widely consumed medicinal plants in the world for centuries, due to its many health benefits. In fact, in some cultures and countries it is considered a true miracle of nature. Discover here all the properties of chamomile and learn how to use these flowers to get the most out of them.
What is chamomile
Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) is a herbaceous plant native to the Balkans and North Africa. With proper care it can grow to over 60 cm in height.
Due to its many medicinal properties, its cultivation has spread throughout the world and it has been used as a natural remedy for centuries. For example, in the Middle Ages it was used to treat digestive problems and in some countries such as Egypt to treat diseases such as malaria.
Properties of chamomile
Some of the reasons why chamomile is so popular are its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. But it also has many other health benefits that you may not be aware of. Here are some of the most important ones:
Benefits of chamomile
Regulates and protects the digestive system: chamomile helps to protect and repair the gastric membrane and promotes the elimination of liquids. This makes it a perfect natural remedy for treating problems such as heartburn, gastritis and vomiting. It is also very useful for preventing stomach cramps and combating heavy digestion.
Calming properties: Chamomile acts as a relaxant, which is why it is so good at helping to reduce anxiety and depression. Its sedative effect also combats insomnia and helps you fall asleep better. In fact, it is a plant that is widely used in aromatherapy techniques.
Strengthens the immune system: another of the great benefits of chamomile is its ability to prevent infections thanks to its high content of phenolic compounds.
Relieves joint pain
Controls the glycaemic index: this plant helps to regulate the amount of sugar in the body's blood, which is why it is a good ally for treating the symptoms of diseases such as diabetes.
Antioxidant properties: these properties help to reduce the chances of getting cancer or heart disease.
Anti-inflammatory properties: thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile is a perfect ally to combat sore throats or nasal congestion during colds.
Although this plant can boast many medicinal properties, it is also important to bear in mind that its misuse or excessive consumption can cause side effects. These are the most common ones, although we recommend that you consult your doctor before taking it.
Drowsiness: excessive consumption may cause drowsiness due to its relaxing effect.
People who are allergic to pollen should be cautious because putting chamomile on their skin can cause irritation or dermatological problems such as dermatitis.
Avoid use in pregnant or breastfeeding women.
On the other hand, it is also not recommended to be taken with contraceptives or anticoagulants.
What chamomile is good for
If you want to take advantage of all the properties of chamomile mentioned above, then the best way is to prepare an infusion. You can do this using dried flowers, or you can buy the chamomile sachets that you can easily find in any shop or herbalist's shop.
In both cases you should boil a couple of cups of water and then pour in the petals or the sachet, which you should leave in for at least 5 minutes. Then remove the petals or the bag and your infusion is ready.
You can add a little fennel to the infusion to benefit from other properties as well. Take a look at our post on the properties of fennel and discover all the benefits it can bring you.
Chamomile for hair
Chamomile has properties that can help to strengthen hair, fight dandruff and reduce scalp oil, giving it shine and light. Likewise, chamomile is also a natural remedy widely used to lighten hair thanks to its high content of pigments such as apigenin. There is a wide variety of products on the market for this purpose. You are sure to find the one that best suits the needs of your hair in any supermarket or pharmacy.
Chamomile for the skin
Finally, chamomile also helps to improve skin health. Its antioxidant properties prevent premature ageing and also increase collagen production. Its anti-inflammatory and healing properties also make it a good remedy for healing irritations and wounds. For example, it is very useful for reducing sties.
To take advantage of these benefits, it is best to soak a sterile gauze pad in a warm infusion of chamomile and apply it to the skin. In the case of sties, we recommend that you leave it on the eyelid for a few minutes for it to take effect. On the other hand, you can also opt for creams, soaps and other body products containing this ingredient if you want to give your skin a much younger and fresher look.