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How to use Herbs - Introduction to Chamomile

herbs, chamomile, health, use herbs

The flowers and leaves of this plant contain essential oils, chamazulene, coumarin, heterosides and flavonics (common chamomile), camphor, borneol, erpenes, esters and a bitter substance (wild chamomile) and azulene, which is anti-allergic.

Common chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) is in general use today. It owes its popularity to the value of its infusions and essential oil. The latter, obtained by steam distillation from the flowers, is anti-spasmodic, antiphlogistic, anti-ophthalmic, aperitive, febrifugal, stimulative, digestive, emmenagogic and vermifugal.

There are numerous testimonies about relief being obtained for gout, rheumatic pains, boils, dermatitis, eczema, herpes and conjunctivitis.
The easiest way of taking oils internally is to put one teaspoon of honey into a glass or cup and add approximately 30ml (1 oz) of warm water, stirring until the honey is dissolved. Adding just a drop or two of chamomile essential oil, stirring again and taking this mixture in teaspoonful amounts, is a pleasant way to seek relief of anaemia, loss of appetite, congestion of the liver or spleen, convulsions, depression, slow digestion, fever, influenza, insomnia, facial neuralgia, and stomach cramps.

There are also several interesting ways to use chamomile essential oil as an environment friendly air freshener. Simply add a few drops of chamomile essence to a bowl of hot water. The air will be filled with its lovely clean fragrance and everyone will become more relaxed and serene. Once the water has cooled and has not been allowed to become contaminated, it can be transferred to a commercial spray bottle and the contents sprayed on freshly laundered towels and bed linen. I even spray some into the clothes cupboards from time to time. It gives everyone that little bit of help to combat the stresses and strains of daily living.

To help your body cope after a hectic day, add a few drops of chamomile essential oil to a bowl of warm water. Soak a face cloth in the water and gently wring out the excess. Take some time to relax and unwind with the compress over the eyes and forehead. Alternatively you might want to experiment with a steam vapour inhalation to which you have added a few drops of chamomile oil. Simply cover your head with a towel while bending over the bowl, and breathe in the wonderful aroma of nature.

The novice can experiment by adding a few drops of chamomile essential oil to normal temperature bath water. Lightly agitate the water before lying back and soaking up the goodness of this amazing oil.

Alternatively you could just wash your face in a chamomile infusion of the herbs. Herbal teas are known to be excellent for the skin. Chamomile is a wonderfully soothing tea. Pour some boiling water over a heaped spoon of dried leaves and flowers. Tea bags can also be used if you are assured that the quality is good. Allow to infuse for a few minutes. Add some honey if desired. This drink is ideal after a really busy day and will soothe and relax you.

Always remember that essential oils are very concentrated and thus very powerful. Just because you find that a little is beneficial, don’t assume that a large amount would work better. Externally, a too strong mixture can cause irritation to the skin.
Published: 2009-05-06
Author: Veronica Hankey

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