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Herb of the Week: Chamomile!

September 22, 2016

 

Chamomile is commonly consumed by many people as a sleeping aid but did you know it has many more medicinal uses?

 

Matricaria recutita (chamomile) was once native to Europe, but is now found in North America and many other places! 

 

While the whole plant is medicinal, commonly the flower is used prior to its opening. 

 

Chamomile has many medicinal properties. It can be used as an antispasmodic or an anti-inflammatory. It can also be a mild sedative, analgesic, or anti-emetic (anti-nausea). Due to these properties chamomile is useful in conditions where a relaxing, anti-inflammatory effect is required. These can include anxiety, insomnia, flatulence, irritable bowel syndrome, canker sores, and gingivitis. 

When used topically as a compress or ointment, chamomile can be useful in the treatment of cuts, bruises, hemorrhoids, or general itchiness. 

 

like any medicine, there are people who should NOT use chamomile. The chamomile plant is a member of the Asteracea (daisy) family. This family of plants includes zinnias, dahlias and daisies. However, it also includes ragweed and goldenrod. Therefore anyone who suffers from allergies to ragweed and goldenrod may experience similar symptoms if using chamomile. Due to its sedative effects, chamomile should be avoided when consuming alcohol, or taking sedative medications. 

 

All in all chamomile is a wonderful herb, one that I use often with patients. 

 

Have you tried chamomile tea? 

 

- Dr Kendra Clifford ND

 

The information in this post is for educational purposes only and should not be substituted for medical advice.

 

 

 

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