When I was a little girl growing up in Minnesota, my mother and grandmothers gave me chamomile tea when I was sick. It grew well in the Midwest and could be found in most gardens. Little did I know that there was so much more to the plants than helping stomach problems.

Chamomile Tea Benefit

The Benefits of Chamomile

1. Calms stomach problems

This is probably what chamomile is best known for. It helps calm the stomach and gastrointestinal issues. It can also help with morning sickness during pregnancy.


2. Heals wounds

A salve made from chamomile can help speed healing of wounds. (Scroll down to see instructions for making the salve!) It’s been used as far back as ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt.

3. Reduces swelling

Chamomile is a great anti-inflammatory herb. It can be used to help reduce swelling on wounds, and can even be used safely in the eye. For pink eye (conjunctivitis), make a weak tea and let it cool. Lie down and dab a wet cotton ball dipped in the tea on your eye. Be sure to get some in the eye itself. Leave for a few minutes. Do this several times a day.

4. Antioxidant properties

In addition to being a great tasting tea, chamomile is packed full of antioxidants.

5. Stabilizes blood sugar

Chamomile can help lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. It can also be effective in raising blood sugar for those with hypoglycemia.

6. Antibacterial properties

Chamomile can help kill bacterial infections. It can also be used as a wound wash to kill bacteria in scrapes and cuts.

7. For colds and flu

Chamomile, used as a steam, in addition to tea, can help to shorten the duration of a cold or the flu.

8. Reduces muscle spasms

Chamomile contains the amino acid glycine, which has been shown to help calm muscle spasms. This is especially helpful for menstrual cramps. It calms the stomach at the same time and can help relieve symptoms of PMS.

9. Promotes sleep

Chamomile tea has long been used to help individuals sleep for longer periods of time.

10. Relieves hemorrhoids

Chamomile, taken internally, can help relieve hemorrhoids. It can also be used as a wash or applied directly to hemorrhoids with damp cotton balls.

11. For cancer

In addition to containing antioxidants, chamomile has been shown to kill certain types of cancer. Taken as a tea, it can also help to clean out the lymph nodes. It calms the stomach and has been found to help with some aspects of chemotherapy.

12. Skin problems

Because it works best as a tea, and liquids are processed by the liver, chamomile can help with some skin problems. It’s thought that some skin problems, such as eczema and acne, begin in the liver. When the liver is kept in good shape, these problems seem less severe.

13. Gentle cleanser

Chamomile can be used as a wound wash and in the eyes, but it can also be used on babies and very frail people, such as the elderly. It is a very gentle cleanser that can be used in almost any situation.

14. Caffeine free

Not only is chamomile a great drink, it’s also caffeine free!

15. Ice cubes

Every summer I find I have more chamomile than I can use. I dry it to use later, but I also make tea out of it and make this into ice cubes. These are great to throw in a drink and they won’t water it down. I also use the cubes if I get a bee sting. Just place the cube on the sting and hold it there for a few minutes. The tea-infused ice will calm the sting, relieve the itch and draw out any poisons.

Chamomile Tea Benefits 1


Homemade Chamomile Wound Salve

Here’s a recipe for an easy salve that you can use on almost any wound:

Ingredients

I love using an infused chamomile oil in my salve. This is very easy as well. Take a small jar and fill it half full with dried chamomile flowers. Don’t use fresh, as this could increase the chances of mold forming. (Find organic chamomile flowers here.) Cover with a light oil such as almond, or my new favorite, grapeseed. Screw on a tight fitting lid and leave in the sun for a week or two, gently shaking every day. When it’s ready, and you can tell by the change in color and scent, strain through a funnel with a coffee filter in it. Use this infused oil to make the salve.

Salve instructions

Create a makeshift double boiler by filling a small saucepan with a few inches of water and placing a glass measuring cup inside the pan. Combine beeswax, butter, and oil in the glass measuring cup. Heat ingredients over medium heat until beeswax is completely melted. Once melted, take a spoon and dip the tip in and pull out. Wait a few minutes for it to harden, then test to see if you like the consistency. If it’s too hard, add a bit more oil. If it’s too soft, add a bit more wax and continue heating until melted. When you get the exact consistency you want, carefully remove measuring cup from saucepan and allow the mixture to cool a bit. To add extra therapeutic benefits to your salve, stir in 10-15 drops of chamomile essential oil if desired. Pour mixture into a clean lip balm tube or a small tin. (I like the tube because it’s easy to carry.) Cool completely and cap. Be sure to label the container well.

*NOTE: Some people can develop allergies to chamomile. If you are allergic to anything in the daisy or aster family, you may want to avoid it. It also contains coumarin, and may act as a blood thinner. Use caution with chamomile if you are already taking blood thinners.

For the most part, chamomile is very safe to use, as it has been for centuries.  Have you tried it yet?

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image credit to finklez here and here

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Comments

  1. jona says

    Just wondering if you do not have any dried flowers would uaing an essential oil of chamomile be same/as good?

  2. Doris says

    Here’s my favorite use for chamomile:
    I use it (successfully!) for any eye issues. With 5 kids, we have had several bouts of pink eye and just putting a warm compress of chamomile over the affected eye for several 10-15 minutes periods works wonders! (I use warmed up tea bags and lay them gently over the closed eye.) With pink eye, never reuse bag and never use for other eye so as not to cross-contaminate.

  3. Soraya says

    I also wanted to share that chamomile can be used as a diaper rash ointment. You will want to make an infusion of chamomile and mix it with cornstarch until you make a thick consistency. I hope this helps some.