Chamomile: German and Roman (English)
- Chamomile is extracted from the plant.
- German chamomile comes from little daisy-like flowers.
- Roman chamomile is from grayish green leaves.
The German form is more popular. As an ointment or cream, German chamomile is used to treat slow-healing wounds, psoriasis, eczema, diaper rash, chickenpox, and burns from cancer radiation therapy.
Tinctures may be used in the bath to soak (hemorrhoids). Chamomile oil boiled with water produces steam that when inhaled, may alleviate some cold symptoms. It has also been used to treat ulcers, colitis, diverticulosis, indigestion, and to help alleviate heartburn and gas pain.
Chamomile stimulates appetite, is used as a nerve tonic, and to aid sleep. It may be used as a mouthwash for minor mouth and gum infections.
Roman chamomile, although not studied as thoroughly as its German counterpart, has been used to treat heartburn and excessive gas caused by anxiety, gingivitis, hemorrhoids, and other types of inflammation.
Sources of Chamomile
Chamomile is available in the following forms: dried flowers, teas, ointments and creams, extracts (oil and liquid), and tinctures. Chamomile is also found in some cosmetic products such as perfume, shampoo, facial cream, and hair dye.
Guidelines and Cautions
Although chamomile is generally safe to use, always follow package directions.
- If you are allergic to ragweed, do not take chamomile (either type). Ragweed and chamomile are in the same botanical family.
- Women who are pregnant or nursing should not take chamomile. Check with a medical professional prior to consumption.
- If you take blood-thinning medication or cyclosporine, avoid chamomile.
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