Of the three types of chamomile plant, the most popular and thoroughly studied is German chamomile, used medicinally around the world for thousands of years. Modern herbalists have identified elements in the oil of the chamomile flower that appear to calm the central nervous system, relax the digestive tract and speed the healing process.
Taken internally for:
Applied externally for:
Used as a gargle for:
Over the counter:
Available as prepared tea, tincture, essential oil and dried or fresh flowers.
Tea: 8 oz. boiling water poured over 2 tsp. chamomile flowers and steeped for 10 minutes. 1 cup consumed three or four times daily, or diluted and used as an eye compress.
Compress: Fresh tea (less than 24 hours old) strained through a coffee filter and diluted with an equal amount of water. (Unused portions should be refrigerated, and diluted tea brought to room temperature before using it.) For a compress, liquid poured on a cloth and applied to the closed eye. Discontinue if your eye becomes irritated.
Fomentation: Applied three or four times daily to sore muscles; sore, swollen joints; varicose veins; and burns and skin wounds.
Herbal bath: Bathwater run over 2 or 3 oz. chamomile flowers tied in cloth, or no more than two drops essential oil of chamomile added to bathwater.