Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wholesome Wednesdays: Chamomile

I don't actually have any chamomile growing here - it always gets too hot for it, and since i don't actually LIKE chamomile, i've stopped trying. BUT it's good for the skin and since i put some into my last batch of shea butter soap, i thought i'd point out some of its positive attributes.

crappy out of focus picture of dried chamomile flowers.

I think most of us are familiar with chamomile tea and the calming effects it has on our mood and sleepiness. I personally detest the flavor, but will sometimes force myself to consume the herbal remedy to help get me to sleep and perhaps sooth a sore throat with some honey and lemon added.

Apparently, chamomile has a cumulative affect - meaning that if you take a bit each day you will find a greater benefit than just the occasional sporadic cup of tea. Some of the uses for chamomile include:
  • Muscle Relaxant
    • Chamomile taken in pill or tea form may help relieve menstrual cramps and other muscle pains. Drink 2-3 cups every day to sooth muscle pains
  • Skin Soother
    • Chamomile can sooth burns, skin allergies, and other nasties like eczema. Instead of using a salve apply cooled tea to burns - creams can be used for other skin ailments
It's the essential oils and flavonoids within the chamomile that work their magic. The oils sooth the skin and the flavonoids help the body to heal with their anti-oxidant properties.

Lavender, chamomile shea butter available soon!

Chamomile is a great all over soother - for the skin and for insomnia. Consider growing your own chamomile if you suffer from particularly unpleasant menstrual cramps - the fresher the herb, the greater its benefits will be. Plus, chamomile makes a very atttractive low growing ground cover. I've combined freshly ground chamomile flowers with lavender essential oil in my latest batch of soap (ready to order the end of this month) which is a specific blend excellent for soothing eczema and other skin maladies - plus it smells nice :)

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