Happy June and Summer Solstice! This month, we are focusing on transitioning into parenthood and how important it is to take care of ourselves, loved ones, and wee ones during those beautiful (and often challenging) moments. What better plant to use for supporting parents and precious babes than the famous Chamomile? I’ll wait…
Chamomile is a part of the Asteraceae (or daisy) family, with its use dating as early as 1550 BC in ancient Egypt, and in ancient Rome and Europe since 100 AD. There are two types of Chamomile that are used medicinally; Roman Chamomile or Chamaemelum nobile, and German Chamomile or Matricaria recutita, which is most commonly used. Although Roman and German Chamomile are from different families, they both bud white flowers with yellow centers and provide the same medicinal benefits. The flowers of the chamomile plant have a delicious fragrant smell, a sweet floral taste, and are super high in essential oils.
Most of us have tried Chamomile tea before, maybe even long before we ever formed a deeper appreciation for natural medicine or herbalism. Chamomile is a popular go-to herb for its ability to reach a wide array of ailments and for its gentle medicine. Just one cup of Chamomile tea and your body is enveloped in a warm glow. Any home medicine cabinet or apothecary deserves space for Chamomile as it is safe for children, adults, and older folks! Chamomile can stimulate uterine contractions, so it should be avoided during pregnancy, or only used with the guidance of a doctor. This delicate flower, however, is a lovely aid for postpartum parents experiencing symptoms like anxiety, muscle tension, headaches, and nausea, or can be infused for topical use on stretched and sensitive skin. Chamomile is a relaxant, which can aid the body when troubled by insomnia and stress (parents, I’m talking to you)! Not only for parents, these sweet flowers also make a baby's best friend. Chamomile helps to relieve teething discomfort, diaper rashes, sleeping troubles and soothes colic. Did I mention it is antimicrobial? That’s right, Chamomile can treat bacterial skin diseases all thanks to the potent essential oil content in its flowers! Other medicinal uses of Chamomile include treating chest colds and sore throats, gastrointestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel disease, inflammation, eczema, and acne.
Whether used topically or internally, this flower will make a great ally for you and your growing family. Take space for a deep breath and nourish your gentle vessel with your new friend, Chamomile.
Warning: Some individuals who are allergic to Ragweed, Asters, Daisies, or Chrysanthemums may have an allergy to Chamomile. Please consult with your doctor before consuming if allergic or pregnant, and use caution.
Recipe for a Chamomile Night Cap:
Time: 7 minutes