advertisement
Updated 18 February 2013

German chamomile

For a good night's sleep (especially for children), drink a chamomile infusion or tea just before bedtime.

0

German chamomile

German chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla), which is the most popular form of chamomile, is best known for its soothing and relaxing qualitities.

As a tea, it's often used to induce sleep. But even though chamomile may have health benefits, there isn't enough evidence yet to make any strong recommendations.

Traditional uses

  • Soothes eczema and sore skin
  • Relaxes tense or aching muscles
  • Relieves nervous tension and irritability
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-allergenic
  • Antispasmodic

Recent research shows that chamomile, along with apple pectin, may ease diarrhoea in children. Preliminary research also indicates that inhaling steam with chamomile extract may help ease common cold symptoms.

Interesting facts

There are two major types of chamomile: the German type and the Roman type. The latter is mostly used in the United Kingdom.

Chamomile can be found in the form of capsules, extracts, infusions, bath formulations, compresses and lotions.

Chamomile tea is typically made using 2 to 3 heaped teaspoons of dried flowers per cup of water. Tea bags can also be used.

A gargle is made using 10 drops of fluid extract per glass of water.


Caution

The fresh chamomile plant can cause dermatitis.
People with allergies to other plants in the Asteraceae family (e.g. aster, chrysanthemum, ragweed) should avoid chamomile. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include throat swelling and shortness of breath. Do not take the essential oil internally without professional supervision.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use chamomile.

(Information source: The American Pharmaceutical Association's Practical Guide to Natural Medicines by Andrea Peirce, published by William Morrow and Company, 1999).

(Image: T Voekler)

 - (updated by Birgit Ottermann, Health24, April 2010)

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

FYI »

When the flu turns deadly Why the flu makes you feel so miserable

Could a deadly flu strain hit SA this winter?

Following an intense flu season in the US and UK, should we be worried about our own upcoming flu season?

Alcohol and acne »

Dagga vs alcohol: Which is worse? SEE: Why you are drinking more alcohol than you realise

Does alcohol cause acne?

Some foods can be a trigger for acne, but what about alcohol? Dermatologist Dr Nerissa Moodley weighs in.